Looking to take the temperature of a campus from afar, with some help from new media and social networking? GlobalQuad.com, a site launched last week, is focused on helping its users do just that, reports the New York Times. It’s a niche web site that chronicles college life via Twitter, aggregating the 140-character tweets of institutions and their affiliated student or community groups. The site’s home page reads like that of Twitter, with a reverse-chronological time line of the messages most recently emanating from both official university communications and student, faculty, or staff Twitter accounts. Users can filter news by school, viewing all chatter about one place through, for example, the gathered feeds of a single university’s newspaper, alumni magazine, student clubs, and sports teams. In addition to those institutional tweets are personal tweets from a range of campus characters, including student newspaper editors, law librarians, football coaches, and journalism professors. Trending topics of the moment–as tracked on Twitter–are listed in a sidebar, calling "Georgetown football" or "Dean Boyd" to the attention of those not already tuned in to specific conversation threads. The site’s editor, Natan Edelsburg, sees it as "a tool for high school guidance counselors" and, for prospective students themselves, a "raw and direct way to find out about the culture of a place…"
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