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Social-Networking site promotes offline activity
A UCLA alumnus who studied materials engineering is making a splash with a new social-networking website dubbed “At The Pool” in Athens.
The site will be open for students at Ohio University on Sept. 6. Students can join the site AtThePool.com by using the invitation code: OU. Thousands of users from a total of approximately 45 countries are already on the site, with hundreds more joining each day.
Alex Capecelatro, the founder and CEO of the site, said the name of the site is a metaphor.
“A pool is a social area where you can hang out and stuff, and we are launching a site that has pools of all sorts of different interests: pools of universities, pools for people who are into music, or even biking,” Capecelatro said. “So it’s a metaphorical way to introduce people to all different pools for all different interests.”
Rather than drowning in hundreds of friends, the site only allows users to get one “friend” a day. However, Capecelatro calls these people a “daily match.”
“When you get introduced to someone new and you want to stay in touch with them, you can add them to your friends list,” he added.
Capecelatro said he came up with the idea because other social networking websites fell short when he wanted to meet new people in person.
“I’m a vegetarian and Facebook did a bad job at finding other people of similar interests around what I like,” he said.
Currently, the site does not feature a way for users to create their own pools but they can join pools ranging from hiking to food and even art.
Capecelatro said that the goal of “At The Pool” is to make the world a little bit more social so people will talk and interact with those around them.
“We want to get people offline and get them introduced to the people that they would like to get involved with,” Capecelatro said.
The design of the website does not feature a newsfeed like Twitter or Facebook.
“Each user’s page has a profile which lists their interests, their major, who their mutual friends are and you can also chat directly on their page,” Capecelatro said. “It’s really showing you who the person is and makes it easy for you to talk with them.”
Some students at OU said that they don’t like the idea of meeting people they don’t know, including Erin Phillips, a freshman studying forensic chemistry.
“I personally wouldn’t want to go and meet someone random from the site,”
Phillips said. “At The Pool has potential, but I think that it could be dangerous.”
Capecelatro said that he recommends people meet in public environments like at a coffee or shop or with a group of friends.
“We just don’t want people to spend time on the computer,” Capecelatro said. “It has the potential to be the next big thing, but I don’t even know if I would call it a social network.”