Facebook invented the Events page. Arguably one of the biggest attractions to the platform besides sharing pictures, the ability to tell friends about upcoming events is invaluable. But, through all of facebook’s growth and development over the past 5-6 years, it seems that the Events section has not seen any major improvements. Instead, the right hand corner of our home screens have become a haven for unsolicited parties and meetups and has slowly, but surely rendered itself useless. The system is officially broken for what I would think is a large number of users. Sharing events among a close network of friends is vital to any social network. The traditional mechanisms to get a group together on a particular night are completely outdated. Unfortunately, Facebook Events can also be added to that list, along with snail mail, email, and mass text messages.
Presently, on facebook the types of events we receive usually fall into a few distinct categories: birthdays, planned parties, promo events/benefits/concerts, community meetings, and lost cellphones (if that can even be considered an event). I usually have a range of 12-16 events in my list on facebook, of which there are 2 that I will respond to if I remember in time. This is a problem that needs to be replicated, and I don’t think facebook will be the one to do it. If a large technology company like Facebook won’t or can’t do it, it is definitely an opportunity for a startup. I think event planning online needs to be made a bit more spontaneous, allowing for organic growth of “attendees” rather than forced pressure (ie facebok messages, which I also think are useless). There should be a dedicated application separate from email, facebook, and twitter that helps users manage the types of events they receive from their friends, the timing that you receive the event (for example, birthdays i would like to know way in advance, regular parties i would like to know about the day of or the day before), and the number of events currently in the “inbox”.
Anyways, I think it would be an interesting side project and I might just take some time to experiment with it. I have a few ideas about how to best go about getting the data to build an personal event manager. If anyone is interested in joining or has some advice please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your comments below.