The social network
Students may get in tune with the social event network that is hooking up students from seven universities in Indiana with buzz-worthy happenings.
Three years ago, two Indiana University students started developing a texting service that notified other students of the largest social events around IU’s campus.
The Swiss List now sends between 50,000 and 60,000 text messages a month to college students. While the majority of subscribers are from IU, The Swiss List is starting to expand to Ball State.
Founder and co-CEO, Cicero “Swiss” Beemon, referred to himself as a “social and open guy.” At the beginning of the 2010 semester, Beemon met new people and asked for their name, number and major. From there, he networked and organized a detailed list of students in his phone to be his go-to people on certain social events.
“It’s not what you know, but who you know,” he said. “So, that’s what I did.”
Soon, the senior public health major built a lengthy contact list in his phone allowing him to find the buzz in Bloomington. In his search for biggest parties, he would text around 250 people.
After analyzing feedback, Beemon selected the most prominent events. He looked and asked for certain criteria including time, location, number of people attending and rating. Based off the criteria, he would make the exclusive list known as the “The Swiss List.”
At first, Beemon kept it for his personal use, but then, students started finding out.
“That’s when I realized the need of people wanting to know what’s going on,” he said. “It’s convenient and efficient for people to receive directly to their phone.”
After the list became public, people wanted to know even more specific details, including the boy-to-girl ratio at parties. Beemon decided to make like Mark Zuckerberg and expand his network.
It has evolved in the last three years into an event-based social media website that sends out a mass text every Friday and Saturday night.
The massive networking of parties and events started to become too much for Beemon to accomplish by himself. He made a staff of 15 to 20 people to help him develop a more polished and professional product. The employees make sure the party is Swiss List Approved, meaning alcohol isn’t be provided at the party, it’s in a safe area and the landlords or property owners are aware of the event. The Swiss List also warns students to make responsible judgement calls in attending social events in places or with people they don’t know.
Nathan Berning decided to take the semester off to dedicate his time to it, and he is the co-CEO and chief marketing officer.
Berning and Beemon have major expansion plans for the Swiss List in the spring.
Berning described the upcoming Swiss List as a “Facebook or Twitter type of experience.”
“Users will create an account,” Berning said. “They will build their own, unique experience based off their interests, where they live and the people that they know.”
The Swiss List currently reaches out to seven campuses in Indiana.
Ball State’s list has a little less than 100 subscribers so far. The Swiss List team intends to send the first, official text at Ball State as soon as subscribers hit above the 100 mark. Those interested can go to theswisslist.com and sign up.
“As soon as things start rolling, it should pick up pretty quick,” Berning said. “For a reference point, we’ve got 2,500 users on the texting service at IU.”
Berning said he expects at least that many people to use the texting service at Ball State.
Ball State junior business major, Nick Plavchak found out about service when he met Berning while visiting IU.
Plavchak signed up for it, and as soon as the texting service is operating at Ball State, he plans to use the networking service for nights out.
“The thing I like most about the Swiss List is that on a weekend where I may not have a clue what to do, all different kinds of events can be shared with me,” he said.
The Swiss List will allow people to know about events that are happening inside and outside of their normal group, Berning said. The list can range from parties to study sessions.
Berning said it’s also a good resource for out-of-the-loop students looking for something to do, such as freshmen. It may give more direction to the roving packs of students wandering the sidewalks late at night.
“Instead of walking around aimlessly, they can rely on the texting service to let them know what’s going on,” he said.