Students link to thousands across nation

It’s free, it’s easy and it’s attracting college students from across the nation. It’s Thefacebook.

Thefacebook is an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges and universities, according to the Web site at

“I’m pretty much (addicted),” Jessie Smith, senior theater major, said. “It’s a good way to keep up with friends from school, friends from high school and people I’ve been out of touch with for years.”

Once a member, the Web site allows each person one page for profile information such as their basic information (name, e-mail, gender, major, graduation year) and extended information (political views, clubs and jobs as well as a list of favorites).

Thefacebook links each member to other members with their same interests, schools, majors, clubs and jobs by filling in the different sections in a profile. If a person wants to search the database, they can by high school, college and groups – which can be compared to clubs within the site.

Thefacebook currently has about 250 groups within its site. “David Letterman for President ’08,” “Fire alarm pullers are not neat” and “Friends don’t let friends pop collars,” are just a few different groups members can join.

Different organizations within Northern Kentucky University have also created groups for their members, such as fraternities, sororities, Presidential Ambassadors, Residential Housing Association and more. No matter what a person is interested in, a group has been made – or can be created – for it.

Along with profiles and groups, Thefacebook also allows its members to upload an image of their choice, typically of themselves, to be displayed on their page.

Creating a profile is only scratching the surface of what this Web site has to offer. This Web site is used primarily to keep in contact with students from NKU and other schools. With Thefacebook featuring approximately 577 different schools from across the country, students are able to make connections they may never have before.

“It’s kind of a fun way to keep connected with people,” Smith said. “One of my friends found her best friend from kindergarten (on Thefacebook) yesterday.”

Smith is one of many NKU students that are members of a group called “I prob should be studying, but I’m on facebook instead.” Smith said she logs on to Thefacebook “at least five or six times a day.”

Each member has a space on their profile page displaying their friends from NKU as well as ones from other schools. Along with joining groups, members can add other members they know, want to know or have common interests with as friends.

Although Thefacebook was created Feb. 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, many schools were not on the Web site. It wasn’t until the recent addition of several schools that NKU was added to the site. The schools are not affiliated with Thefacebook, but rather the students that attend them are able to have their school added to the site.

To get a school added, students e-mail the site. Once enough students have requested their school to be added, the school is added to Thefacebook.

Since the addition of NKU, new students create profiles every day. Sarah King, freshman biology major, joined about a week ago.

“I have several friends that are scattered throughout different colleges and a friend from UK asked me to join to keep in contact with me,” King said. “Even though you can use (messenger services), it’s a different way to communicate with our friends – it’s just a new way of (instant messaging) each other.”

Chris Robinson, a sophomore sports business major, joined Thefacebook for the same reason.

“A couple of people at school told me about it, and I decided to (join),” he said.

For some people, the Web site could be addictive, he said. But Robinson likes the site because he meets “a lot of people (he) normally wouldn’t,” he said. “I may see a person on campus and I may never talk to them, but they may talk to me on facebook – which is really weird but it happens.”

He thinks the popularity of the Web site at NKU is “just starting to catch on.”

Scott Hitibran, a sophomore history major, has been a member of the Web site for a couple of weeks now. Due to its increasing popularity, in the little time he has been involved with it, he has more than 100 friends, he said.

Smith said she has about 30 friends at NKU, but more than 100 total from other schools. She said, “Right now, it’s really addicting to see who’s adding on from NKU each day.”