The Institute Pertanian Bogor (IPB), a school based in Indonesia has launched Fishbook, a social network for students from the department of Marine Fisheries Technology. While student networks and forums are common, Fishbook took an interesting approach by implementing a design similar to Facebook’s. Very similar.
It has the same familiar Facebook login page only with the world map replaced by an Indonesian map. To dig a little deeper, I registered and logged on to Fishbook. Unfortunately the network looks pretty empty with little activity. From time to time I saw new users joining the network but not much conversations are going on.
There is some evidence of innovation though. For example, the network provides online credits for users to shop for items. And while no items are currently available, it hints at what this platform could look like once it becomes active. For the students’ convenience, Fishbook also provide quick links to the school main sites. It also has a chat function and features like birthday reminders, photos, groups, and blogs.
With so much similarity with Facebook, isn’t it better for the school to create a group or community page on Facebook? Perhaps… Although given all the privacy-related issues, maybe building your own platform is not such a silly idea.