March 9, 2004

Facebook Connects C.U.

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Though it has only been up and running for Cornellians since Sunday night, new online directory “thefacebook.com” is already an instant hit among many CU students.

The site, which was originally designed by Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg to provide his school with the directory it lacked, has expanded rapidly in the past week and a half. “It was a big hit [at Harvard],” said Zuckerberg. “I thought I might as well expand it [to include other schools].”

Cornell joined Dartmouth in the Sunday night launch, adding two more to a list of schools that already included Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and Yale. And, according to Zuckerberg, “We have [University of Pennsylvania] ready to go.” In total, there are 14,000 members (and counting) across the six schools.

Zuckerberg said that the Cornell directory had 100 sign-ups as of 6:00 p.m. yesterday, but that he expects “the number of registrants to be pretty volatile in the next couple of days.” He noted that, thus far, the site hasn’t been heavily promoted at Cornell, which explains its initially sluggish registration numbers.

Charles Hausberg ’07, who signed up yesterday, is one of thefacebook.com’s early Cornell registrants. According to him, it still might be too early to gauge the site’s effectiveness. “It would be more useful if more people were on there,” said Hausberg. “As time goes by, I’m sure it will [improve].”

To sign up for the directory, a student needs only to provide their name and school email address. Once registered, they can search for other students by name, residence, gender, and political preferences, among other details that students can specity for themselves.

The online directory has been immensely successful at Harvard, where it was created because no face book — online or otherwise — currently existed.

At Stanford, the response has been practically overwhelming. “When it blew up at Stanford,” remembered Zuckerberg, “We were getting hundreds of [feedback] emails a day.”

At Dartmouth, where Zuckerberg immediately told friends about the launch, 1,700 people have already signed up in the roughly 24 hours the site has been operational.

Zuckerberg explains that he is interested in “seeing how the site reacts to different environments” and cites this as one of the reasons he brought Cornell into the fold. “Cornell is really the first big school that we’re doing [the site] at,” Zuckerberg said, adding that “Cornell seems like a really good fit.”

Fans of the directory can expect it to continue growing rapidly. “We’re looking at some Boston schools and some California schools,” explained Zuckerberg.

Asked if he would recommend the site to fellow Cornellians, Hausberg said, “If people are interested in making connections with other people, then maybe this is the way to do it.” However, he added that with the current usage being fairly low, “it’s not overly effective.”

Rebecca Sotsky ’07, another new member of thefacebook.com from Cornell, said, “I think it’s an interesting way to connect to people.”

If the quick registration explosions at other universities are any indication, it seems like it is only a matter of time before Cornell becomes the next school to succumb to thefacebook.com hysteria that seems to be sweeping through other colleges.

might be too early to gauge the site’s effectiveness. “It would be more useful if more people were on there,” said Hausberg. “As time goes by, I’m sure it will [improve].”

To sign up for the directory, a student needs only to provide their name and school email address. Once registered, they can search for other students by name, residence, gender, and political preferences, among other details that students can specity for themselves.

The online directory has been immensely successful at Harvard, where it was created because no face book — online or otherwise — currently existed.

At Stanford, the response has been practically overwhelming. “When it blew up at Stanford,” remembered Zuckerberg, “We were getting hundreds of [feedback] emails a day.”

At Dartmouth, where Zuckerberg immediately told friends about the launch, 1,700 people have already signed up in the roughly 24 hours the site has been operational.

Zuckerberg explains that he is interested in “seeing how the site reacts to different environments” and cites this as one of the reasons he brought Cornell into the fold. “Cornell is really the first big school that we’re doing [the site] at,” Zuckerberg said, adding that “Cornell seems like a really good fit.”

Fans of the directory can expect it to continue growing rapidly. “We’re looking at some Boston schools and some California schools,” explained Zuckerberg.

Asked if he would recommend the site to fellow Cornellians, Hausberg said, “If people are interested in making connections with other people, then maybe this is the way to do it.” However, he added that with the current usage being fairly low, “it’s not overly effective.”

Rebecca Sotsky ’07, another new member of thefacebook.com from Cornell, said, “I think it’s an interesting way to connect to people.”

If the quick registration explosions at other universities are any indication, it seems like it is only a matter of time before Cornell becomes the next school to succumb to thefacebook.com hysteria that seems to be sweeping through other colleges.


Archived article by Billy McAleer