The Emory Bubble, a student-based social network that connects organizations, was officially launched at the beginning of this academic school year. The Bubble is a for-profit start-up that was largely funded by the University. The current model contains both a mobile app and a website that provide spaces for organization and communication within and between student groups.
We at the Wheel find the Emory Bubble a great idea; it fills the void left by the absence of LearnLink conferences, and there is a need for this kind of communication on campus. The current Bubble is the third version of a work in progress; therefore, it has not been completely launched yet. Right now, the Bubble works best via Google Chrome and will soon launch a feature in which all notifications will be bundled into an email that will be sent at the end of the day. But unless the Emory Bubble really gains traction and becomes a centralized hub of communication, it will seem to many students just “one more website to check.”
We appreciate many new aspects of the Bubble. Only members of the Bubble can see inside of it, but there are also public bubbles that anyone can enter, a nuance that was not present in LearnLink. For example, there will be moderators for the public conferences, a high level of accessibility for Emory grads (such as a potential alumni bubble) and easy-to-get notifications.
But with the positives come negatives. Criticisms of the Emory Bubble stem from glitches in the mobile app as well as frequent crashes when more than 200 people are signed on. We also find it frustrating that the system has been advertised so heavily, when it is clearly not functioning smoothly. We understand, though, that this is a start-up in its early phase. The founders of the Emory Bubble certainly have their heads in the right place, and despite some obstacles, we feel there is still plenty of time for the platform to take off in popularity – and for the glitches to be addressed.
The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.