Hot dates and cheap books online

A new website, created by Harvard alumni Tyler Winklevoss, Divya Narendra and Cameron Winklevoss, is taking the college world by storm. has created a social network amongst over 200 universities, including the University of Miami. The site boasts features such as blogs, profile browsing, book sales, and chat, just to name a few. Furthermore, it’s free to use and free of advertisements.

Word is spreading, and approximately 80 UM students have joined.

“I signed up for ConnectU when I got an email from a friend I met at a program called Great Start at UM,” Danette Beitra, freshman, says. Beitra has already met four people through the site.

Students can make professional and personal connections on campus as well as nationwide.

“Once, someone emailed me just to ask about Miami’s hot spots because he was coming to visit,” Laurie O’Conner, freshman, says. “It’s definitely fun to chat with students from different places and backgrounds.”

Creator Tyler says the site couples fun social traits with an incredible amount of practical services.

“I think [one]thing that’s fun is the ‘Most Popular Profiles.’ There are definitely some interesting characters on that, and there are definitely some pictures that would inspire the opposite sex,” Tyler says. “Even though the directory, profiles and class rosters are not as sensational and entertainment based, they are going to prove to be very essential.”

ConnectU also serves as a medium through which students can buy and sell their books not just to people on campus, but to students all over the country.

“I asked myself, ‘Should I get the eight dollars or just burn them in my fireplace?'” Tyler says.

ConnectU has grown to 15,000 users since its launch last May. When asked what can be expected of the site in the future, Tyler envisions ConnectU growing to be even more helpful to students.

“ConnectU is going to grow and become more helpful, whether by integration through mobile phones, file sharing, or growth in capabilities,” Tyler says. “We’ll do little things here and there, and in time, when you look back, you’ll be able to see how far it has come.”

>> For more information, visit

Margaret Scott can be contacted at

September 17, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.