Sunday, June 17

Networking site launched at UCLA


Spencer Lee used to drive from Claremont to UCLA every weekend to go to parties.

However, it was often difficult for him to find out exactly what events were happening and to coordinate meeting up with different friends without texting and calling a lot of people.

Lee and PJ Chen, a friend he had made at UCLA parties, came up with the idea of producing a social networking site just for events, allowing people to see both friends’ events and events going on in their area so that they could plan their social lives more easily.

In August 2008, Lee and Chen started Baseloop with Lee’s brother Scott Lee, a UCLA alumnus, and friend Mitsuhiro Wada.

Scott Lee said that the goal of Baseloop was to create a place where everyone could conveniently coordinate their social calendars.

“If you’re bored on a Friday night and you’re trying to plan to get together with friends, you can call, text or IM each other, but you end up having so many conversations and by the time you figure what is going on you have wasted so much time when you could be out having fun,” Scott Lee said.

The site launched six months ago and is being pitched in particular at the UCLA community.

“We had problems with publicity at first, but since launching at UCLA this fall the site has grown exponentially,” Spencer Lee said.

A number of students said they are positive about the site’s possibility for success.

“I think its a great idea. Using Baseloop would make events more accessible to more people and I think that it will appeal more to people that are just looking for events and maybe not an Internet-based social network,” said Holly Thompson, a second-year social sciences student.

However, there is concern that the site may be too much like Facebook to be worthwhile.

“We already have Facebook to plan events, and I think that’s enough,” said Lisa Weisshar, a second-year psychology student.

The Baseloop team is currently working on generating more awareness of its product.

Starting this quarter, 13 UCLA students are working as marketing interns for Baseloop, giving out free food at different locations in Westwood such as In-N-Out and Diddy Riese every Thursday to people who have signed up via the site.

“Being an intern is great, and I think Baseloop is getting a really positive reaction as more and more students come to hear about it. What could be better than looking on one Web site and knowing everything you can do on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night?” said Lauren Fried, Baseloop intern and a fourth-year political science student.

Scott Lee said he saw the site becoming a key social tool distinct from Facebook because Baseloop can be used to coordinate simple activities like going to the gym as a group or eating together at the dorms.

“You wouldn’t create a Facebook event for that, but on Baseloop you know everyone’s schedules so it is much easier to plan good times to eat, work out or study together,” he said.

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