[Original post date, May 2003. Modified July 2006]

To the staff and faculty of the five colleges in the Amherst / Northampton area of western Massachusetts:

Introducing the Five College Socializing website, a place for the staff and faculty of the five colleges to connect, online. You can post buy/sell notices, news and announcements, chat politics and generally communicate with the Five College community in our area. The website is free and open only to those who have e-mail addresses ending in the following domains: amherst.edu, hampshire.edu, mtholyoke.edu, smith.edu and umass.edu.


On this website there are areas set up for each campus, each with four features: Calendar, Corkboards, Photos, Member Businesses. Only members can post to these areas or subscribe to them via e-mail. More features will be added over time.

The specifics:

The website has a "Corkboard" with different topics. Members can post messages and can also choose which corkboard topics to subscribe to for e-mail delivery. In other words, if there was a Buy/Sell topic and a Politics topic and an Events topic, you as a user could select just Buy/Sell and Events and not Politics for e-mail delivery. You may also opt to receive ALL postings. The website databases the posts, so if you saw something come through e-mail and you deleted it and wanted to find it again, you could go to the website and search through the postings.

The calendar allows users / groups to post their events. You can also get the event postings by e-mail, also by topic. This calendar differs from the http://calendar.fivecolleges.edu website in that there is no restriction on what events are posted. They don’t have to be campus-sponsored, only interesting.

Members can list their businesses for free. Users can go to the business listings page and search by keyword, campus or category. Only member-related businesses may be listed, ie; if you make special soaps on the side, or do lawn care on the weekends, etc., you can list your businesses (more than one if you do more than one thing). Please, however, do not list your favorite bookstore, etc.

Bottom line:

o The website is free. There will never be a charge for using it in any capacity. Just go to http://www.fivecol-soc.net/ browse around and then click on "Sign up now."

o You must create a user account to post anything and (if you wish) also receive them via e-mail. Member information will NEVER be shared or sold.

o You do not HAVE to receive corkboard posting by e-mail if you don’t want to -- it’s an option -- but you must be a member to post messages.

Check out the site today. You’ll be glad you did.

Michael Muller
Montague WebWorks
Formerly, UMass President’s Office, Hadley.