Thursday, February 10, 2011

'Likealittle' takes campus by storm

By Sarah McDonough
Co-Managing and Advertising Editor

On Oct. 27, 2,040 miles west of Winona at Standford University, news was spreading around campus regarding an alumnus’ new social network website titled “” (LAL).

Evan Reas, a 2009 graduate of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, is one of the three co-founders in creating LAL, a site that allows users to search for their college campus and see what their fellow classmates are posting, or to go to create a post of their own.

The posts are attempts to anonymously “flirt” with someone on campus, hoping that their crush will see their post and that conversation can take place through feedback on the author’s original post or through the chat box option.

LAL did not truly catch the attention of SMU students until about three weeks ago. Currently there are 209 SMU students “liking” this site via their personal Facebook, but the site can be viewed and posts can be created by anyone – not requiring a log-in or Facebook membership.

“Honestly at first I liked it. It was really funny and interesting in the sense that there was nothing out there similar to ‘LikeaLittle’ so the change in the social network was cool,” said senior Megan Rowland.

When on the SMU LAL page, which is the same type of format featured on all campus pages, students can post the location of where they saw their crush, what they look and pronounce their feelings for them all at once.

Although the number of SMU’s LAL site viewership is increasing, user intentions are unclear. Some seem to spend hours browsing the site to see if perhaps a post is made on their behalf or try to guess who the author of a post is or, better yet, guess who the post is describing. On the site, LAL claims that they want to keep the image of a “positive, complimentary community.”

To help with those efforts, LAL allows users the option to remove a post deemed by the reader as offensive or post containing full names.

Last week, KSMR radio show listeners on Thursday from 5-6 p.m. shared their thoughts on the site. Callers vented about stories of people posing as other students and leaving “gross” comments, as well as commended those that viewed the website as an opportunity to vocalize feelings that they would have been too shy to mention otherwise.

“I understand the concept of the whole thing to flirt with each other but some people are taking it way out of hand. Personally, I think it’s a downgrading site – a way to protect your identity and say whatever it is you want without anyone knowing who is saying it. It gives the student a chance to play a role that they wouldn’t normally play had they not been anonymous,” said Rowland. “The more I looked at the comments, the more I disliked it completely.”

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