Superstar

Stanford Offers Facebook Course

By: Bianca Bartz - Published: Oct 9, 2007 • References: credibility.stanford.edu and money.cnn
Stanford University is offering a new program, complete with valid accreditation, that focuses on developing Facebook applications. The social networking site is the main online community of choice for thousands of people, and has huge potential for profitable growth. The computer science course focusing on building engaging applications, turning to companies like RockYou for inspiration.

"Shelling out steep tuition fees to take a class on the social network of the moment may seem like a good payoff in the long-term, but few developers have yet to turn significant profits from writing Facebook applications," CNNMoney reported. "More than 5,000 applications have been created since Facebook announced in May that third-party developers could build on its platform, and only four boast more than 1 million users."

You can just sense the excitement of the students -- taking a course in their most addictive vice? Where most schools ban using Facebook during class times, this course does nothing but get them to engage with the site. One of the lab teachers is RockYou founder Jia Shen -- that would be like having a head mechanic from VW teach your auto mechanics classes.

The guest speakers are equally impressive.

"Facebook sent a representative from its nearby Palo Alto offices. 'I'm so excited that you're excited,' says Ami Vora, a Facebook platform product marketing rep. 'We can't build the entire user experience ourselves.' Vora gave a 15-minute presentation on the new FB Fund, a $10 million grant program that provides up to $250,000 to developers building promising applications."

At the end of the semester, students will market their applications do different companies in hope that they get picked up. Shen wants to help students in this procedure, and working with them gives him the ability to spot natural talent for potential openings at RockYou.

Stanford is one of several post-secondary institutions offering courses in web 2.0. We've recently features a post on college vlogging lessons, full credit courses that teach students how to use YouTube effectively. We've seen colleges embrace web 2.0 in other ways too -- UC Berkley, for example, is offering entire classes run through YouTube.