Site Looks to Offer More Connections

A former St. John’s student is looking to recreate the way that people use social networking with a startup Web Site
called Feengo.

Steven Theogene, co-founder and CEO calls the website a “networking with a purpose,” commenting on how other social media sites are good for staying connected, but not for getting work done. “This is networking and not just stalking each other out,” he said.

Users who want to sign up for Feengo have to create a Feengo ID and  password. Registration also requires the use of the University e-mail. Once logged in, users see the headlines from people that they’re connected to and can post headlines of their own. On the right is a featured video and tips on how to navigate the website. A banner with the St. John’s logo is also featured.

Theogene said he got the idea to create a new website after looking for a bassist to play an open-mic night with him.

“I was looking for somebody on Facebook and I just couldn’t find any bassists,” he said. “That’s when I started thinking of this new site,” he said. “And that’s how it originally started up, as a place for musicians to connect.”

When the Torch went to print the website was in Alpha testing, Theogene said. “There’s no official marketing and all the people we have on the site
are strategic people to get the website started. We’re just trying to work out most of the kinks.”

The new website is currently exclusive to St. John’s University students, alumni and employees. “We might expand to other Universities later,” he said. “But the good thing is that even if we do, we’ll never lose our identity with St. John’s.”

To the left of the homepage are two additional sections. The first is the Spotlight tab. Theogene described the Spotlight section as a place for people to put up their success stories. “If you did something really great, or are even just doing really good in school, you can tell it to us and we’ll put it up on our spotlight section,” he said.

The other tab is the Campus Life tab, which shows the user various updates from several Univerrsity Twitter accounts. Theogene said the Campus Life tab allows students to stay connected with the University. “We developed a program to pull info from feeds and show students the content and let them know what’s going on in the University,” he said.

Theogene said that in order to further the amount of interaction the website has with the University, he’s been meeting with several deans and departments. One of the departments he’s met with was Alumni Relations. “We’re trying to increase alumni and undergraduate relations,” he said. “We want alumni to know what’s going on in the school and for the undergraduates to be able to reach out to alumni.”

Theogene also said that he wants students to be able to collaborate on school-related projects on Feengo. “We want it so that you can check grades or collaborate on a project together.”

Theogene has also been meeting with student groups at the University. He said he has met with the Entrepreneurial Society and WSJU, adding that he was also planning to meet with the Ad Club.

Sebastian Rodriguez, secretary of the Ad Club, praised the vision that Theogene has for Feengo. “Honestly it is a concept that works and in my opinion, it is a concept that is desperately needed,” he said. “Facebook has run its course and we honestly need a more productive way to spend our time online.”

Vice President of the Entrepreneurial Society Christian Williams also gave high praises to Feengo.
“When you think about Feengo, you think about social media that advances productivity right in your hands,” he said. “All students benefit when you can go online and find out that your classmates or friends have common interests that can benefit the STJ community.”

Theogene said he also wanted help from the larger St. John’s community. “This is a work in progress,” he said. “We want students to talk to us. We’re trying to build this together.”

Theogene said that Alpha testing should end shortly and expects the website to fully launch within the next few days.