by Emmanuel Quartey
In a recent post, I criticized the Yale Facebook site (a web app that allows students to look up information about their classmates) for looking like it hadn’t been updated since the early 90s. It seems like someone was thinking the same thing. Barely 3 days after the post went up, Yale Facebook has been given a gorgeous facelift. It’s easier on the eye, and the functionality is much improved. Here’s an idea to make it even better: evolve it from a simple student directory, into a tool for facilitating student collaboration.
Yale Facebook helps answer many of the questions students have about each other. It tells us find out people’s class year, their major, their residential location and even their birthdays. Beyond these basic facts, however, there’re other things that Yalies want to know about each other. Things such as what student groups they’re affiliated with, what skills they posses and what their professional and academic interests are.
Imagine, for instance, that you’re the business manager of a student group, and you need someone to take high quality photos of your next performance. If you’re lucky, your best friend might know her way around a camera, or someone might take pity on you and respond to your pleas for help on Facebook. More likely, you’ll have a difficult time finding someone with the skills you need. It would be awesome to be able to go into Yale Facebook and search for skills.
Or imagine that you’re really enjoying class about the Roman Architecture. You should be able to go into Yale Facebook and look up people who share similar interests. Who knows, you might even find that there’s a Roman Architecture Appreciation Club that meets every other Thursday.
Of course, tools already exist for doing something like this. IdeaMash, for instance, aims to help students find collaborators from among their peers. The advantage that Yale Facebook has over these other services, however, is that literally everyone is already on Yale Facebook.
Yalies are already finding each other and collaborating to create incredible performances, lectures and even startups. There is a real opportunity for Yale Facebook to make it even easier for these kinds of connections to happen.
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More posts by Emmanuel.