Party planning migrates online

In addition to social media, local websites are sprouting up to connect party planners with party-goers.

In addition to social media, local websites are sprouting up to connect party planners with party-goers.

It’s Friday night – time to start the weekend.

And for some students, that means checking their Facebook newsfeed in hopes that a friend’s status will answer one question: Where’s the party?

Kelly Sebzda, a sophomore biochemistry major, said she doesn’t typically have a lot of free time to party, but when she does, she usually asks her friends what’s going on.

“Last weekend I asked my friend, and they said, ‘Hold on, let me check Facebook,’” Sebzda said. “I don’t know what they’re checking on Facebook, but they find out somehow.”

For an increasing number of students and party-throwers alike, social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, are proving fruitful in promoting events, from club scenes to house parties.

And while it may seem like a strange place to plug a party, it can attract just as much attention as cluttered Main Campus bulletin boards and lampposts taped with flyers.

“Usually when I’m making plans, it’s just through hearsay,” Sandra Valera, a junior advertising major, said. “But I do have a friend who is friends with different DJs on Facebook. She knows what’s going on because she gets mass e-mails from them about when and where parties are happening.”

In addition to Facebook, sites are being launched specifically as vehicles for spreading the word about upcoming events, such as

With stickers posted all over campus, students and Philadelphia residents can create an account to receive up-to-the-minute notices on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo or MySpace about what’s going down and where.

Philadelphia clubs and party promoters can post calendar events and flyers, and users can upload pictures and stories from their own experiences and favorite hot spots.

“It’s really not unusual that there are these sites specifically for promoting parties,” Valera said. “We go to a huge school. Unless you’re part of a club or organization, you don’t necessarily engage with the people throwing parties – they have to get the word out somehow.”

Considering how quickly social networking site usage has grown in the last five years or so, it’s possible that specific sites like could become more common in time. According to Facebook’s statistics page, since the site’s creation in 2004, it has gained 500 million active users and 150 million users who access Facebook through their cell phones.

Brady Ettinger, a sophomore broadcast, telecommunications and mass media major who is also known as DJ SYLO, is a member of So Far Out Entertainment, a group that throws parties in the area near Main Campus.

“Social networking is huge for any type of promotion,” Ettinger said. “I promote parties that I DJ mostly by word of mouth and posts on my website, Facebook and Twitter.”

So Far Out Entertainment is putting its party production on the back burner. But Ettinger, who often disc jockeys the Student Center’s Free Food and Fun Fridays, is working on establishing himself as a DJ at various venues.

“Social networking also makes it easier than ever to make and maintain connections in the business. Tonight I spun at Silk City Diner, something that simply wouldn’t have happened had I not made the connection with [the organizer] through Twitter,” he said.

“For better or for worse,” Ettinger said, “these online sites are reality – it makes it possible to [reach] someone from the comfort of your home.”

Kara Savidge can be reached at

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