Website makes group collaborations more convenient is generating buzz from University professors and use is growing quickly.

Alex Chebykin , Ben Fuglie and Shang Jiang were attempting to make strides with a group project Tuesday at Wilson Library, but they were delayed in their work when a final group member didnâÄôt show. When student schedules collide, it can be tough to work in groups, but a new website,, may make it easier. Wiggio, which was initially created over a year ago but wasnâÄôt officially released until January, allows students to create groups, communicate through instant messaging and upload and share files âÄî somewhat eliminating the need for groups to meet physically. The University of Minnesota is one of the latest schools to jump on the Wiggio bandwagon, and the number of University users is quickly growing, Dana Lampert, one of WiggioâÄôs founders, said. Lampert said the site has about 65,000 users nationwide right now, and they get about 1,000 new users every day. He said about 1,200 of the overall users are associated with the University, which is one of their fastest growing schools. Rogene Schnell , an instructional designer in the College of Biological Sciences, spread the word to fellow faculty at a seminar last week, and said she liked the versatility that Wiggio had to offer. âÄúItâÄôs not just for classes,âÄù she said. âÄúIt can be for any activity [students] are involved in.âÄù Director of Biology Sue Wick , who attended the seminar, is experimenting with the website for one of her classes by giving the students an option of using the website for course work. She said itâÄôs appropriate for her BIO 2002 class, since the course is mainly comprised of group work. âÄúIâÄôve spent a little while testing it out âÄî this seems like a more straightforward way of doing [work],âÄù Wick said. Chebykin, a pre-pharmacy sophomore, said it would be helpful for future group work. âÄúThat way we donâÄôt have to deal with situations like this,âÄù he said, referring to his truant group member. One thing Chebykin thought could be added to the site, however, was webcam access so students could communicate verbally, but not necessarily be in the same location. Up out of frustration Lampert , one of two Cornell University graduates that created the online resource, said he was heavily involved in college and grew irritated with trying to balance the obligations he had such as class project groups, campus committees and intramural sports, so he thought there should be a central location for him to keep track of all his groups. âÄúThe biggest benefit is that itâÄôs really easy to use,âÄù Lampert said. âÄúWe try to keep it really streamlined so that you never feel like itâÄôs overwhelming.âÄù Wiggio has drawn comparisons to sites such as Yahoo groups, Google groups, and Facebook groups, but Lampert says Wiggio tries to offer more functionality, which sets them apart. âÄúOur goal is really to be the easiest way to work in groups,âÄù Lampert said. âÄúThus far itâÄôs been a fun project, and we hope to continue to get interaction at the U of M.âÄù