Carmun, academic gathering

March 9th, 2007 at 12:00 am

When I was in college the closest to a online social network we had was a Yahoo Group. I guess the times have changed because I've seen a lot of social networks for schools popping up on the web.

Carmun is a social network for the academe. This one's serious though, it's all about studying so parties and drinking sessions will probably be absent on this site. According to the CEO this is for students to share their academic passions. I guess there's no harm when teachers join in as well.

Collaboration among students is as important as collaboration among work colleagues. Study groups and academic organizations have been present in Univerities and schools for as long as anyone can remember, but for graduate students or some shy geniuses this may be a problem. True that not everybody wants to study in a group and prefer to be alone but no student can deny the fact that sooner or later they'll need sources from their peers and literature. Here's where Carmun becomes more than just another community driven social network. Carmun is designed to be a repository of resources, a vertical search engine if you must. These features are found under the Research Tools allowing users to do the things they usually do but faster and more systematic.

Bibliographies are sometimes a pain in the ass to enter manually. Alphabetazing them needs to be done manually when they aren't in a database. With Carmun, users still have to input entries manually but the process of organizing them alphabetically is done automatically and actually saves half the time.

When doing lots of papers, it is usual to use same resources or past resources. On Carmun, users can have their own personalized database and or use the list of sources from other members. They are managed the same way as music on iTunes.

The internet is already a huge resource and sometimes books aren't used anymore (though I totally discourage that). Carmun has a browser plug in that lets users bookmark their resources on the web and create bibliographical entry of it with a click of the mouse.

Parenthetical citations are also a usual when it comes to academic research. So Carmun made their own “Notematic” that allows users to set a format for the citation (customizable for individual projects) and let Carmun do the actual citation.

All in all, Carmun is a useful tool for students if they had the determination to maximize its features. Nevertheless, for graduate students whose passion for studying is apparent, it will not be difficult to adjust to using Carmun as their online classroom and relive their undergraduate days and meet their classmates.