The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Mustangs make connections online

Anish Tailor has his electronic ritual down.

Every day, the sophomore checks his e-mail and chats with hisfriends online. He also surfs his page at to see whohas added him to his or her list of friends and whom he can add tohis own.

“The best part is seeing who knows whom and finding outhow small a world it is,” said Tailor, a business major, whosigned on through an invite from a friend.

Friendster is the latest trend in online social networking.According to the Web site, Friendster wasestablished to connect people for dating or making new friends.

According to Wired News, Friendster is having a dramatic effecton its target audience. Lisa Kopp, who works in Friendster’smarketing and public relations department, said that the averageage range of users is between 18 and 35 with over 5 million userssince the site began in June 2003

“It’s growing exponentially,” Friendster CEOand founder, Jonathan Abrams, said in an interview with Wired News.Abrams, who holds a degree in computer science from McMasterUniversity, has worked in senior engineering roles for companieslike Nortel and Netscape.

When signing on to Friendster, which is free, users can choosefrom a list of the kind of people they are looking for and the typeof relationship, including dating, a serious relationship, friendsor those who share the same interests. People can upload picturesof themselves and type in their specific interests for others tosee.

To build a network, users generally invite people through emailto sign on to Friendster. “I heard about it through an invitefrom a couple of people, but I just deleted them until one of myfriends told me to accept,” Tailor said.

Friendster is also a good way to connect people and friends thatone has lost touch with. “The best part is seeing people onthere from elementary school and people I have not talked to in along time,” said Omar Durani, a sophomore pre-med major.Durani said he takes advantage of Friendster’s messagingsystem, which allows people to send their friends messages andwrite testimonials about them.

However, Durani believes Friendster is just a fad and not alegitimate way to make friends.

“My purpose was to see who else is dorky enough like me touse it, and surprisingly, a lot of folks [are],” he said.

Not everyone has jumped on the Friendster bandwagon. First-yearSonia Chandiramani, had not heard of Friendster until her cousinasked her why she was not registered on the site.

“I had no idea what he was talking about until heexplained the whole process of it, and then later I started hearingabout it everywhere,” Chandiramani said. “I do not useit right now, but I plan to try it out just so I can see for myselfwhat all the fuss is about.”

Chandiramani believes that a few of Friendster’s downfallsis that is time-consuming and addictive.

“People literally spend hours and hours on Friendster whenthere are plenty of more beneficial and productive things one canbe doing,” Chandiramani said.

Another problem with Friendster is that due to the large amountof users on the site, surfing through the site can be slow.

“The team here is currently working on improving sitespeed, as well as making changes to the system to meet the needs ofour rapidly growing community,” Kopp said.

With this growing community, Friendster has a chance to be morethan a fad or just the latest trend. “My purpose is tocollect as many friends as possible,” Tailor said. “Youcan search and message people you think are cool. Maybethey’ll reply, maybe they won’t. If they do, thenthere’s a chance for a new friend.”

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