Islands connects you to the groups you care about at college. It's your directory of the people, places, and communities you want to be a part of.

Never miss what's happening on your campus again. Find out who's at your school and their Instagrams and Snapchats. Find out what's happening right now. Never miss out on that cool party again.

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The launch video is slicccckkk. I've been following Islands for a while although I'm not a user (college was a decade ago for me πŸ‘΄πŸΌ). @gregisenberg How have you managed to keep the community and discourse healthy when people can remain anonymous? The toxicity anonymity can enable has killed other platforms, like Secret and Yik Yak.
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@rrhoover Thanks Ryan! Keeping the community healthy and happy is super key. Some of our team are early team at ex-Yik Yak, so we talk about YY all the time. The founder of Yik Yak Tyler Droll is an advisor to Islands. We won't launch a school without a community manager at that school. We've built some sophisticated reporting tools to help make sure the conversation is positive. We'll be implementing some machine learning tools to automate a lot of what we're doing manually. That's actually the same formula we used at our last company 5by (a video curation app). We curated videos manually, learned the process and then eventually automated using ML.
@gregisenberg @rrhoover College is always an exciting landscape for young social apps. A bit challenging to execute flawlessly now than early web 1.0 days because people have figured out ways to circumnavigate checks and spread harassment online. Glad you are thinking about it from your start. Looking forward to trying it out if you expand it beyond colleges one day :)
@rrhoover @gregisenberg yeh agree, the video is slick! How was it made?
@rrhoover @thisiskp_ Amen! Thanks for the kind words!
@bentossell Internally with some help from a friend! #startuplife
Very cool use of SnapKit
@basche42 Thanks Ben!
Leaderboard for who is most popular? That's problematic.
@epistimo Why do you think so? Peacocking has always been an important element is social apps. Likes, friends, followers on all platforms have been used for the same purpose.
@rahulchhabra07 I think about the potential social consequences. There might be a number of problems which don't seem obvious at first. One problem could be that you create a way for people at the top of the social hierarchy to firm their position while you make it harder for others to move up. I don't know the mechanics which constitutes the rating in the app but this might be a possibility. Another issue I have with that is that college should be primarily about learning and growing. Apps like that may contribute to reduce the importance of learning in favour of climbing up the social ladder. Which is of course an integral part of college but it shouldn't be exaggerated. It may also intensify social ostracism towards people in the lower end spectrum of the leaderboard. There might also be a problem for the app itself as people with low social status will probably tend to not using the app because of the potential negative consequences of highlighting their low status. I know, all if these are hypotheses but some things tend to have serious opaque costs which may cause a net loss in society. Especially as some colleges already deteriorated to group identity focused activist institutions. We shouldn't create technology which might bring additional problems.
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@rahulchhabra07 @epistimo Salient points. For example, I communicate differently than most people on a group chat I'm on (run crew) and the fact that I rarely goof off with emoji, "TWSS," write cogent sentences, etc - cements my style as "different" that it means my contributions rarely get affirmation. I've seen this time and again in online boards; though you might think coming in that it's a level playing field, there's always an in-group and a tone, and it is SUPER easy to get shunted off to the out-group no matter what your intentions and your resources are. Reputation management is two prong: 1) don't venture in unless you're certain it's a positive contribution, 2) have both the time and a wingman/woman to maintain your position in the narrative. SO OVERTHINKING but college students learn this either intuitively or to their detriment. That's probably the value, though, in having an anonymous way to contribute, though it will make brave people look like cowards.
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@epistimo @rahulchhabra07 Peacocking ... seriously? Look back at FaceMash and the core of how FB got started. Do you have children? Apps like Islands horrifies me. We have enough social pressures on our youth. Do we need more classifications of who is popular and what is cool? Need to rethink the social paradigm here. The potential negative consequences of this has already been in full effect for over 15+ years.
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Has been awesome to watch the journey evolve. Congrats to you and the team @gregisenberg !
Congrats on v2 launch!! New features look awesome πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ»