New social media site helps classmates communicate with each other

Last updated: 01/12/14 5:07pm


The newest scholarly social media website, ClusterFlunk, offers students at Eastern Michigan University a new tool for communicating with classmates.

ClusterFlunk is designed to foster communication between students and their classmates and professors during courses.

Students using ClusterFlunk can chat via instant message with other classmates, post anonymous questions to the classroom wall and share files.

In order to connect with the EMU population, simply sign up for the site using an emich.edu email. A confirmation email will be sent shortly after signing up, assurring the student they have officially been “flunked.” Each semester, students sign up for the specific courses they are enrolled to begin communicating with classmates.

The ClusterFlunk homepage is university-specific and can be used to buy and sell used textbooks, find roommates and subleases available in the area, post and find events and communicate with other students via posts and messages.

Lecture notes and exam study guides can be shared directly on the homepage. Students can also speak directly to specific classmates through the instant message feature.

The free program was launched during the fall 2013 semester at the University of Iowa where founders AJ Nelson and Joe Dallago are enrolled. The site is currently in use by over 10,000 of the university’s students, or 25 percent of the student body.

EMU is part of ClusterFlunk’s 50 college expansion program starting Jan. 6,2014. The company plans to add 54 public universities with at least 14,000 undergraduates to the program throughout 2014.

“Have you ever sat in class, and had a question but were too afraid to raise your hand? Have you ever sat by yourself the night before an exam, clueless, and not knowing anyone in your class that can help you? Have you ever missed a lecture class for whatever reason and needed the notes?” Nelson asked. “We have all been there.”

Nelson and Dallago understand that in today’s information age, communication with classmates and professors throughout a course was key to making the grade. Like many other students, the ClusterFlunk co-founders realized that keeping in touch with so many people was not a simple task.

“ClusterFlunk was built off of our pain points we felt while in school,” Nelson said, “When we were going into our university, we just assumed there would be a tool that would allow us to do these simple things, but there wasn’t, so we built ClusterFlunk.”

Nelson and Dallago decided on the company’s name, ClusterFlunk, because they were looking for something out of the norm and tired of the typical educational names of products already on the market.
“We wanted a name that symbolized a group and education,” Nelson said. “We were sick of all the lame educational names in our market.”

As the program begins its expansion, more students across the U.S will have access to this new resource, one university at a time. Founders Nelson and Dallago will face their own set of unique challenges and triumphs throughout the expansion, but hopes are high for the future of ClusterFlunk.

“I wouldn’t say there are two or three major challenges that we have faced,” Nelson said. “There are challenges you have to face daily. It’s all about building systems and processes that allows your team to find solutions to those daily problems. It is definitely a marathon.”

To utilize ClusterFlunk, students can go to clusterflunk.com and follow the simple steps provided to begin using this valuable resource.

Published Jan 12, 2014 in News

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