How to Judge a Facebook Event Invite by the Numbers

I’ve been using a very basic set of formulas to figure out how big a Facebook party is going to be, based on these numbers:

facebook-invite-party-numbers-attendance-example

# Going, # Maybe, and # Invited, that’s all I care about.

Here’s the math. It’s simple because I may have a pre-party whiskey in my hand when I need to use it:

Going × 80% + Maybe × 50 % = estimated attendance

and

Invited ÷ Going = desperation index

1 = they only invited their good friends….or their only friends. 3 = approaching desperate, or they might just be popular. 5 = this is the only big party they have ever thrown, plz come!!! 10 = goddamnit promoters.

Some of you smarty pants types may have already crunched the numbers from my initial example, and found very promising figures. Indeed, I would say those numbers just about represent ideal. While it was a great party, there are a few factors I’ve left out.

RSVP Inflation

RSVP Inflation occurs when people feel some sort of obligation to go…or at least say yes. I haven’t figured out an exact number to subtract in these cases, but I do know people are lying liars and will say yes and hope the host doesn’t notice they didn’t make it. (Ummmm…so sometimes I say yes because I want show my support, since maybe just seems disappointing.)  Here are common causes:

  • Housewarming party  <– this is our example
  • Going away party
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversary party (an event that happens every year)
  • Inconvenient but exciting party
  • Ridiculously well-themed party

Ultimately, I don’t think this factored heavily in the attendance of my example. I do think attendance was near or exactly 57.5 people. (Half person = child?? or..) Yet the practical attendance (a.k.a how the party feels to me during the actually-relevant-to-my-life hours of 10pm-3am) was about 15 people lower. Which brings me to my next point…

Time Dilution

Time dilution occurs when the event spans additional, unconventional party hours, such as starting in the afternoon. This happens with:

  • Ambitious housewarming parties (<–)
  • Parties that start as a BBQ
  • Parties thrown by lonely people
  • Parties thrown by people with kids, or who have a lot of friends who have kids
  • Summer parties (I know it is summer year-round here in San Diego, but June-August months are just treated differently, you know?)
  • People who are really into day drinking

You’re just not going to see the people who leave early. It’s ok. They’re not your type of people, anyway.

Making An Appearance

The making an appearance factor has the same basic effect as time dilution, and of course occurs when the event or the attendance-base lends itself to briefer party visits. Either people are making their obligatory stopover before leaving to sleep/take care of kids/return to their lairs of introversion, or they are popular kids doing what popular kids do: party hop.

For example, take a look at this:

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.22.32 AM

What is this? More maybes than going?? What is the meaning of this anomaly?

The desperation index seems high, but actually what is going on here is that a popular person has invited his very popular friends and, oh, wow, they’ll make it if they can, they really hope so. Looks delightful, I so want to be there, xoxo.

Umm, eff yes I’m going. No, not to brush against popularity and hope it rubs off on me, but because attending an event where dynamic, gregarious people are coming and going as they make their Saturday-night rounds is a revolving door of delight for me.

Many of those 97 weren’t sure they could commit to even a maybe, or swiped yet another Facebook invite out of their mobile notifications, but still found the event when they were buzzing around town on party night looking for the next bit of excitement. And many of those 30 did, in fact, make their appearances.

My Weird Friends

This is why I’m writing this. I am all mixed up. When I throw parties with my best friends, at my house, the math just doesn’t work. Here’s what I see:

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.25.07 AM

Desperation index makes sense. I’ve invited only my best friends. But actual attendance was somewhere around 30.

It seems like all goings go, and most maybes make it, and the rest of my weirdo friends who totally ignore their Facebooks somehow get the memo that there’s something happening tonight, come over.

Love you kids <3

Cases I haven’t Examined

Here are party-types I haven’t examined because I don’t friggin go to them:

  • Baby showers
  • Weddings
  • Fundraisers that are really fundraiser-y
  • Most board game nights
  • Movie nights
  • Video game nights
  • Gender-themed parties (such as “battle of the sexes” or pearl/tie parties) that aren’t awesomely queer and/or subversive
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Can you swim in a pool of beer?

Guys in a pool of beer.  2/3rds of an awesome situation

Read the original article on Lords of the Drinks, a sloppy blog with amusing pictures.

Somehow in my aimless stumbling around the internet I found this breakdown of the cost of filling a swimming pool with alcoholic beverages. I don’t speak euros, so  I decided to bust out my calculator. Preliminary research indicates that it is safe to swim in a pool of beer, but I can’t vouch for some of the higher proof liquors out there. I think swimming in a cocktail would just depress me. I’d think of the waste of it all. The sides would spill over and mix in the mud, and well who cares by then I’d be drunk.  Woo party!

Lets say your swimming pool contains 8392.56 gallons, because I grew up derping around in one that size. (Volume = width x height x average depth). Also I didn’t calculate sales tax because I just did my taxes and now I hate taxes.

White Russian

I’m lazy and a drunk, so I make mine 2 to 2 to 1 (vodka, Kahlua, cream).

I don’t know anything about vodka except it makes you drunker and SKYY tastes like nail-polish remover, but this lady calculated the price per galon for Absolut to be $58.26.  Fun fact, vodka is cheaper than Roundup but more expensive than Red Bull.

Assuming you’re buying your Kahlua in liter increments (I know I do) the total cost is…$612,817.04 (at $73 per gallon)

WAIT NO WAY. 3 figures to fill a swimming pool? Don’t believe me? Do your own math.  The internet says the average swimming pool is about 16k gallons. Multiply that by a $70/gallon cocktail and you’re well over my estimate.

Wookey Jack (Firestone Black Rye IPA)

After that sticker-shock, I thought I’d go for a beer. But not just any beer, because in San Diego we only drink the best brews. Wookey can be found for $6.99 a bottle, so it’s half as expensive as your caucasian, dude. But good luck finding 8 thousand gallons of this beer. I just bought the last one at KnB’s.

Total cost: $341,317.79 (at $40.67 per gallon)

Tecate

Ok, I lied, sometimes we feel poor and we drink piss water. Can I find a drink that doesn’t cost more than my student loans? Since it’ll take 542 kegs to fill the pool your total cost is… $75,874.58 (at an affordable $9.03 per galon)

Makes me feel like I didn’t waste so much money on my education. A fine arts degree at UCSD for less than it costs to fill a pool with cheap cerveza…

Whistlepig

And now we’ll finish with the whiskey that’s been on my mind. Whistlepig tastes like freshly toasted pumpernickel and success.

Total cost, 3 MILLION DOLLARS. Or, more accurately, $3,209,726.18 (at $382.45 per galon)

Good thing filling my stomach is considerably less expensive.

You can check my math if you like. It's messy and I didn't use units because I'm not in school anymore and you can't tell me what to do with my life.

You can check my math if you like. It’s messy and I didn’t write all the units because I’m not in school anymore and you can’t tell me what to do with my life.