In an effort to unify the Isla Vista community, a few UCSB students have recently launched two websites to improve networking capabilities among I.V. residents.
Mablio.com, launched Sept. 1, and IVXChange.com, which opened Jan. 8, are two student-designed and operated websites that offer a variety of services such as textbook trading, housing and classified ads for students and residents of the UCSB and I.V. communities.
Bill Lennon, second-year mathematics major and co-founder of the website IVXChange.com, said his goals for creating the website were not profit-oriented. He made the site with fellow students Andrew Bates and Russell McLoughlin.
“My goal is to adapt and change to the community [of Isla Vista] and tailor the website to their needs,” Lennon said. “Isla Vista is such a close-knit and compact community, [so the site is] a perfect resource to unify.”
IVXChange.com offers eleven different services, including a feature that allows users to connect with others looking to sell or trade books and class notes. It also has housing listings and a classified ads section.
Lennon said he thought Isla Vista was the best area for which to create such a networking website because although it is a small college town, it lacks substantial intercommunity interaction.
“Success to us will mean the full involvement of the community,” Lennon said. “IVXChange.com is by and for the community, our goals are local.”
While IVXChange.com focuses specifically on the I.V. community, Mablio.com currently provides services to three other colleges in the United States in addition to UCSB: the University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University and the University of Michigan.
Mike Rosengarten, a second-year computer science major, has operated Mablio.com since its creation in 2006 along with cofounders Chris Bruner, James McGuire – second-year UCSB students – and Todd Terrazas from USC.
Rosengarten said Mablio.com offers networking services for five core categories: housing, tutors, textbooks, classifieds and ridesharing. He said the rideshare and tutoring sections are the most unique because it is one of the only websites of its kind where community members can easily search for a ride home or some extra assistance in academics whenever the need arises.
“We feel that [Mablio.com] is a service worth doing,” Rosengarten said. “But most importantly, we are concerned with providing a safe environment for students.”
Rosengarten said he has many great ambitions for his website, but primarily hopes to slowly expand Mablio.com’s networking capabilities beyond the I.V. area and incorporate other colleges around the nation into its online community.
“The internet has globalized everything,” Rosengarten said. “We want to be the first site that services students in a safe, college-specific environment.”