Daniel Buchner|Nolan Brown
Chico State students Daniel Buchner (right) and Nolan Brown have come up with the answer to all your MySpace and Facebook woes. It comes in the form of a local social networking site, Wiredcat.net. No more being stalked on Facebook. No more cutting and pasting elaborate code to spice up your MySpace page. Wiredcat, which launched last month, incorporates many of the networking benefits of these other sites—catching up with friends, organizing events, finding cool bands—but makes it totally local and totally easy to use. Buchner, a 23-year-old business administration student from San Jose, came up with the idea and enlisted the expertise of computer programming major Brown, 21. They started organizing in March, found investors and got an office on Second Street. And they have grand plans to expand into other cities in the future.
How did you come up with the idea for Wiredcat?
Buchner: I waited tables for four or five years, and eventually I just wanted to do something different that was more apropos to something I actually wanted to do for my career. So I came up with some ideas for social networking. One of the big ideas was the events map. What we’re looking for is a solid base of users to add events to the map—you can make it so your friends can see it, so you can put parties, study groups, barbecues. It’s an interactive thing that’s unknown to the Web.
How are you different from other social networking sites?
Buchner: We try to use different technology from MySpace and all those other 850-pound gorillas. We use AJAX; we support YouTube.
Brown: We’re trying to make the focus to actually connect people to their city instead of connecting to these virtual people hundreds of miles away who are never going to have any real social interaction. You know the people [on Wiredcat]—you see them in class—instead of some random friend of a friend of a friend who’s just a friend whore.
How many people have signed up so far?
Buchner: Right now there are about 250 users.
Brown: Mostly by word of mouth.
Any grand plans?
Buchner: The main other half of what we’re doing is probably going to be introduced the first week of December. It’s going to be a business section. We’re going to offer professional business profiles—for housing, retail and restaurants. So, for a restaurant, you’ll be able to go and see their menu, view the dish, get coupons right off the site. They’ll be able to post events. For businesses that have more than 10 employees, we’ll have an employee center so they can log on to check their schedule.
Brown: We’re planning for the future and trying to stay as integrated as we can and trying to keep in the cutting edge to make it as easy and as great an experience for the users as possible.