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          New social networking site tries valiantly, but can't touch Facebook's high standards

          Mallory Factor

          Issue date: 10/3/08 Section: Focus
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          $1.5 Billion. That's the net worth of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In 2004, Zuckerberg launched the now-socially essential networking site that quickly went from Harvard local to a worldwide phenomenon.
          But while the audience may have widened for Facebook, many of the original users, including college students, for whom the website was created four years ago, feel as though they've been forgotten. Recent updates and changes in the layout of Facebook have left subscribers feeling their opinions have been disregarded. With a void opening in the online social world, KollegeLife.com is born.
          According to its homepage, "Almost 40 percent of Facebook users are now over 35 years old. Over 70 percent are out of college." The philosophy is simple - target the original audience that made Facebook so successful.
          Unlike Facebook, the site is not centered on a wall, but is appealing to the socialite aspects of the online world. On your homepage is a "Kalendar" where you can add events for both private and public viewing, as well as a blog feed that shows what students all around the nation are saying. A list of links to the various sections of the site sits on the left side of the page. K-Pix, the picture section, and K-Flix, the video section, allow you to upload pictures and videos for the college world to see. With categories such as "Babes," "Dudes," and "Spring Break," it's almost insulting that the website's creators think this is what appeals to college students - childish humor and dated slang. Another special section is "The Skoop," where users can post stories about many subjects ranging from dating and sex to pranks to sports to work. Again, the fact that a website aimed at people in higher learning would assume interest would lie in such meaningless subjects seems offensive.
          The website's format and design leave much to be desired as well. The ugly neon red logo that plasters the main page is not helped by the fact that the font it is written in is strange and unappealing, and the layout of the website is extremely hard to understand, with a lot of text and pictures to crowd the\essential sections. All these faults are especially apparent when compared to the stylish, easy layout Facebook users have come to expect.
          Still, the strangest thing about KollegeLife.com is what it is missing - easy communication. The reason people flocked to Facebook in the first place was that it was a fun and easy way to stay in touch with friends all over the country. KollegeLife, on the other hand, has no easy way to search for fellow classmates or easily communicate with the ones you manage to find.
          Still, there is some good to be salvaged from the mostly unappealing site. The "Marketplace," "The Boards," and "Real World" sections all provide useful tools for students. Unfortunately, many of those ideas were taken from successful parts of Facebook, and are little reason to begin using the new site.
          You can't blame someone for seeing the success of a website like Facebook and thinking they can match those results by using a similar formula. But when all of the best parts are removed, all that is left is a lot of fluff with no real draw. Kollegelife.com is just that - a good idea gone horribly wrong.
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          In This Issue

          News

          • A Conversation with Caroline Goulding
          • Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates
          • International student session to debut during 2010 orientation
          • Name That Place - 4/23/2010
          • Relay For Life raises $76,000, short of goal but not short of spirit
          • Student Leadership Award Winners
          • Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches
          • What Now?
          • Mass funding successful for some, headache for other organizations

          Sports

          • Case falls to Wooster at Progressive Field
          • Spartan Spotlight: Obinna Nwanna
          • Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's
          • Spartans extend win streak to six
          • Spartans snap long losing streak
          • The next step
          • Top 10 Spartan stories of 2009-2010

          Opinion

          • 2009-2010 Year in Review
          • Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding
          • Living - and dying - on your own terms
          • The last hurrah: experiencing senior week
          • What are you doing this summer?

          Focus

          • A final fling for finals
          • Despite an oppressive crowd and disappointing opener, Ben Folds continues to impress on stage
          • MaDaCol performance distinguishes dance as alternative communication medium
          • Parting word of advice: Express yourself
          • Springfest blowout to feature activities, student bands and national headlines
          • The best bars in Cleveland
          • Tri-C Jazz Festival features stunning jazz organ performance, among others
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