the new Facebook?

Early September brought the advent of, the latest in a series of online social networks.

The site is hoping to attract the market of frustrated college-age Facebook users. Over 200,000 new users register on Facebook daily, however, the site, once limited to college students, was opened to the general public in Sept. 2006. representative Sam Marks told that Facebook is alienating its original market of college students by removing their exclusive status.

The focus places on the college crowd allowed site creators Jason Levine and John Davidman to add specific features for that market, such as professor rating and an alarm clock system that will actually dial cell phones for wake-up calls. Students interested in Greek organizations can browse their school’s chapters on the site and submit Rush forms. There is also a “bad date call” function-just in case.

Levine and Davidman also want to incorporate aspects of a classroom portal such as Blackboard, with professors uploading syllabi and providing assignments. Marks calls the site a “one-stop shop for socializing and the classroom.”

While the site has exciting new features, there are still several reasons students may choose to stick with their trusty, though cluttered, Facebook accounts.

Students may appreciate being able to communicate with others outside their college community on Facebook. The convenience of dropping little sis’ a quick line may make up for the possible annoyance of her presence at a previously hip-cats-only party.

Creating a new profile on yet another site (because MySpace and Bebo are also popular) may just take up more time than it is worth. College students barely have time for homework, and never seem to have time for sleep, so this may slip right off the end of the priority list.

Perhaps the biggest concern is this: are students actually going to want to mix socializing and the classroom? It could be slightly disconcerting to send a flirty message with your syllabi on the screen.

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