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Elementary school pastimes are back in style again.

Thanks to, a Web site dedicated to connecting college students, Penn students can once again engage in such entertaining activities as poking and tallying friends -- except this time, both can be done online.

The brainchild of Harvard University sophomore Mark Zuckerberg, began in early February and eventually reached the Penn community on Sunday.

Penn "seems like it might be a similar type of community to Harvard," said Harvard sophomore Chris Hughes, who handles the business aspects of the Web site. "So it just seemed like a logical extension."

Presently nine schools have access to the system -- including the majority of the Ivies, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"The total number of members to the Web site is around 19,600," Hughes said, with Penn students accounting for approximately 520 members.

However, members can only send messages to and search for peers at their respective universities.

"We're trying to keep it to a realistic size so it's not completely disconnected from the everyday lives of people that are using it," Hughes said.

The Web site boasts all the amenities of a high-tech facebook -- including the ability to post your picture, find people in your classes and perhaps even score a date for the weekend.

Harvard students and alumni seem to be signing up in droves for the service, with Hughes estimating that there are currently 8,000 members from Harvard.

That's "more than the number of undergraduates" at Harvard, he said. "It just kind of blossomed and bloomed here."

Though Hughes said that "there has been no particular e-mail barrage effort" to incite Penn students to join, news of the Web site seems to be spreading profusely through word of mouth.

College freshman Deep Charan, who said that she heard about from a friend, described the trend as "really snowballing."

College freshman Adam Altman seemed to find the site extremely addicting.

"I've been paralyzed in front of the computer ever since" signing up, he said.

The only aspect of the Web site that Altman described himself as "not too impressed with" was the online "poking" feature.

My roommate "poked me, and I poked him back, and that seems like it's pretty much the extent of it," Altman said.

"I can see how some lame Harvard kid could see how [poking is] some way to overcome social anxiety."

Hughes declined to comment on poking, and to most, it remains a bit of a mystery.

Though at first glance does seem to rival the Undergraduate Assembly's newly approved plan for an official and secure Penn online facebook, many students believe that the two Web sites would have different functions.

"I think [] is going to lend itself to more social aspects than probably the Penn online directory would," College sophomore and UA member Wesley Nakamura said. "It doesn't seem like it's a conflict of interest."

Altman said he still thinks that the UA-proposed facebook would be a valuable resource.

"I don't think [] replaces" the UA-proposed Web site, Altman said. "It would be helpful to still have the official one."

Hoping to have the official online facebook implemented sometime next January, Nakamura -- who authored the UA proposal -- said the delays stem from the need to coordinate with the University Information Systems and Computing Office.

"Right now, we're kind of just sitting on it," he said.

According to The Harvard Crimson, a similar administrative delay of the official Harvard online facebook was what initially prompted Zuckerberg to create

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