Add to the list of Princeton undergraduate start-ups: FuLumail.com, an anonymous email server launched this year by sophomores Ash Egan and Jason Adleberg and junior Bobby Grogan.
After a brief hiatus during which the site was closed for reconstruction, FuLumail is once again up and running, allowing users to continue their slew of anonymous communication in the form of brief textual messages, now with the feature of adding photos and videos.
“What we envision … is a sort of news feed/message board where people can post whatever they’d like about whom or whatever they’d like, with a ratings system and a flagging system in place to moderate content,” said FuLu creator Ash Egan.
These young entrepreneurs have harnessed the whirlwind of emotions that thrives on a college campus and created a catalyst through which we can finally confess our most secret sentiments without fear of revelation.
In addition to receiving a personal notification, a FuLu recipient can also browse the site for the ‘Most Recent’ and ‘Most Popular’ FuLus. This public element contributes to the website’s intended purpose, spelled out in the masthead: “Mainstreaming Anonymous Emotions.”
The 125 pages of messages vary from little love letters to curt requests for hygienic improvement. To date there have been around 450 FuLus sent (they had to delete a few) since its March 15th launch. The originators came up with the idea in November 2011, after winning the annual Princeton Pitch competition, convincing a panel a judges to vote for their project in less than 60 seconds.
Yet despite the blog’s title, an acronym for “Fuck You; Love You,” the creators insist that they have no intentions of harboring a hate mail site. “Anonymity is a very powerful thing; certainly it be can used for good, but often it’s used for bad — for cyberbullying, and we really don’t want anything to do with that.”
Regardless of the criticism, the masterminds behind the site have generated much excitement and publicity, from Facebook promo and celebrity Twitter shout-outs, to the distribution of 200 good ol’ fashioned bumper stickers. And, in the case of Grogan, an alleged Jersey Shore habitué, the FuLu hype has resulted in his shirtless appearance on Ivy League-oriented blogs , perhaps redefining the image of the typical preppy Princetonian?
While we may not boast the graduate responsible for a certain Social Network (site and movie), at this rate, there is no telling how far FuLu will go. At least, they have yet to face a lawsuit …