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Interested in Subverting Interested?

Interested in Subverting Interested

So, Facebook has replaced the “maybe” button for events.

This means, very simply, that people will now have to either say “Interested” / “Going” or, “Ignore”. A lot has been made of “Interested” whilst it would seem that “Can’t go” being replaced by “Ignore” has largely, well, largely been ignored… anyway, never mind about that, or my piss poor puns. Something else intrigued me about it, so I did a little experiment with four victims willing participants:

1. Setup an event

This is superbly simple, if you don’t know how, google it. I did it with my new page burne.tt although you can do it as a person too.

2. Prepare for subversion


I named the event ‘helping burne.tt subvert notifications for japery’ – if someone clicks on “Interested” it will show in their friends Tickers… so, once I’d laid the (admittedly rather shallow) foundations for the experiment all that was left was to:

3. Invite people

First victim friend up was Simon Heseltine and, just as I requested, he hit the “Interested” link thus:


At this stage, I could have just gone on to invite more and more friends to this. I could have chortled myself a bellyache whilst doing it with seeing the silly Ticker notifications. But, dear reader, there’s more to be learnt by pushing the subversion somewhat further…

4. Change the event’s name

Just because I could. After Simon had already expressed interest in ‘helping burne.tt subvert notifications for japery’, I changed his mind for him and made him interested in ‘clicking “interested” to help burne.tt prove a point’. This required much less persuasion than you might think, clickety-click “edit event”, clackety-clack, rename the event, clickety-click save.


5. Invite more people

Simon seemed a little lonely with his new-found interest, so I invited the next friend: Tina M Sørensen [Originally linked no longer exists] to ‘clicking “interested” to help burne.tt prove a point’

Tina also clicked the ‘Interested’ button as requested, thus triggering the Ticker ready for my screenshotting…


Oh what japery. And yet I needed more, could this be done repeatedly? Is it possible to rename the event again?

6. You can rename an event as often as you want

Or at least, you can twice… And, I’m feeling a little more mischievous by this point, and also grateful for the gullible forgiving friends I have. Ok, so, game on.


‘looking interested, about interested, interesting, eh?’ – I may have been mischievous, but it was also getting late, and by this time I was definitely writing this up, so didn’t want to get just too profane with it. There’s enough bollocks on here without me adding more to it.

7. Invite more people, again

Paging Mickey Gomez, would you help a buddy out with a click on ‘Interested’? Sure said Mickey, she’s a sport like that, as indeed are Simon who by now is interested in his third weird-ass thing tonight, and Tina, who’s on number 2…

The inevitable happens and I’m starting to think about the potential of this subversion, and thinking it’s time to refresh my slidedeck on ‘subverting the platform’.


How about a step further? Can this go on ad-infinitum? Nothing ventured…

8. Ya beauty! Boom! Get in! Back of the net! Etc etc.

‘finding out if this is interesting, or not’ why not indeed?
By this time Simon is on interest 3, Tina on 3, Mickey on 2 and… Amanda Quraishi [Originally linked website no longer exists] is about to get her invite…

By now, dear reader you know the score, I’m getting my kicks out of seeing the Ticker tell me my dear friends are interested in the inanely (re-)named event I’ve created, but nonetheless here’s the grab:

You can keep renaming even after the event btw…

As is evidenced by the event now, I had no idea my friends were into Kermit’s innards.

Ok, Burnett, what’s the sodding point?

Well, in running this little creative test, I did have a more serious / altruistic idea in mind. And these frankly wonderful friends have all helped in that endeavour, however unwittingly.

Here’s the concept:

  • A charity sets up an event and asks people specifically only to be interested.
  • On the event page they create a post explaining it and giving a call to action.
  • Interest is spread through the Ticker telling people their friends are ‘interested in’.

It’s that simple. It really is. Please, if you’re a charity feel free to use it. I’d be truly touched.

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