Tag Archives: collegeacb

Interview: Peter Frank ’12, Former Owner of CollegeACB, Launches New Textbook Venture

“If a campus as tight-knit and progressive as Wesleyan can’t come together to defeat yesterday’s monopolist and incumbent powers, then maybe it just can’t be done.”

Peter Frank ’12, the famed Internet entrepreneur who ran the CollegeACB empire from his Fauver dorm room and made his way into the pages of TIME Magazine before selling the site in 2011 for an undisclosed six-figure sum, is back in the game with a new start-up. Not quite as juicy as the ACB (but probably far more useful), Frank’s latest venture is Texts.com, a “lean, green, student-first platform” for students to buy and sell textbooks to and from each other online. The start-up made its Wesleyan debut on Foss Hill around 4:20 p.m. yesterday; you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s a service that provides free pizza to stoned Wesleyan students at all hours of the day (that’s my new start-up idea, don’t tell anyone):

With help from Lisa Sy ’13 and Benjamin Halpern (a student at Mount Allison University in Canada), Frank aims to build a “commission-free, zero-fee, student-to-student textbook exchange” that eliminates the middleman.

Wesleying Unofficial Orientation Series: WesTech

If you’re an entering freshman, being familiar with technology and internet is important, especially in this day and age.  The internet is your gateway to the world even when you’re within the Wesleyan bubble, but it can have both it’s limitations and it’s advantages.  It can only help to learn these as quickly as possible.

The first thing you should know: WesTech.  It refers to “staff members work in partnership with students, faculty and academic and administrative staff to incorporate the latest and most efficient technology into teaching and learning,” you might think.  No, that’s ITS and how they describe themselves.  Here’s what our Wes Lingo post says about WesTech:

WesTech is a word that will pop up every once in a while (via the ACB): “WesTech refers to everyone not DKE/Beta or mostly the ‘very Wesleyan’ population. It comes from the idea that Wesleyan has unattractive girls and bad sports and thus might as well be a technical school: WesTech.” Apparently, however, this is a term used mainly by other schools to make fun of Wesleyan, and has been appropriated by the sports teams as a label of pride (sports teams doing the ironic appropriation? Only at Wesleyan). A Techie was a term generally used by athletes to describe a “typical” Wesleyan student (artsy), or a “Techie.”

Now that you know what it means, this is required viewing: WesTech State of Mind.

[UPDATE: Library section added.]

ACB got yer number? An Internet Privacy Rant.

TL:DR -> go Here, go to bottom, select all, opt out. Peter Frank Makes Bank.

Today, I was browsing the internet, looking for an article of clothing to buy myself for my birthday. I visited two websites of people that make clothes. Shortly thereafter, I visited the ACB. I noticed, to my surprise, that the banner ad was for one of the brands I had just visited.

Clicking through to a stupid argument about israel, I noticed that the banner ad had changed to another of the brands I had visited. Both are fairly obscure and do not have large enough advertising budgets to buy blanket banner ads. Poking around in the ACB’s HTML-cave, I found out they use both google analytics and Quantcast. Essentially, they track you around the internet and extrapolate harmless data from you. Like whether you’re black, how old you are, whether you attend college, how much money you make and what brands of clothing you like.

“The one thing that would change Wesleyan for the better” -rant section

work.icecream.400What is it?
Honestly, everybody take a breath from your various blackout/caffeinated and stressed beyond all reason agendas and come up with something productive that could be implemented next semester.

My Ideas:
1. This Green Fund seems like a great idea (especially the part about not including the administration), but what about some simpler things? A friend of mine puts bricks in hir toilet-tank and bottles of frozen water in hir freezer to conserve water and energy.

My proposal: let’s make Wesleyan a safe place to piss on trees. Honestly, pissing in toilets wastes both water and the most valuable underutilized nitrogenous fertilizer! It’s plant magic, all we have to do is create a safe and approving social climate in which pissing in pseudo-public is seen as a civic duty rather than something drunk assholes do on other people’s houses at 3am.

2. The ACB is using University resources, namely BANDWIDTH. I am in favor of an IP ban. I’m surprised at the extent to which troll-bait is not risen to, but I would estimate that hate speech occurs there about once every hour. (and, I might add, is almost NEVER deleted–I click the report button so often my hand is sore.) When I was little, if someone chalked a swastika on Clark, dropped the N-bomb on a bathroom mirror with a sharpie, or referred vehemently and pejoratively to bundles of sticks, that was a Big Deal–one that probably involved Diversity Deans having workshops and generally making a much-deserved fuss over a few drunken assholes who wanted to provoke that kind of response.

This is three orders of magnitude more frequent, blatant, obviously mean spirited and hurtful- people asking for help who are in one post directed to go to OBHS are in the next told to off themselves QUICK—> this in and of itself is nothing new, exceptional, or exceptionally deserving of administrative or student attention, but it happens almost almost every time. Middletown residents are routinely shit on, baited and likened to slaves– the demise of slavery is lamented! This isn’t the “subconscious” of Wesleyan, it is a malevolent vector for 5 trolls to pollute campus discourse with haterade. Fuck this thing. Kill it with fire. Either mandate that (whoever the fuck) get off his ass and delete posts when people report them, or boycott.

ACB EXPOSED!!! by Time magazine

peter frankVery mainstream news organization TIME magazine has published an article about CollegeACB, the enfant terrible masterminded by our own Peter Frank ’12 from his dorm room.

If you remember, last year Frank bought gossip website Juicycampus and expanded his Anonymous Confession Board empire to 500 schools. Wesleyan’s is the most heavily frequented, and according to TIME, the site now gets up to 480,000 hits per day.

