The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday June 29th

Pit Talk

"Oh Hey": UNC alum creates website for students to anonymously flirt

Imagine that you go to the same spot on campus every day and see that same one person. You
don’t know this person, but you feel some kind of connection. You exchange smiles and silently
flirt, wishing something more could happen. But it doesn’t.

UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus Taylor Kolasinski wants to make that connection happen for you.

“People fall for cute people on campus really hard really fast — not so much falling in love — but
if you see someone cute you feel that connection,” he said.

Last November, Kolasinski created Oh Hey, a social networking site for college students to
anonymously post flirtatious messages to other students at their school. After improving the site and responding to user feedback, Kolasinski said he hopes to have full log-in available for UNC-CH
students by the middle of this week — just in time for Valentines Day.

Kolasinski took the site down in mid December in order to respond to user feedback and put it
back up January 7. Currently, visitors to the site can post and see the national feed but cannot log

Kolasinski, 23, who graduated in December with a math and economics double major, said there
were times as a student when he would see attractive girls on campus but wouldn’t know how to
talk to them.

“I see this girl on the daily, we both smile every day but it just never happens, unless you’re at a
bar and you’re a little tipsy,” Kolasinski said.

“Oh Hey” has over 2,500 registered users, about 1,100 of which are UNC-CH students. The site requires a valid .edu email address to keep the creepers out, Kolasinski said. In addition to an alias, posters list a gender, time, date and location— presumably to make interactions easier to identify.

Students who are registered with a university email can privately message only students from
their university.

Kolasinski said he considers a total of 6 private messages exchanged between two people to be a “connection.” Twenty-four connections were made on “Oh Hey” in six weeks, he said.

“It’s not just anonymous posting,” he said. “We actually want to make these connections that should happen.”

Still, connections aren’t made for everyone.

In late November, Molly Pfordresher, a freshman biochemistry major, recognized a post on
“Oh Hey” that was about her, she said in an email. She had been telling a friend a funny story one
night on the P2P, and when she got back to her dorm, she saw the post on “Oh Hey”. A boy had
heard her story on the P2P and suggested they hang out. But Pfordresher never found out who
wrote the post and nothing came out of it.

Pfordresher said she likes reading posts and guessing who they were written by, but she wouldn’t
use “Oh Hey” to flirt with another student.

“I tend to be very old-school when it comes to flirting and dating, so I probably wouldn’t take a
guy seriously if this were his way of wooing me,” Pfordresher said.

Senior Stirling Little, who works at Alpine Bagel Café, said there have been multiple posts on “Oh Hey” about Alpine employees, which makes looking at the site fun.

Little even posted one himself, but he said he did it primarily to support Kolasinski, who is his
friend. He posted about a girl who was in the Alpine line while he was working, but he never got
a response.

But UNC students aren’t the only ones using “Oh Hey” to flirt.

For “Oh Hey” to launch at a university, the university has to meet a minimal user amount.

Universities which have met this amount — UNC, UNC-Charlotte, Washington State
University, Georgetown University and University of Oregon — will also be launched in the next
two or three weeks, Kolasinski said.

Kolasinski developed the site by himself and is currently the only person managing it, although
he said he might be taking a few interns. Originally from West Linn, Ore., he has recently been
visiting cities like San Francisco and Seattle looking for investments for engineers and offices.

He said he was inspired by missed connections on Craigslist, where people in town or city can
post flirtatious messages about people they’ve seen or interacted with but not made a connection with.

Kolasinski said he hopes the site serves both shy and outgoing students.

“It gives the confident a place to be witty, and it gives the shy an avenue to break out of their
shell,” he said.

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