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A Social Exchange For Laurier Students
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Introducing HawkTalk – A better way to connect with Laurier students

| HawkSwap Updates | January 4, 2013

Screenshot of HawkTalk - Laurier community forums

The winter semester is right around the corner, and as we begin to work off that holiday turkey, the site should be seeing an influx of activity in the coming days. With that, I’ve decided it’d be a great time to launch our latest feature; HawkTalk.

What is HawkTalk?

In short, it’s an online forum where students can engage with and contribute to the Laurier community. You can talk about a project from your class, what the best bar to go to on a Saturday night is (Turret), where the best spots to study on campus are, how the Raptors have inconceivably won 8 of their last 9 games.. you get the drift.

It’s a social platform that enables us to share our resources, our knowledge, our experiences, and our stories, bringing the community closer together.

 

> Click here to check it out <

It’s been my goal for a while now to transform HawkSwap into a hub for the Laurier community, as opposed to simply being a textbook exchange site that’s used for 4 weeks of the year.

The introduction of student blogs were a step in the right direction (we now have 2 bloggers as of today), but I think these forums will be an even greater leap.

On campus, we’re incredibly connected. We have more clubs than one can count, and a ton of events that go on throughout the year that offer real value. When it comes to our presence online though.. we have some work to do.

I think everyone can agree that the majority of discussions related to Laurier take place on Facebook, whether it’d be in the various groups, or within your own news feed. While this holds certain benefits, it has some definite flaws:

  1. It’s not searchable. Looking for something specific? The only way you’ll find it is if you’re in the right place at the right time.
  2. You’re limited to your network. Only your friends get a notification if you’ve posted in a group, assuming that they’re also a member of that group. The chances of you interacting with someone outside of your social circle is pretty slim.
  3. Posts have a short shelf-life. Try making a post to a Laurier group the first week of the semester. Your post will be buried under “View more” in about 18 minutes.

I feel that the forums (as well as everything on HawkSwap in general) offer a pretty attractive solution to these issues.

With this being the initial launch, there is still a lot of fine-tuning left to be done. I’ve kept the feature-set pretty basic, and the forum categories very general. I’m not completely sure where this will take us just yet, so I’m leaving it open to you guys.

I would also love to hear your feedback if you have any. Is this a good idea or not?

Leave your comments below (oh yeah, the forums are integrated with the comments now).

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Introducing Laurier Student Blogs

| HawkSwap Updates | November 16, 2012

Laurier student blogs

Hey Laurier.

I’m pretty excited to announce a new HawkSwap feature; Student Blogs.

Now that the site has grown some legs (240 members, 600 listings, 1.5k unique visitors in Sept), I’m looking for ways to expand it to become more than a textbook exchange site that’s used 2 months of the year. I want it to become the home of the Laurier student community – a resource completely & independently run by the students.

For that to happen, the site needs to be based fully on student generated content, and I feel that establishing a student blogging platform is a step in the right direction.

So, what is it?

Here’s how it works..

  1. You sign up for a blog here. You fill out the form, basically telling me your name and what you plan to blog about. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be specific.
  2. Once I set it up for you, you’re ready to start blogging. You’ll be able to log-in to the back end, and craft your posts from there.
  3. After you publish a post, it’ll show up in your category. Take a look at the screenshots below.

It’s that simple. The most recent blogs will all show up on the blog homepage, keeping it fresh.

Continue reading »

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HawkSwap Launches!

| HawkSwap Updates | September 4, 2011

This is a big day for Laurier. Not only has the town come back to life, but we finally have a way to buy and sell textbooks, without having to spam Facebook groups.

The purpose of this site is to simplify the entire exchange process. I don’t know about you, but out of the 20 or so books I’ve purchased, I’ve been able to sell maybe 5 of them. 4 of those through friends, and 1 through Facebook. That’s 15 other books (or $1500+ spent) laying around in my closet, taking up valuable space in these tiny student houses. I would take them back home, but I’ve always thought there would be a buyer for this *like-new textbook.

Now you’re able to list your textbook in just a couple of clicks.. and someone can specifically find your textbook in a couple of clicks. You can also make a listing in the wanted section, meaning half the work is done for you.. how sweet is that.

I’ve also included rental listings. Laurier does do decent job with their off-campus housing site, but I find it’s not as good when trying to find a sub-letter. HawkSwap will hopefully make that process a bit easier.

There is also a Miscellaneous section, where you can list anything else you’re trying to sell/looking to find. This could work well for students looking to join sports teams, looking for a band to play in, looking for a group to study with etc.

Being the initial launch, there are still a ton of things I’d like to work on. I’d like to make the site more social by integrating community forums and a real-time chat. There are also many other things, so your feedback is key. If you have an idea, feel something is missing, or are having trouble using the site, Contact Us!

And last, but definitely not least, this site is nothing without the Laurier community.. Please invite your friends! Like Us on Facebook. Follow Us on Twitter. The more people that use this site, the more exposure your listings will get. Help us, help you.

 

Feel free to leave any comments below. And if you haven’t already, create your first listing now!

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About the Author

  • Sunny Trochaniak

    4th year Laurier business student, diehard Leafs fan, aspiring entrepreneur. Founder of HawkSwap.

HawkSwap Official

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