By Saloni N
The huge size of the campus sometimes can be detrimental when it comes to getting news of a sudden event, a seminar, a screening. To bring an end to the woes of students, a group of University research scholars has created WhatsUp UoH, a neat online solution which caters to the campus community that is hooked to internet.
“Anyone who has organised any event on campus will know how difficult it is to get the message across and get people to attend (except when a political party is involved). A lot of people who might have been interested get left out because they didn’t get to see a poster. WhatsUp UoH is primarily a response to this problem,” says one of the founders, a PhD scholar at the University.
What it is?
It’s a platform to remain in the know about all events academic, non-academic, official, unofficial as well as reduce the number of posters which requires time besides contributing to waste. Unlike the Facebook page of the University, WhatsUp has announcements of events like poetry, music jams, discussions etc. that are not officially sponsored by the department.
It works by cloud-sourcing information. The core is a Google Group (firstname.lastname@example.org). On subscribing, you join the group, and get email updates. When one sends a mail to the group, it is moderated and forwarded to everyone in the group. The group auto-posts to the blog. The calendar is manually updated and offers SMS updates if one has a mobile number set up on their Google calendar account.
It was started by three students, all PhD scholars, Abu Saleh, Kinjal Saurabh and the third person wishes to remain anonymous. They used a @uohyd GApps to create a Google account, group, calendar, and blog. A few hours of setting up and tweaking and it was good to go. Like Connect, this too requires an active UoH e-mail to register. This is also a move to encourage people to get a University e-mail as Connect offers many interesting options and features.
“We started public testing on 7th August and the Vice Chancellor Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy was our first member,” says the team member. Five people moderate the group as of now, but they are on the look-out for more volunteers.
The reason people should use WhatsUp UoH is simple. “Connectivity. Set it up once, be notified and reminded and never miss an event,” says the student. The calendar can be used to plan and prioritise too. He adds, “We also hope that since it’s now easier to get the word across, more student groups will pop up and contribute to the vibrancy of this campus.”
What can students do?
See a public event notification on your department notice board? Let the office know that they can send a copy to email@example.com. See an event poster with no contact details? Click a picture, send it to the group.