Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Thefacebook reaches to yearbook crowd

With 1,286,731 registered members, including 13,250 students from the University of Wisconsin, continues to be a driving force in how college students use the Internet as a communication tool.

According to Chris Hughes, one of the five co-founding Harvard University members, that number is compromised of roughly 90 percent undergraduate students.

“The idea was sort of an extension of the traditional college face books with terrible freshman ID photos and boring information,” Hughes said.


However, according to UW sophomore Angie Barbian, editor-in-chief of the Badger Yearbook, students do not need to worry about thefacebook replacing normal print yearbooks.

Although thefacebook offers students the option to do constant profile updates and use personal information, the Badger Yearbook offers students a complete record of their entire year including specific articles on topics such as the Bowl Game and Halloween.

Some Madison students have found to be an invaluable tool in meeting other students.

UW sophomore Katie Fitzpatrick said she has been using instead of e-mail altogether.

“It’s much simpler and an easy way to contact them if they are not on [AOL Instant Messenger],” Fitzpatrick said “I think it’s a good supplement to AIM because if someone has their picture up, you can see what they look like.”

Other students have found thefacebook is a great way to meet new people.

“It gives students an easy, non-intimidating way to meet other students,” UW sophomore Dan Barker said.

Although has provided students with a tool for communication, some students said they still prefer more traditional communication.

The loss of person-to-person contact is not the only drawback of

“I have had some issues about people finding my picture and then constantly messaging me,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick added other drawbacks included the hours students waste checking out peoples’ profiles, reading about their friends and seeing what groups or classes they have in common with people.

“It’s a procrastinator’s best friend,” Fitzpatrick said.

While the pros and cons of thefacebook can be debated, it is clear thefacebook has made an impact on how students can communicate.

According to Hughes, there are several ways thefacebook can affect a university, but that varies depending on the university.

“In general, I think students are using the site to get to know the surface-level details of the lives of friends or acquaintances,” he said. “In learning what someone is interested in or what his or her favorite movies are, it’s a way to start conversations, to identify similarities and differences which can then be further explored in face-to-face interactions or even virtual (usually AIM) conversations.”

Though thefacebook has been experiencing an immense amount of success, it does not intend to stop yet, Hughes said.

Thefacebook will continue to expand to as many schools as possible as well as review and update the features and add new features. One of those new features will include the use of thefacebook’s sister site,

Wirehog, a file-transfer-styled website, will allow for students to transfer files between their thefacebook friends.

Currently, however, Hughes said the feature is only available for students at Stanford and Harvard.

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