AOL India Launches online and mobile-web portal CoolAge

Bangalore: AOL India has launched an online and mobile-web product for Indian colleges called CoolAge. This web, mobile product and platform allows each colleges to publish articles, stories, pictures and videos of all the activities that happen in their respective colleges.

CoolAge was borne out of a research that AOL India conducted last year with young Indians in 18 cities seeking to find out their internet / mobile web consumption pattern and their need for hyper-local content. The research findings pointed out the gap in the market place for authentic and trusted content of Indian colleges particularly in the non-academic achievements area.

Growing healthily CoolAge now has more than 185 colleges on its website including several top colleges in the country namely IITs, BITS, Madras Christian College, IIMs, LSR, St. Stephens, Xaviers, National Law School of India, St. Johns Medical College, Christ University, etc. More than 250 student reporters across India from Mumbai to Kharapur, Hisar & Pilani to Chennai & Coimbatore have taken this as a huge learning and earning opportunity with AOL India.

Students from each college who are editors of their college pages upload content and information daily regarding myriad of events including a build up to a cultural festival, a debate, a Model United Nations event, a theatre, an arts performance, a rock concert, profiling great professors, a famous alumni. The setting of such events varies from the classroom to the auditorium and from the canteen to the sports field.

Speaking about its origin, Parathasarathy Madhukar of AOL India says, “The name is a word play for “college” and also plays on eras like Stone Age and Ice Age – now we’re in the CoolAge – the college years that are perhaps the coolest period in most people’s lives.”

Madhukar further added, “Our research showed us that there are 43 million college students in India and college extra-curricular activities are core to every college student’s life. Colleges have very talented students, cultural committees, sub-committees, sponsors, budgets and an all year calendar planned for all their non academic activities but these activities go unnoticed by most people as there isn’t enough coverage or content about them. Some of the top institutions and colleges are lucky to get media coverage but most of the colleges in India go under the radar. But for students, representing their college in an extracurricular activity or going up on stage, is such a big achievement and we want to capture and spread that glory – this is how CoolAge was born – College life on the go, By, For and Of the Students.”

Be it a college debate, quiz, theatre festival or a music gig, paper presentation CoolAge provides students and colleges an opportunity to present news and goings on their campuses. Madhukar says, “CoolAge also empowers students by providing them training on the latest publishing systems and technologies, creating workshops for marketing, e-learning and conducting corporate speaker sessions.”

CoolAge is also an online college magazine for every college and brings together all these colleges under one website, enabling the students to track other colleges’ activities across India from anywhere in the world. The editorial teams from colleges, prolific student writers, and students with a creative streak, have signed up on the platform to cover campus activities, news, buzz and events from their colleges.

Through CoolAge, AOL India has also created job opportunities for hundreds of students. Added Madhukar “The selected students from each of the colleges are taken in as interns who contribute articles regarding their respective colleges, on a regular basis. These students are paid a monthly stipend. We also recognise students for their passion and pride for their colleges, and have an award called the “Knight Writer” which is given to the best performing student.”

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