Dreamy Schools

March 29, 2006

Last week, The Princeton Review has released the findings of its “College Hopes & Worries Survey” based on data gathered from students and parents nationwide from August 2005 through February 2006.

In response to the survey’s question, “What ‘dream college’ would you most like to attend (or see your child attend) were prospects of acceptance or cost not issues?,” the schools students most named were:
1. NYU
2. Harvard University
3. Princeton University
4. Stanford University
5. Yale University
6. Brown University
7. Columbia University
8. Duke University
9. Cornell University
10. UCLA
The parents named:
1. Princeton University
2. Stanford University
3. Harvard University
4. University of Notre Dame
5. Duke University
6. Yale University
7. Boston College
8. Brown University
9. Cornell University
10. MIT

As you read over the winners, you may notice Cornell is the only rural school on the list.


250 Days of Mail

March 28, 2006

Although over 300 friend requests (in addition to 19 group and 14 event invites) were sent out during my 250 day retirement from Facebook, only two messages were sent.

On August 8, 2005, G.M. ’05 wrote:

I just wanted to let you know that I met your step-daughter Monica at Columbia University this past spring and she was mad chill. Tell her I say what’s up. Hope all is well with you after having stepped down from your position as President of Cornell, which, by the way I was very sad to hear because I had the hopes that you were gonna help change Cornell from becoming the huuuuge corporation it is becoming. toodles. -G*** aka G-money

The daughter mention sparked my curiosity. A search for Monica Lehman and Monica Okun turned up nothing on Facebook. Google was of no help either. I wonder how much truth is to this story.

J.F. ’07 wrote on December 12, 2005:

I know you’re Jewish, so I thought I’d express my emotions in only the way the ancient and poetic Hebrew language can:

מה קרה לך?! זאת היתה ההחליטה הכי טיפשה בעולם! אנחנו עדיין מאמינים בך. כל הכבוד ודרך אגב, אני חושב שזה הזמן להחליף את התמונה שלך.

fight the power!

Surprisingly, I could not find any functional Hebrew-English translation tools online. So much for that.

In addition to Facebook messages, two emails were received. Posting a functional email address on the profile proved to be a step not gone unnoticed.

First one came on October 27:

Dear Professor Lehman,
I hope all is well with you in DC, my name is Emily Kraus and I am currently an A&S freshman at Cornell. I just wanted to say, because I am also a patient of your friend Dr. Linda Waldman, and she spoke very highly of you, so I thought I would drop you a line. Are you in DC for the semester? or for the whole year? because I would love to meet with you at some point just to chat. Talk to you soon!
E*** K*** ’09

And the other came from D.W. on December 1:

Sir, there is still no Hunter Rawlings on thefacebook.com. Ignorant of how to create a fake facebook profile, I would request that you turn over the user/pass information to Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77 in order that it might be changed over to Hunter R. Rawlings III.

What say you?

Thanks for refreshing a point I made earlier and for the interesting proposition.

Skorton’s Rise

March 24, 2006

On March 24, 2005, the Yale Daily News published Josh Duboff’s “‘Poke’ your prof: faculty discovers thefacebook.com“. It starts off:

During a meeting in late January, University of Iowa President David J. Skorton mentioned jokingly that he had read about thefacebook.com, the popular online social network, in The Washington Post. He was curious as to what the Web site was all about. … Over a thousand friend requests and numerous “wall-postings” later, Skorton’s entrance into thefacebook.com community has caused quite a stir. Iowa students say they see the addition of Skorton to their “friends lists” as indicative of the close bond he has with the student body.

This was one year ago. Now Skorton is about to assume the presidency of Cornell University.

And almost one year before that, Jeffrey Sean Lehman joined Thefacebook. Since then, he was fired and exiled to Washington, DC. Or in official words, he resigned and took a sabbatical at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Two presidents. Two stories. One Facebook.

Facebook 2.0

March 16, 2006

Extra! Extra!

Top story at The Cornell Daily Sun Online (narrowly edging out “C.U. Prof Solves Sudoku”):
Students React to H.S. Addition to Facebook” by Rob Fishman

Roughly two years have passed since Facebook opened up its virtual doors at Cornell. Yet, somehow anything related to Facebook can still become a hot story. So much for the novelty wearing off.

All that aside, the story raises a good point:

While college students require a .edu email address to gain admission to the website, high school students, who do not have standard school addresses, can register for the site with their personal email. In the past, facebook.com has distinguished itself from sites like Myspace by requiring specific email addresses for confirmation.

The initial appeal of Facebook was its exclusivity. In its early days, only the top schools were part of its network. It slowly expanded to virtually every college in the nation. Now, anyone can join. Welcome to the new Facebook. Another MySpace/Friendster/Orkut clone.

250 Days and 250 Nights

March 15, 2006

250 days have passed since July 8, 2005, the day of the last post and the last time Jeffrey Lehman’s profile was modified. It was 250 days ago that I added the blog link to the profile and released this story to the public. Let’s quickly review what changed since then. Since I have the data logs anyway, I went back 500 days as well.

October 31, 2004 (500 days ago):
666 Cornell friends
2 friends at other schools

July 8, 2005 (250 days ago):
1616 Cornell friends
24 friends at other schools

Earlier today:
1489 Cornell friends
29 friends at other schools

Now (after approving the 318 accumulated friend requests):
1791 Cornell friends
45 friends at other schools

I guess things are really slowing down around here. The Lehman era is over.

By the way, if you add up the numbers, you may notice that 122 people were lost during the last 250 days. I wonder how many actually cancelled our beautiful friendship and are not due to the revised Facebook friend-counting formula. (Unless you are a true Facebook connoisseur, you probably never noticed back when Facebook was still Thefacebook, friend counts in “My Profile” and “My Friends” were not always equal. I would like to hope at least one showed the correct number.)

And speaking of new Facebook features, three new photos of Jeffrey Lehman were added. All of them completely real as far as I could tell. Impressive.

Finally, I apologize for the onslaught of boring numbers. Stay tuned for some great letters that were sent during this long break.

New Era

March 13, 2006

It has been over eight months since the last post was made. Much has changed since then. Exhibit A: Thefacebook is now just Facebook. Exhibit B: The next Cornell president was finally selected. There is really no need to keep going.

To sum it all up, I realized I could not quit this experiment. To celebrate a new beginning, the blog was moved from

Stay tuned for real posts in the very near future.