Bwog’s coverage of things that only freshmen do continues with the story of the Beta brother who built partycast, the most popular partying app at Columbia that died after about a week of sporadic use. A naive Bwog writer who usually avoids any kind of Columbia party went to learn how exactly technology can lead to a better partying experience.
Through a long chain of coincidences, Bwog befriended the Beta brother who built the popular (at least during NSOP) app “Partycast.” And by befriended we mean telling him to his face that the idea was stupid and that no one would actually use it. He decided to try to set the record straight in an anonymous interview.
The first rumor he wants to put to rest is that the app was in any way trying to promote Beta’s parties. He had worked over the summer as a software developer and in his spare time, started coding his own apps. Around June he realized that he had a pretty solid idea for something that might be useful for people’s “partying needs” at Columbia. He devoted more time to working on what would come to be called “Partycast”. He took it upon himself to run the marketing campaign for his app–posting flyers up in freshmen dorms and waiting for people to start downloading the app from Google Play. Within the week of NSOP, the creator claims that nearly 300 people signed up, equivalent to “almost all of Carman.”
He never planned the app for longevity, justifying the rapid decline in usage after NSOP by saying that that “the scope of this was mainly for NSOP, and the purpose was to have big parties with random people.” He also adds that “I’d interview some freshmen who’d come to the beta house and they’d say, “I don’t know it’s a little sketchy”.
However, defending his pet project wasn’t his only motive. Partycast was really a “learning experience” that has enabled its creator to think bigger: to make a partying app that lasts beyond the limited scope of orientation and is more suited to the social culture at Columbia. While we spent some time discussing the rapid rise and fall of Partycast during NSOP of this year, he was much more excited about an upcoming release currently being worked on by another tech-inclined Beta members.
They formed a duo after realizing that they would be better able to implement their good ideas by working together. One conclusion that the pair came to fairly quickly was that they needed to build their app around the actual partying culture at Columbia. It isn’t a culture focusing on big blowout parties at frat houses, and people are more likely to want to go out to bars in the area than invite their entire floor over to a tiny double. The group asked how an app could make bar hopping more efficient. The app, currently in development, allows for ranking bars based on three criteria–”ease of entry”, “fun,” and “gender ratio.”
He hopes to release the app within the next few weeks, adding that he’s grateful that “Beta has so many smart guys, with similar interests so it’s great to work on it with people together.” Although the creator of the app wishes to remain anonymous, he is still proud of the legacy of his creation, saying that back at the Beta house, “We’re going through rush right now and these guys are saying it was one of their first impressions of campus, it was part of the social fabric.” The university has been cracking down on fun lately, in canceling Bacchanal, and he likes to think of his app projects as trying to help people have an easier time finding fun on the weekends. Maybe the creator of Partycast and self-titled “crusader of fun” is doing a service to the community by trying to change that.
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