The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Students design Busy Blugold

A campus community was born early this year.

Far from having any physical representation,, which was launched on Jan. 14, exists solely in the realm of cyberspace.

The Web-based message board is laden with ride requests, discussions of professors and even a student seeking help with fixing a futon.

One post asks fellow community members the address to the Statesmen House. Another post features a member attempting to arrange a poker game. There is even a member who wants to set up a network gaming party featuring the popular Xbox game, Halo.

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Sophomore Brad Bannach and junior Andy Trzebiatowski, with the help of UW-Milwaukee student Brian Racer, conceived the Web site last semester.

“I came up with the idea to have a Web site that allowed you to communicate with everyone on campus,” Bannach said. “I then asked Andy and Brian to help me create it because of their fields of study.”

Racer owns a Web hosting business, in addition to being skilled at Web design, Bannach said.

Bannach said he became frustrated by seeing signs for sub-leasers and merchandise for sale strewn about campus.

He said he wanted a single location where students could find sub-leasers, sell goods and find out where bands are playing.

Trzebiatowski said this centricity is the main reason students should use Busy Blugold.

In addition, Bannach described a mercantile functionality for the Web site.

“I have already sold my old loft poles from when I was in the dorms,” he said. “And I am in the process of selling my futon to someone else on the site.”

Bannach said he and his partners currently fund the site with their own money, but Trzebiatowski said that they are hoping to garner some advertising interest to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the site.

Bannach said he hopes the site will take off.

“I want students to start using it and stick with it,” he said.

He added that the site could possibly even be as a means for creating new contacts.

“Students could discuss a topic with someone they normally wouldn’t talk to,” he said.

Both Trzebiatowski and Bannach have at least a year left before they graduate, but are already considering what they should do with the site once that time arrives.

Trzebiatowski said they thought of maintaining administrative duties post-graduation, but there are other options.

“(We) might pass the torch to enthusiastic members of the site,” he said.

Since the site launched, Busy Blugold has received a few hundred visits, though many of those are from individuals who have yet to register, Bannach said.

“We kind of expected that many people, but a few more registered members,” he said. “It is free and painless to do. I encourage more people to register and start posting.”

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Students design Busy Blugold