Corkshare: Alumni Jump into the Social Media Fray

Call Cleveland-based Corkshare LLC Case Western Reserve University's contribution to the social media landscape. Case Western Reserve senior Jim England and alumnus Tim Gasper were among the university's students and alumni who founded the startup in 2008. They believe fruitful discussions are best conducted in the confines of small, ad hoc groups, not the sprawling, massive Facebook-style discussion boards.

"We believe the small group is a niche that could prove very popular," England says. "What we've created is an online collaboration tool set that is designed to be very easy to use."

England adds that Corkshare—which puts a digital spin on the traditional bulletin board— stands as a for-instance of positive exchanges occurring in an online venue. He adds that, at least in the testing phase, the need never arose to ban even one user. Civility, for the most part, has won out.

"It's been a very well-behaved group," England says