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Website shares comedic Cambus stories

BY NICOLE KARLIS | OCTOBER 12, 2009 7:20 AM

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First, there was FML. Then texts from last night.

Now, UI students can swap juicy campus stories on a new website: Overheard on Cambus.

When a Cambus ride turns hilarious — usually after a passenger loudly dilvulges his personal life — UI music graduate student Jonathan Allen’s new website provides a forum for sharing the story.

“The ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I just heard that kind of thing,’ ” said Allen, the creator of OverheardonCambus.com.

Roughly a month ago, the 28-year-old created the site, where eavesdroppers post ridiculous conversations they have heard on the Cambus.

He developed the idea after a suggestion from his friends, who were talking about crazy dialogues they had heard.

“I just did it because my friends were like, ‘Oh I wish there was a website like this,’ ” he said.

After creating the website, Allen sent the link to his friends, who either Tweeted it or posted it on Facebook, he said. The website received around 300 hits the first day, and the first week drew in about 15 submissions per day.

One post, dated Oct. 5, recounts a conversation among a trio of girls. “I only had one meal today, and I didn’t have ANY yesterday,” one says. “That’s so great!” another replies. “You could totally get rid of your meal plan,” the third says.

Allen is the only webmaster who posts the tips he receives on the website, and he said he’s shared them all — with the exception of some that have been edited for language.

While the submissions are anonymous, a name usually appears in the person’s e-mail, he said. Still, he doesn’t know who most of his informants are.

“I think a lot of posts are from actual or former Cambus drivers,” Allen said.

But Tyler Olson, a UI senior and Cambus driver, said he hasn’t submitted any posts and doesn’t know of any other drivers who have.

“I haven’t really heard anything,” Olson said. “I haven’t heard my boss talk about it, or people I’ve worked with.”

However, Olson admitted he’s visited the site frequently, adding he thinks its humorous and something he can relate to.

“I’ve had a couple stories, funny stuff that’s happened on my bus,” Olson said.

Allen agreed that because the site is focused on the local campus, the UI community can connect to the stories.

“It’s something people know,” Allen said. “It makes it more real.”

And students around campus are buzzing about Overheard on Cambus.

“It’s funny,” said UI sophomore David Myers. “I may make a post in the future.”

And Myers isn’t the only student who revels in the witty website.

“I think it’s a great site,” said UI sophomore Jake Winter. “You can actually relate to it being an Iowa student and from your past Cambus rides.”

As for the creator, he said he plans to continue bringing funny Cambus stories to UI students.

“As long as people are enjoying it, I’m happy to do it,” Allen said.


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