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The new face of Courseworks

The next Mark Zuckerberg works in CUIT, and he’s created a social network exclusively for Columbia students. This isn’t your grandmother’s Courseworks, with its “graphical log-in.” This is a cutting-edge social network.

Every Columbia student now has a profile (just click on “Profile” under “My Workspace”). Here, you can list “Personal Information” (favorite TV shows, favorite quotes, links to other social networks), upload pictures, and post 140-character status updates. You can also add classmates as “connections” by searching their names—but only official Columbia names, so you’re William, not Bill—or shared interests.

Or you could take advantage of the site’s best new feature: “roster.” Roster lets you see the names of all the students in each of your classes—and you can do that now, by clicking “Next Semester.” You can also see their pictures if they’ve enabled that in Courseworks’ privacy settings–making finding your next date that much easier. (Unlike most networks, Courseworks’ default privacy settings are extremely strict: even your friends aren’t allowed to see your favorite TV shows or send you messages.)

Like all good social networks, Courseworks also has games, though there’s only one and it’s only for professors. CUIT says that course instructors can play “Facebook flash cards” (subtle, right?), which lets them view their students’ pictures and try to guess their names. It even keeps score, reminding professors just how many students never went to office hours.

Courseworks is so good that we figure it’s only a matter of time until the playboy venture capitalists come calling, whispering in CUIT’s ear that it’s not cool if the site only goes down a million times during finals. Until then, we’ll be uploading inappropriate pictures and friending everyone we know.