The site, located at http://www.
campusgroups.com, allows visitors to view the bar area of Michael Jordan's 23 restaurant on West Franklin Street via webcam during its business hours.
University Directories, the locally based company that manages the site, is looking to expand its efforts so site visitors can eventually view popular student hangouts in college towns nationwide.
The idea of using webcams in public places surrounding universities is relatively new, said Anne Hutchinson, a former public relations intern for University Directories. Hutchinson said campusgroups.com provides various services to more than 244 universities and eventually hopes to place webcams near many of them.
"Chapel Hill is the only one using the webcam so far," Hutchinson said.
Bob Jordan, president of University Directories, said he is looking to expand the use of webcams in public places, both locally and nationally. Jordan said the company is in the process of looking at other popular student hangouts in Chapel Hill.
"We are looking into putting a webcam in a fitness location," he said.
For now, UNC is being used as a test market to see what the reaction of students will be. But Jordan said he thinks everything is working well for the moment.
Hutchinson said the webcam has become useful to UNC students.
"Students are able to see what others are wearing before they actually head out," Hutchinson said.
Jordan said the inspiration to have webcams in Chapel Hill came from student suggestions.
"The idea came from students interviewed from 24 universities," Jordan said. "We found out that students wanted to see what goes on at popular hangouts before they actually went out."
Jay Daly, the general manager of 23, said Carolina students and fans can also log on to keep up with the latest in sports.
"On Thursday evenings from seven to eight, Matt Doherty and Woody Durham present a basketball question-and-answer show from the bar area," Daly said.
Daly said he loves the new webcam system, which was installed more than a month ago, and the slight increase it has caused for business.
"The webcam has helped the restaurant a little bit, but we have not had it long enough to see the real effects."
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