Watch this excellent video about CollegeACB’s impact on the Wesleyan campus. The music really defines how I feel when gossiping anonymously:

As in the Argus article about him last semester, Frank comports himself well in the interview and claims that he just wants to provide a forum for campus discussion, not encourage malicious gossip or turn a profit:

The 19-year-old English major defends the site as a “student-controlled discussion space where the communities dictate what’s talked about.” Though the site does not “call for salacious gossip,” he says, on a busy day he receives 40 requests to take down posts and “on a bad day, just a couple.”

He does not have moderators or police the site. But he follows up on complaints about individual posts. “If it says your name, we’ll take it off,” he says.

Hundreds of individuals and several schools have sent Frank requests to delete comments or even to remove a college from his site. For example, Washington and Lee University asked him in October to delete almost all threads about the school, but Frank refused. “I am not looking out for the school’s best interests,” he says. “I’m looking out for the students’ best interests.”

The administration is well aware of the ACB’s existence, but isn’t going to do much about it:

Even at Wesleyan, administrators have to tread lightly. The school told Frank he could not use its servers for his business, but, says director of media relations David Pesci, “We have other students who are entrepreneurs on campus who have businesses, and quite frankly, as long as they are conducting those businesses within the laws assigned to those areas, there’s not much that we can get involved with.”

So far at least, the law is on Frank’s side.

Frank seems to be unfazed by the pressure:

“It’s true that the actual authors would potentially be liable for posting libel,” Frank says of ACB. “But libel is difficult to prove. I just really don’t see it happening, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” And what about Frank? “I’m untouchable,” he says.

Following the tragedy online

Like many alumns, former Argus writer Eric Lach ’08 has been thinking about Wesleyan a lot in the past few days. He wrote a short piece for the New Yorker‘s News Desk blog about being connected to the campus tragedy and kept up-to-date with all the coverage on Wesleying, the ACB, Facebook, and President Roth’s e-mails, and trying to make sense of it from afar.

Most of you can relate, even if you were on campus for the past few days:

Following the Wesleyan Murder Online

At 2:42 P.M. on Wednesday, I received a one-line e-mail from a friend telling me that a girl had been shot at Wesleyan University, from which we both graduated last spring. I wrote for the student newspaper, The Argus, whose offices are directly above the bookstore café where, I soon found out, Johanna Justin-Jinich, a junior, was killed earlier that Wednesday afternoon.

As the hours went on, I watched the story hit Wesleyan Web sites, then local Connecticut news, and finally national giants like The New York Times and CNN. With each step, the reporting became more polished and thorough. One site posted photos showing “anonymous” bystanders around the crime scene. I could name most of them.

Fifteen years ago, I might have come across the story on the evening news. Or heard about it from friends, passing rumors of the news around over phone calls or lunch. I would have appreciated the Times article the next morning, bringing me a report from my former community. But things work differently now.

Senior Hookups… brought to you by the ACB

Peter Frank ’12, the entrepreneur behind College ACB, has noticed the steadily increasing number of anonymous posters begging seniors to have sex with them before graduating.  The result is a fresh abomination meant to facilitate the process: “Senior Hookups“, a blunter, more temporally specific incarnation of the now defunct (?) WesMatch.

Yes, Senior Hookups, featuring the spare but evocative icons of a mortarboard, a cardinal, and a silhouetted heterosexual couple who will presumably sweep each other off their feet during Senior Week because of this thing:

senior-hookups

Here’s Frank’s announcement of the site’s grand launch, which was not more than half an hour ago:

Hey Wes seniors! Your final year of college is winding down and what better time than now to make sure you leave campus without any regrets? Sign up for College ACB’s Senior Hookups!

We want to make sure that if you’ve got your eye on someone you can easily find out if they’re thinking about you too.

Here’s how it works. You create your list of seniors that you’d like to get to know better before the year is over. Then if you also showed up on their list you’ll get an email on May 15th revealing your matches. It’s totally anonymous, unless there is a match of course! Don’t worry, we’re not telling…

So what are you waiting for? Make your list now! It’s your last chance!

The site works on a credit system, in which each name added to your list costs one credit. Each new member starts with a set number of credits, and the more people who join Senior Hookups, the more credits each one gets to start with. Right now the system is set to add .04 credits per user in the database, and more credits can be added at the developers’ discretion.

So a critical mass of 25 people needs to join to get things going, which probably already happened because this is Monday night on the ACB, a week before classes end.

Hey, this could be brilliant. At least, Senior Week just got a little more interesting.

ACB gets influx of new users with the closing of JuicyCampus

You might notice that if you go to the now-defunct juicycampus.com, it redirects you to CollegeACB. CollegeACB was created earlier this year (I guess, technically, last year, but this school year) by Aaron Larner ’08 and Andrew Mann from JHU, but is now owned and operated by Peter Frank ’12. Most of the Wesleyan ACB activity switched over from its old home on LiveJournal to the CollegeACB site soon after it was created.

Despite these efforts to draw in the old JuicyCampus crowd to the site, CollegeACB distinguishes itself quite clearly from JuicyCampus in its recent press release:

The site is devoted to promoting actual discussion, not provoking salacious posts or personal attacks. Its mission statement reads: “The College ACB or College Anonymous Confession Board seeks to give students a place to vent, rant, and talk to college peers in an environment free from social constraints and about subjects that might otherwise be taboo.”

Such a philosophy sets the ACB apart from Juicy Campus, a website that fostered superficial interactions, often derogatory and needlessly crude. By contrast, the ACB consistently hosts a higher level of discourse—while still making room for the occasional gossip post.

Other differences between the ACB and the now-defunct Juicy prove more than superficial. The ACB employs an innovative user-moderation button, which allows for easy yet unobtrusive regulation. Any post that might be threatening, libelous, or otherwise illegal, is immediately brought to the webmaster’s attention.

Read the full press release here.