Besides being the funnest web site in the whole world, the online Mask is also a useful tool, both to students and faculty/staff on the Walla Walla College campus and to friends of the college who need to contact someone on our campus.
The online Mask has these primary functions:
This is perhaps the most important function of the Mask and probably the reason it was invented. The Mask is a directory, providing information such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses for almost everyone in the Mask. And, although a printed resource like the printed Mask is guaranteed to be out-of-date a few days after it is published, the online Mask can be kept more current than you can even imagine...as long as people like you remember to log in and update their profiles whenever they move or change phone numbers.
Have you ever met someone and then later forgotten their name? I have. It's hard to look someone up and call them if you don't know their name. That's why the online Mask features an advanced search that lets you search based on other parameters that you might remember about them, such as their hair color, gender, whether they were wearing glasses, high school, or class standing.
Perhaps all you can remember about this person is that their home town is somewhere in California and that they like spicy food. Assuming they actually specified the state of California in their home address and specified "Spicy foods" as one of their favorite foods, it shouldn't be too hard to track down who that person is. And if we end up adding a "Least favorite food" field, you could also narrow down your search for that one peson who you recall saying that they can't stand guacamole on their burritos (how this is possible, I don't know, but apparently not everyone likes guacamole).
Another feature that will be quite helpful (if we add it) for finding out people's names who you've met is allowing students to specify their on-campus employer. Then if you remember that someone works in the SAC, at the DX, for campus sound, for IS, for security, at grounds, or wherever, you can look them up that way and learn their name!
Or if someone calls your phone and doesn't leave a message, you can use caller ID and the reverse phone number lookup to see who it was.
It's always nice to be able to greet someone by name when you pass them in the hallway or see them in class. And since we're privileged to be at a small school like this, we can afford to learn the names of just about everyone on campus, if we so desire. Aimed at making your experience at Walla Walla College more personal, the Mask is here to help you attach faces to names and vice versa. One good way to do this is to just go to the list of all WWCians and to randomly jump to different people's profiles for a while, using our "random mode". You can also (soon) narrow down your face-name learning goals to a particular group by loading the list of people in I Cantori or in your math class or the list of senators. In the near to distant future, you will also see such a thing as a face recognition quiz, which could be pretty fun.
When you first meet someone, what are the first questions you usually ask them? "What's your name? What's your major? What year are you? What classes are you taking? How do you like them? What dorm are you in? Want to go play racquetball?" With the Mask, you won't have to waste time asking all those questions, because most of the answers can be found in the Mask.
Who knew that Melody Guardado is into street racing, that Crissy Meharry is an SM this year, that Jason McGill appreciates Hindustani music, or that Bruce Johanson is a fan of Indian food? I know I certainly wouldn't have known all that if it weren't for the Mask!
So you like biking? Did you know that there are 30 other people at WWC who feel the same way? You like Mexican food? So do 439 other people here! Trying to find someone to practice your German with? Look no further than to one of the 15 German minors here (who would probably be German majors, too, if they hadn't dropped the German major here--but I'm not bitter)!
We are also a sort of matchmaking service. Not only will we help you find a date (see below), we'll also help connect you with a potential roommate, connect you to a ride home for Christmas, connect you to people who've taken the classes you're planning on taking, connect you to the books you need, connect you to your senator and your senator to all the people in your districts, or connect you to the kind of people who like the kind of food you're making for Sabbath lunch so you know who to invite over.
We'll hook you up! ... Well, not really. But we'll make it easier. We'll provide the list of people who say they're available. You choose one that looks interesting. We provide you with the phone number. You do the rest.
We might even come up with a more elaborate system of matching people up (i.e., the mythical Date Finder), but we're still trying to figure out how that might work. Interested in a blind date service? More detailed personality profiling and matching services? What would be both effective and fun?
Any thoughts/ideas on this topic would be appreciated!
What's fun about the online Mask? Try..
The following is a list of some of the new features we are considering adding to the mask during the school year.
We might add a least favorite food, least favorite music, least favorite hobby, etc. to compliment the existing selection of favorite food, music, hobbies, etc.
Even more room to list your hobbies/interests
For those of you who have more than six.
Face Recognition Quiz
See how well you know your classmates! Or, if you don't know anyone, at least you'll sort of feel like you know them after you can flawlessly match names and faces of everyone on campus!
Hierarchical Hobby (and other) Trees
This would let you do such things as search for all people with a hobby of Sports and it would return people who put Soccer, Hockey, or Baseball as their hobby.
Most Viewed Profiles
This feature would let you view a list of the top five most viewed profiles for the current day. The list is reset every 24 hours. This is a more fair way than listing the most viewed profiles of all time, because it gives more people a chance to be famous.
Fuzzier Searching: Allow Approximate Spellings (Soon)
Nobody can spell Dennis's last name (Huynh) correctly. So why should we require people to? We want to let you spell it Win or Hwin or Wyhn or just about any way you want so that, with a little imagination, it could be said to somewhat resemble Huynh's name, and it would still take you to his profile page. Or, what if someone told you their name was "Carrie" but she didn't spell it for you? Then it could be Carrie or Kerry or Keri or Kari or or or... How would you know which of these spellings was the right one? With parents these days coming up with creative spelling variations like Ashleigh, Ashlee, and Ashlie, you just can't be certain that "Ashley" is really Ashley.
What you want is a system that is more tolerant of spelling mistakes! This would be similar to how you can misspell a search term in Google and it will ask you, "Did you mean ___?" Yup, sort of like that. Only different.
This feature would automatically search people who are in one of the single relationship statuses and return a person based (at least partially) on criteria you specify. It might also use the new personality type field to find a better match.
Geographic Map View
This view would start you out at a world map with markers indicating everywhere that at least one student has indicated as their home address. You could then drill down to a country view and even a state view to see more detail.
For a list of older changes, check out the change log archive.
For a list of other planned features, hang on. We might declassify that document eventually ... Or we might not; there is always that possibility. For a list of bad ideas and other silly things, check out the page of shame.
If you find a bug: There is a bug database (sort of like Bugzilla, only it's Mantis, not Bugzilla) available for reporting/tracking bugs. Before you submit a bug report, you can check to make sure it hasn't already been submitted by someone else. You can check back later to view the status of a bug. You can also e-mail us about bugs you find, 'cause Mantis can be kind of intimidating if you're not very nerdy.
Please send all other communications--including questions, feature requests, and general comments--to our e-mail account.