TuftsText launched as GetchaBooks replacement
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 08:02
TuftsText, a new textbook price comparison website for Tufts students, was officially released last month by sophomores Anthony Cannistra and James Roseman. The decision to start up TuftsText was prompted when GetchaBooks shut down, according to Roseman.
Roseman said that the founders of GetchaBooks opened up their code to the public on the code−sharing website GitHub with the intention of sharing and spreading GetchaBooks after its closure. Roseman and Cannistra based TuftsText on the same code that the GetchaBooks founders created, according to Roseman.
“We both think the service is good and works really well,” Roseman said. “Anything that can save students money is a good thing.”
Roseman and Cannistra started developing the website on Jan. 10 after seeing that GetchaBooks had shut down that same night.
“I had no idea that GetchaBooks wasn’t going to open up in the spring,” Roseman said.
According to Cannistra, a biology and computer science major, he got the site running while Roseman worked on the TuftsText logo and started planning how they would approach the Tufts community.
“A lot of it was configuring and personalizing to make it our own,” Roseman said.
According to Roseman, the main difference between GetchaBooks and TuftsText is that the former served students at hundreds of universities, while TuftsText is currently only serving the Tufts community.
Roseman said that he and Cannistra hope to take TuftsText beyond the borders of the Tufts campus in the near future by expanding the service to other universities. However, according to Cannistra, they plan to set up several personalized sites at the schools they expand to instead of having one central site like GetchaBooks.
“I think it would be really cool,” Cannistra said. “It’s pretty easy to get it to work for other schools.”
In addition, Cannistra said that he and Roseman hope to partner with Boundless, a site that offers free textbooks, so that its listings would come up on TuftsText.
“We want our site to be the easiest and cheapest way to get books,” Roseman said. Thus far, they have had little trouble with TuftsText and plan to continue developing it this semester, according to Cannistra.
Ricky Mondello (LA ’12), one of the three creators of GetchaBooks, said he has been in touch with the founders of TuftsText via email and helped answer questions regarding the new website’s startup.
“I’m really happy to see it running,” Mondello said. “That warms my heart. I’m really excited to see what they do to make it more than GetchaBooks was.”
According to Mondello, he and the other co−founders had to close GetchaBooks because they would be unable to maintain the site once they had left the Hill.
“We are all out of college,” he said. “We wanted it to get better every year [but] couldn’t run it up to our standards.”
Upon graduating in 2012, the GetchaBooks founders had moved to different parts of the country, Mondello said. Unable to advertise at Tufts, they recruited Roseman to help with marketing by dispensing flyers in the fall 2012 semester.
“We knew that was going to be our last semester,” Mondello said. “We couldn’t keep up a college business when we’re not in college.”
Mondello said he is excited to see what is next for the founders of TuftsText.
“Learning how to program through GetchaBooks and helping save students money and running my first business was one of the best experiences of my life,” he said. “I’m really glad in shutting it down that someone else has the same opportunity.”