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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


CampusLive launches safer video chat

CampusLive, the self-proclaimed “”college homepage”” will launch its video chat feature for the UA on Thursday.

“”We want students to set us as their homepage,”” said Jesse Morgan, marketing coordinator for CampusLive. “”We feel that we connect students to the most widely used resources on and off campus.””

Available on nearly 200 university campuses, CampusLive provides an all-encompassing information hub for students. The new video chat feature is a part of its goal to provide everything students need.

“”We’re hoping that video chat will become the new popular (feature),”” Morgan said. “”Because you never know what you’re going to get on Chatroulette.””

The video chat, not like Skype or Chatroulette, offers privacy to users, requiring a .edu e-mail address and features filtering tools by university campus, gender, other interests or at random in a “”hopefully safer”” environment, said Mike Andrews, business development representative for the site.

“”What we did was kind of take the Skype idea but make it all browser based,”” said Ryan Durkin, chief operating officer for CampusLive, which allows students to sync Facebook friends also on CampusLive into their available chat partners without downloading new software.

Already live on the UA campus, the site is extending its reach, trying to get more students on the West Coast to utilize it.

Founded in 2007 at University of Massachusetts, CampusLive has expanded from a local Web site to a customizable brand of focused college homepages with a full-time staff of nearly a dozen. They also have between 50 and 70 college interns a semester.

“”It started with this idea of making a Web site that had both things that you do for college as well as outside of college,”” Andrews said.

The Web site provides UA students with easy links to Desire2Learn, the UA homepage, Blackboard and Notehall for academic activities. It also has popular links to other frequently trafficked Web sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

“”You want it to be your thing, and that’s what we’re trying to do for every college student,”” Morgan said.

After creating a free account, funded mainly by revenue from restaurants featured in CampusLive’s Food Finder, the site allows hundreds of personal themes to be applied as well as widgets to personalize the Web site.

“”I think, these days, students like to personalize their Web sites,”” Morgan said. “”I don’t think that a lot of students know that they can do that yet on the site.””

The site contains a popular food finder with online menus for local restaurants, site giveaways for charities, a schedule maker and content boxes for weather and news. The site strives to give students an expanded social experience as well as a plethora of information, said Brad Durkin, co-owner of CampusLive.

“”It’s turned into a full out Web development company,”” Durkin said. “”And right now, we’ve got a whole bunch of ideas in the chute.””

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