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Entries from December 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009


2009 - A HackCollege Year in Review

I'll be spending midnight in the beautiful (but rainy) city of Seattle. Awesome photo by flickr user kashyap_hc

Oh my. Where did that year go? 2009? Are you still there? Come back! No? Okay, we'll miss you.

Needless to say, 2009 was the best year yet for HackCollege. It was our third year in existence and the best one yet. Let's take a little bit of time closing out the year with a review from some of the most awesome points.

More Readers

Here's a secret to starting a Web site that I've noticed: as long as you keep writing, more people will keep reading. We've kept writing, and you guys have been sharing the site around.

And for that, we thank you guys for sticking with us for another year. We're getting to the point where we might be a second generation site; those who are visiting the site now are new to the whole college scene. It's a weird but exciting thing.

We wouldn't be here without you. You guys make the site what it is. We write stuff, but a lot of our suggestions come from reader emails and comments. We read every single one!

New Writers

We couldn't have been pumping out the content that we have been without some new writers. Toward the beginning of the year, we picked up two new writers: Mike Bertolino from West Chester University and Luke Turcotte from Waterloo University. They have both been awesome contributors over the past year. (How come their posts always get more comments than mine?)

During the summer, we also picked up David Pierce, a senior at University of Virginia. He's been great to have and is also quite prolific around the Web.

Chris and I couldn't have done it without these guys, so a big thanks to them. As David, Chris and I move away from the editorial side of HackCollege in 2010, we'll be looking for some new writers. Get those samples ready.

Bigger Partners

Throughout 2009, we've begun to work with some of pretty big named companies. This has been both trying and exciting. We're sticklers about editorial control (if you haven't noticed) and haven't "sold out" yet. It's exciting to work with bigger companies, because bigger companies usually means bigger budgets for cool things like parties. We're excited to see what 2010 will bring.


To me, the most exciting parts of 2009 for HackCollege were definitely the parties. In March, we teamed up with to put together a party for UT Austin students before the start of SXSW. We tried doing a show (keyword: tried), and had a blast. Special thanks to Archana Ramachandran for helping us organizing that one.

We also worked with HP to throw an awesome party in Los Angeles in June. We gave away a dv2. We had a huge bar tab. We had an awesome DJ. We brought out a ton of people and had an amazing time. There was also dancing.

Now is a good time to give yet another shout out to these two awesome sponsors. We could not have done these parties without them. They are awesome people. Support us by supporting them. Thanks again to and HP.

Student Bloggers and Discuss Campus

Towards October, Alex Bea from came to us with saying he was moving on to bigger and better things. HackCollege and a few others have assumed the responsibilities of the site. We've changed things around a little bit and are no longer posting weekly student blogging round ups. We are using it as a way to band together some of the best college blogs out there to argue for what we really want in sponsorships. So when you see the same awesome companies next year sponsoring your favorite college sites, you'll know why.

We also launched a new site called Discuss Campus. It's been a great success. It allows anyone to ask or answer college-related questions. We've already got a lively community over there and are looking forward to watching it grow. And I swear I will have the highest reputation.

Making a Name for Ourselves

One of the weirdest things that has been happening more and more is that we're slowly making a name for ourselves. No longer do we hide this blogging thing that we do. Hell, I've started bringing it up at parties. (The ladies aren't exactly swooning, but I'm working on my pitch.) More and more, people have started responding with, "Oh yeah, I know that site!" whenever we mention it. Some people have even recognized us in public for our work on the site. Weird. 

What were some of your favorite 2009 HackCollege moments? Leave us a comment!


Christmas in Two Infographics

Since we're in an infographic mood here at HackCollege (and since I've had nothing but free time for the last few days--family vacation...), I went hunting for some fun, Christmas-y infographics.

The Christmas season, as it turns out, is full of incredible and odd information and statistics: Oregon sells 6 million Christmas trees every year?!?!? Fake trees are WAY more expensive than the real ones??!?! Weird, people.

So, in the spirit of sharing, here are two awesome infographics that sum up pretty perfectly the Christmas season (click the image to enlarge them):

The Christmas Season: By the Numbers

Our Present Economy

 Lots of fun facts, no? What's your favorite cool thing about Christmas? And, if you find an infographic about Santa's Christmas Eve trip, which I know exists but is eluding me, post the link here! It's hilarious.

Merry Christmas, everyone!




College Partying and Tuition in America Infographic

Check out this infographic that Kelly found on a Fast Company blog. It makes the ole "college is a waste of money case." Take it with a grain of salt -- some flashy graphic design doesn't mean it makes a good point. 

Never let anyone tell you that college is too expensive. Especially with student loan interest rates so low, college is the single greatest investment you will ever make in your whole life. Over the course of your career, it'll pay you back 100-fold -- that's what I call a lifehack. Comparing starting salaries and partying habits doesn't change that. 

And take note of the negative tone for spending 9 hours a day "engaged with media and technology." We like to think that using your cell phone and a few social networks is a good thing -- it might even be your homework. 

Click to see the whole thing.


Click to read more ...


LG eXpo Phone Review

I was able to get my hands on the new LG eXpo, which has some pretty humorous commercials floating around the 'Net. It's biggest selling point is the "Pico Projector" that you can buy for it.

That's right: it's the first phone in existence that has a projector you can attach to it. Why would anyone need a tiny projector that projects a screen smaller than 4 feet? I don't know. If you find out, please tell me.

On the whole, I found the phone to be generally unusable due to the lousy touch screen on the thing. The keyboard is decent, but even the phone's fast processor is not fast enough to keep up with the sluggish Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system.

I recommend using you Christmas money to get something better, like an iPhone 3GS or a Verizon Droid.


We're Going to CES!

Slightly blurry but cool nonetheless photo by Revision3.

Although it may be the holidays, we're still hard at work. Right now, we're gearing up for the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We're setting up meetings and packing our schedules tight. At this rate I'm guessing we will probably review every single gadget there, twice.

If you have any gadgets you'd like our honest opinions on, shoot an email over to Stay tuned between January 6 and 10, because we will be releasing a crap-ton of videos.

We will also be winning a lot of money at the craps tables.


Before You Tag That Photo

Some poor guy at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse recently got an underage. He was caught in the act... though Facebook. Tyrell Luebker tagged photos of himself in an album titled "Not Sober Fest". He then accepted a friend request from a beautiful young girl named Jenny Anderson. Jenny was part of a police office scam to infiltrate underages profiles, and catch them in the act. 

Police Officers Set Up Facebook Account to Catch Underage Drinkers

It does't really matter how you feel about underage drinking, the message here is really about knowing who you're accepting as friends on Facebook. Don't accept anyone you don't know, no matter how hot their profile picture is.

What do you think about this guy getting caught? Comment below to share!


This Week's Best Questions on Discuss Campus - Dec. 19, 2009

Got a question? Ask it on Discuss Campus! Photo by flickr user quinn.anya

Well, the term is over for everyone by now (I hope!), but that still means the questions over on Discuss Campus keep rolling in. Here are this week's best:

What is a good way to start blogging as a student?

More and more of my friends are graduating and getting jobs blogging for big companies. What are some good ways I can start blogging myself? Is there anything that I should make sure to learn?

Best blogging platform for students?

There are so many to choose from. What offers the best range of options for a new student blogger?

What are some good Christmas present ideas for college students?

I was wondering what ideas everyone had for Christmas presents for college students. Answer both in terms of presents for friends (fellow college students) and in terms of presents from parents. Thanks!


That's It! Travel Safely!

That's it for the academic year, school-wise. Pay attention to HackCollege throughout the break.

Safe travels home!