Student.com, (formerly "studentcenter.org") is a large
online communitywebsite aimed at teens, college students, and young adults. It is approaching 1,000,000 registered users.
Jeff Edelman founded the site in 1995.
The forums on the site used to run on
Phorum; however, on November 27, 2003this software was replaced with PHPBB-based boards, which offered many more features for both end-users and moderators. The site has over 880,000 members and is growing.
Users on the site can create
profiles about themselves, and add other users as "Buddies" and "Friends". The primary difference between these is that "Buddies" do not require the other user's consent, while "Friends" have to approve the request to add them. Every user also has a " Guestbook", where other users can tag them with short messages. "Tagging" is a common way for friends to keep in touch.
There are also forums (based on
phpBB2) integrated with the profiles and login system. There are currently 54 major forums, grouped into several categories: "SCN Headquarters" (for feedback, announcements, introductions, etc.); " Adviceand Sexuality" (including, among others, HomeworkHelp, Tech Advice, GLB Forum, Puberty, etc.); "General" (BS Forum, DebateBoard, ScienceBoard, etc.); "Lifestyle" ( Automotive, College, Fashion, Food, Health& Fitness, Jobs, Multi-lingual, Pets, Photos & Artwork, Religion, Traveletc.); " Entertainment" (Art, Games, Movies, Poetry/ Lyrics/ Creative Writing, Sports, TV, etc.); "Regional Forums" (USA Students, Canadian Students, European Students, etc.) and "Student Center Games" (which has forums dedicated to the various online games found on SCN). In addition to the "major" forums, there are also state-specific forums, found on the state homepages within the site. (Please note this is an incomplete list of forums, and is used to illustrate the diversity of interests found on SCN.) Each of the forums has a designated moderator, selected to make sure no inappropriate content is posted and to settle any debates within forums.
There are also "Groups". These are partly based on the
Phorumsoftware used prior to the introduction of PHPBB, and allow users to create groups of like-minded people on pretty well any subject they have in common. Groups can be public or private, unlimited access or invite-only. Once in a group, members have access to that group's own message board(from Phorum), shared calendar, bookmarks, picture spaces, and a mass-
SCN also offers a range of other teen-oriented features. There is a live online chat system, as well as many user-submitted articles on a wide variety of subjects. There is an "Advice" section, which allows users to submit questions to nominated advisers on various topics. There are many online games to play, and users can create their own
onlinepolls, questionnaires and quizzes. Every user can also create their own blog.
Points and prizes
The points system of SCN awards 10 points to each user for every page they view on the site, up to a maximum of 500 points per day. Once they have reached 500 points, users may spin the "Point Wheel", in the hope of winning some more points. Users can also increase their points by playing the
casinogames on the site (no actual money is involved). Chips on the casino may be cashed out towards points, while the prizes for the top-scoring users are a fixed number of bonus points. Points may be used to bid on items in the auction section of the site. These items range from sweaters to DVDs, and the person who bids the highest number of points wins that particular item.
The first time a user logs in on a specific day, they are invited to pick up a random playing card from their own unique "deck" of 52 cards. The first person who collects all four aces from their "deck" wins a prize. It follows that the shortest length a contest can run is four days. The probabilities are also very much against more than one person winning the prize on any one day (though if this should happen, it is likely that they would both receive a prize).
The latest way to get points is the SCN daily section. Every day there is a new Question,
Polland Factoidto be answered. Points are handed out each time you answer them and the more days you answer the more points you get.
*Total membership between 800,000 and 900,000.
*~300,000 unique visitors per month
*Primary audience is in the United States. About 85% of the users are located in the USA. About 15% of registered users are in non-
US, most being from Canada, United Kingdom, Australiaand New Zealand
*The Male to Female
*The most popular age for people on the site is 17 with 16.44%, followed by 18 with 15.37% and 16 with 13.83%
*24.65% of users are aged 20+
*The median age of users is 17.9
List of social networking websites
* [http://www.student.com student.com homepage]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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