A popular message board that once catered to Van Pelt bibliophiles is now offering an outlet to students bored, well, anywhere.
The site, formerly Boredatvanpelt.com, was relaunched last Saturday night as Boredatpenn.net by creator Jonathon Pappas.
The site now features specific forums, called "spaces," including ones for Nursing students or Penn juniors.
There are already multiple pages of posts on the new site that range from questions such as "Where is the best pizza on campus?" to confessions like "I just cheated on my boyfriend and it felt great."
The free site, accessible only by Penn students, has gained in popularity over the year. To date, there have been 62,804 posts.
Still, this number trails far behind Harvard University's Boredatlamont.com, soon to become Boredatharvard.com, which boasts an impressive 255,330 posts.
Penn's site has generated mixed reviews among students, some of whom question its usefulness.
"When it comes to dealing with boredom, people are just too high-maintenance if we need this kind of site," College sophomore Charlie Isaacs said. "If I'm bored, I just listen to music or get something to eat - I don't need postings from students at Van Pelt."
So far, only Penn and Columbia's Web sites have been relaunched, but Pappas will be spending the next month traveling and improving his existing sites.
Columbia's site, Boredatbutler.com, was the first Boredat site created in Feb. 2006 - Penn's was created last November.
Boredat sites exist at all of the Ivy League schools except Brown University, as well as at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Each URL contains the school's respective library name.
For some, the allure of the sites is the total anonymity granted to students.
"There are no account, no logins. You say what you want to say and then leave, so there's nothing personal about it," Pappas said.
Pappas' partner, Columbia graduate Aneel Ranadive, agreed: Students can create aliases and post under those fake names.
"I think God and Satan were talking last night," Ranadive said.
Eventually, Pappas hopes to expand his "platform for instant communication" to include a "listings" section, which would function as an anonymous version of Facebook's Marketplace.
"Sometimes people don't want their identity attached to what they're selling," he said. "If I'm selling a dirty old mattress, I don't think anyone needs to know [who I am]. I'm just interested in selling my stuff and moving on."Comments powered by Disqus
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