Once the backwater of Columbia’s depressive, sex-deprived Internet underbelly, BoredatButler lingered, neglected or scorned by most students, until it was mothballed a few years ago. Other Ivies embraced the hyper-anonymous format—Dartmouth has BoredatBaker (part of the once-great boredat empire), and Cornell has Ezrahub (which broke the Pornell story)—, while Columbia was torn asunder by a dozen ill-timed anonymous comments last spring. The debate about how to best foster a localized online community is still in its earliest stages (and Bwog has more in the works to that end), but the return (and massive reformation) of b@b adds an additional space in which the Columbia community may develop online.
Go check it out, but be warned: there is a ton of security now, and you must register with your UNI. Maybe that’ll raise the level of discourse?
The current developer of b@b, Jae Daemon (it’s unclear if that is his real name or pseudonym) had this to say about the return of b@b:
Yes b@b is back and for good this time. I had a bit of an aha moment at burning man.. Sitting in on a Ted talk one discussion was about how to make real change in the world: start a community. Bring people together that share common exeriences, beliefs or ambitions and together you can make change. I realized rather naively that I don’t need to start from scratch, I already had something going with b@b. I came back with a reinforced love-hate relationship with the internet. Everything we do and say is constantly monitored, tracked, shared and sold. The identity-centric web becomes exponentially more intense each year: while on the one hand is has connected us in so many ways, it has equally disconnected us. Imagine if the only way we all communicated life experiences was via People magazine… Its not far from the truth. What’s real?So I want to make real change in the world by making it possible for people to really talk to each. The only way to be truly honest with each other is with community-focused, trusted and secure anonymity. I was born to do b@b and I’m never going to stop trying to make this work. I’ve spent a lot out of pocket moving b@b forward over the past 9 months and I’m not going to stop now. It is incredibly popular at Dartmouth today with roughly 800 students logging in every single day. Last academic year saw 500,000 visits and 5.9 million page views at Dartmouth alone. I’m going to focus on replicating this success at other institutions. This week I’m going to open it up to Harvard, either Monday or Tuesday. Followed shorty by other schools. The stars are aligning and I hope to be working on b@b full time by the beginning of 2013. This is all I want to do and I’m going to try to figure out how to make it my life’s work.