CSUN group on MySpace.com connects web-savvy students

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Students can find different ways of getting information about CSUN. It is not only through the school paper or through the university’s official website. It is through a social networking service available on the Internet.

Through MySpace.com, registered members are able to communicate through a message system, blogs entries and instant messaging. The free Internet service also allows registered users to create groups that pertain to any interests for anyone who would like to join.

That is exactly what a student from CSUN registered to the website did.

“I saw that there weren’t any groups at all for CSUN, so I decided to start one up myself,” said Peter Genovese, senior information systems major.

The CSUN group was founded by Genovese on Aug. 31, 2004 and is now one of the biggest groups on the site.

As soon as Genovese got the group running, he spent time looking for CSUN students to invite them to join the group, he said, adding that he would spend hours looking for as many students as possible to inform them about the group and to tell others about it.

The group now advertises itself as more students join the group, Genovese said. He said the group started off slow and did not spend as much time looking for new members. In just over a year, the group has grown to more than 2,500 members, he said. Genovese still gets between five and 10 students wanting to join the group at any given point. If someone wants to become a member, he or she has to be either a current or former CSUN student, he said.

Joining the group may help students find any information and provide links to the university website, Web Portal, calendar and news and events. Students can also post any questions or bulletins that members can respond to.

Genovese makes an effort to respond to any bulletins that members of the group post.

“I am pretty active with the discussions and bulletins,” Genovese said. “Students can ask any questions. I’ve been at that school for a while, so I know a lot of things. I get a lot of students asking me questions about dropping classes or where buildings are located.”

The bulletins written by students vary. Bulletins include topics about the men’s soccer team, the deaf community, student fee increases, among others.

A topic that many students post comments about is squirrels on campus. Since it is a favorite topic, Genovese encourages members to post pictures of CSUN’s bush-tailed friends.

Genovese said he will graduate this semester, but he plans to continue to moderate the group and stay active on the website by helping other students.

“I consider myself a pretty good moderator,” Genovese said. “I have an eight-to-nine year track at CSUN. So I know CSUN really well.”

Current students registered on MySpace have been attracted to the site’s services and like the idea of the CSUN group.

“I would definitely go there if I have any questions,” said Jeannette Cuadros, junior communication disorders major.

“I usually go to some administrative office for any information,” said Chris Powarzynski, junior electrical engineering major. “But I definitely am going to look more into the group site.”

Genovese said he was attracted to MySpace as soon as it launched. He said he joined the site early on and instantly became a fan of it because it gives users freedom to personalize their webpages, Genovese said. He said he registered on MySpace when the site only had about 80,000 registered users. The site currently has more than 40 million users.

MySpace.com was founded in 2003 and is one of the most used sites on the Internet by young people. According to Wired Magazine, MySpace had 9.4 billion page views in the month of August, which was more than google.com.

Students can visit the group site at groups.myspace.com/matadors.

Oscar Areliz can be reached at oscar.areliz@csun.edu.