A newly launched website called Alertification now allows students to receive a text message alert as soon as a space becomes available in a previously filled class.
Initially established for UCLA students by UCLA graduate Brian Roizen and his brother, undergraduate Robert Roizen, Alertification now works for most universities across the country, including UCSB. The site is capable of working with nearly any school site, as users can enter a specific URL and be navigated to a certain page, where they can then click on a desired class and receive an alert once a selected class has a status change. The site has drawn a total of 500 users and has also been used to provide alert notifications on prices at online sites such as Amazon.
According to Roizen, the site’s layout has a generalized format, making it capable of reporting class spaces at various universities. Roizen said this is a stand-out feature of Alertification, as similar sites have only served students at a single campus.
“There have been a few efforts, like there are some people who made a website that can do just UC Merced, or just UCLA,” Roizen said. “But no one has made something before us that works at [nearly] every single school.”
The website has received a great deal of traffic and positive feedback since its launching, Roizen said, with numbers rising daily.
“Traffic is going up daily,” Roizen said. “We’re seeing tremendous growth, especially just word of mouth. I was really surprised actually.”
However, Roizen said an increase in usage may also lead to a shift in the business model in order to compensate for heavy Internet traffic. He explained that Alertification may begin offering users different pay options, with a free option for alerts occurring every hour or 10 minutes and a paid option with alerts occurring every few seconds.
“Like with anything, once you get big, there’s a lot of cost with servers and database and just scaling issues,” Roizen said.
Nevertheless, Roizen said the site is still in a beta testing stage and added that he and his brother are considering options for improvements, such as a function that adds students to classes instead of only notifying them, or a function that prevents text alerts from sending late at night.
“This is just the very first version of Alertification,” Roizen said. “We’re definitely going to spruce up the site, make it look nicer, cleaner and simpler.”
First-year political science major Alan Ramirez said the site has the potential to assist freshmen like himself graduate in a timely manner, in light of increasingly crowded public university classes.
“With UCs [having] such a big population I think it’s going to help students to … not worry about getting a seat,” Ramirez said.