Facebook: It’s Time to Enhance Events

Dear Mark and team,

Please, forget the Newsfeed. You’re never going to please everyone. Instead, can you step it up with events?

Events aren’t bad right now. The ability to see who else is attending, and share to my profile is great. But there’s so much more you could be doing…

Make it easier to add events to Facebook

My organization has ongoing events. Right now I add information about it to our website, and then if I remember, I create a Facebook event. The ability to duplicate or set recurring events would ensure I always used Facebook for promotion.

Promote events off-site

You’ve gotten into the widget game already with the fan boxes, why not create an event box as well? Let an organization host all the event details on Facebook, and point people to it from a event box on their site? Like a fan box, you could show attendees to motivate other people to RSVP and attend. And of course, draw more people to Facebook.

Remind people of the events they RSVPed to – and remind their friends!

Ok, so don’t completely forget about the Newsfeed. What if the day of an event I’d RSVPed to, you prompted me to tell my friends I was attending? That would help me remember what I had going on, and give the event organizers one last promotional push. And of course, as we all learned from Beacon: make sure the notifications are per-event, and opt-in! ;^)

Let administrators RSVP as individuals

If I create an event on the behalf of a page, I can RSVP as an individual, but any comments left on the wall are on the behalf of the page. Actually, this is an issue with page management on the whole, I can’t respond to wall posts as an individual on a page I administer. Yet apparently I can “like” items on the page…? Sorry, I digress: I’ll save fan page administration for another note.

Just make the whole iPhone experience better

On the iPhone right now I can see events I’ve been invited to, and must click to view details to see how I RSVPed. If I’m invited to something and I decline, it still clutters up my view.

In contrast, on the full version I only see the events to which I RSVPed, whether or not I was invited. This is a very different experience, and actually seems like it’s counter-intuitive. On a mobile device, space is limited. Why would I want to see events I wasn’t planning on attending, and not have access to those to which I’d RSVPed?

When I click on the Events tab…oh wait, what???

Geez Mark, so I grabbed that screen shot above from my Events tab, but when I created an event and then deleted it, I ended up at a different URL (facebook.com/events.php) – which looks more like my iPhone experience. So now I’m confused as to which is the “normal” way of accessing events. Sneaky, sneaky…
Well, regardless of which is the primary means to access events, it’s confusing to be dealt a screen of events you’ve declined. Can you imagine if accessing the friends page showed you all the people you’ve denied? Uh.. that’s rhetorical. Do NOT build that!

Let me find local events

Much to-do was made about Facebook enhancing in-site search a few months back. So why can’t I search for public events by, let’s see, location? Or type? Again: events are good right now, but actually letting people FIND events using your site would probably really encourage organizers to ensure their events were listed.

Ok, well I hate to be too demanding – and I’m sure you’re working hard on many of these enhancements already. But I really think you could enhance events as a win-win-win: benefits to event promoters, benefits to event attendees, AND benefits to your organization.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with – and hey, if you have any sort of press conference to promote it – invite me, mmkay?


4 thoughts on “Facebook: It’s Time to Enhance Events

  • Good stuff, Andrea. In order for Facebook (or any other site) to be useful for scheduling events, though, the real key for me is integration. I want events to be available in iCal format (see the TechLife Columbus events calendar). Merely making that feed available makes it lots more likely that I’ll pay attention to the events, because I can see which ones don’t fall on a night when I’m running my son to swim practice or band, or whatever, because the calendar integrates with all my other calendars.

    While we’re on that subject, accepting an event invitation should add an event to the calendar of my choice – the TechLife calendar almost gets it right, but the Google Calendar integration doesn’t seem to work with Google-hosted domains.

    I know that Facebook would rather have me keep coming back to Facebook to see what’s going on, but that’s just not as helpful for me as standards-based data availability.
    .-= D. Lambert´s last blog ..Fixed bid isn’t nirvanna =-.

  • I believe events can be exported right now via iCal, but there is much more that could be done. Integration is certainly key!

    I do think that Facebook is starting to get away from the ‘walled garden’ approach in terms of having information available elsewhere both feeding into and coming from the site. Doing that with Events would bring them to a whole new level, IMO.

    The other thing I started to think about (and then stopped because it was getting to be too much) was how they see the relationship between people, pages and events. A page can’t exist without being tied to a person, but an event apparently can be tied to a page or a person. There is some weird dependency there that I’m not sure is as clear as it could be.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • I’ll have to try to find the iCal link. I have a feeling that most people don’t find that to be as much of a killer feature as I do, but there’s just no way I’d keep track of where I’m supposed to be if I couldn’t pull several calendars together. I understand that MotoBlur (Cliq) is supposed to do something like this, too, isn’t it? (Maybe this is an Android 2.0 thing).

    The people-pages-events relationship thought is interesting, too. Probably stems from a people-centric view of the world in much the same way that CRM systems model contacts-accounts-opportunities. It would help integration if a common taxonomy evolved, but I’m not sure who’s going to lead that push, since it risks making each of those “walled gardens” that much more of a commodity.
    .-= D. Lambert´s last blog ..Fixed bid isn’t nirvanna =-.

  • I too would like the possibility of posting an ongoing event. And actually I have seen some events posted that are ongoing and designated so, but there is nothing obvious in the options for creating an event that alows for this. help! I love using facebook to keep track of events of interest. I wouldn’t want to add them to my calendar – unless I am really sure I want to go. So keeping them on my facebook is good for me.

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