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As performing arts groups gear up for their spring performances this week, many clubs are looking to the Web as a cheap and effective means of getting information to the student body.

In particular, students are using -- an online social directory specifically for college students.

Regularly profiled by major news organizations for its part in reinventing online college communities, is trying to sell itself on its ability to directly connect with a highly desirable demographic: students.

The site currently sells several different types of advertising -- but facebook announcements are specifically geared toward students and local businesses.

Facebook announcements are placed underneath the search engine and site map on the upper left hand side of the screen and are very similar to newspaper classified ads in size and format.

The site's marketing materials claim that an advertisement is viewed about 40,000 times each day."

Although does not guarantee this many views, many clubs who have decided to advertise through facebook announcements believe that it is worth the $15 a day cost.

"It was cost-effective; for the price it reached a lot of students. ... We don't have any way to gauge the response, but we figured it was effective," said College sophomore Fabian Lua, business manager of Chinese a cappella group Penn Yo.

The rates for comparable classified ads in the Daily Pennsylvanian vary but there is a student rate which offers 20 words for three days for $10.

Various online companies sell 5,000 glossy 4 by 6 inch postcards for approximately $175.

Allie Melnick, Vice President of Membership development and coordinator of the Wharton Women Style Show, said that the price was one factor in her decision to advertise for the show on

"Normally, our events are for members of our group and we focus advertising on our members and the Wharton community but for this event we wanted to reach a broad audience that [] reaches," said Melnick, a Wharton sophomore. "We have done flyers, we always do flyers, we have an ad in the DP and we are also going to send out a message on our Wharton Women facebook group to advertise this event."

This was not the first time Melnick has used facebook announcements.

She and her friend Julia Abelkop -- also a Wharton sophomore -- posted a birthday message to their friend Ian Samuels in February.

"I thought it was one of the most creative and coolest presents ever," said Samuels, who enjoyed the inside jokes posted in the announcement.

While the Wharton sophomore thought that the announcement was a great birthday present, he said, "I think the biggest problem is if somebody doesn't look on thefacebook that day. ... I had friends make hints that I should go online."

The Penn Singers used thefacebook to advertise for their show this past weekend.

Publicity manager of the Penn Singers, Matthew Scherer-Smith, said that they had a similar sized audience this year as compared to years past, even though they were competing with more shows this year and spent much less money on advertising.

However, Scherer-Smith was hesitant to give credit for their advertising success, calling the online ad a 'supplement.'

"People are not going to stop putting out posters because they can reach Penn students through thefacebook," Scherer-Smith said.

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