More than 5,000 current or soon-to-be alumni/ae have already registered for E-Mail Forwarding for Life, and an on-line directory of MIT graduates is also now available from Alumni Network Services (ANS).
The new e-mail service, which started on January 31, gives registered MIT graduates a permanent "@alum.mit.edu" e-mail forwarding address with which users can send and receive e-mail from former classmates and other friend and relatives.
ANS hopes more 1997 graduates and alumni/ae will register this week at the table in Kresge lobby on Thursday from 9am-3pm and Friday from 1:30-4pm. By registering now, departing students can have their Athena account mail transferred without interruption, without ever having to notify correspondents of a new e-mail address. This way, "you don't lose the network of people you established when you were here," said Jason Slibeck (SB '91), who heads the E-Mail Forwarding for Life project.
With the on-line directory (which has only limited functionality at this point), graduates can see what other alumni/ae have registered with ANS. They can then click on a name, which brings up a window for sending an e-mail message to that person.
Replacing the hefty Alumni/ae Register book with an electronic version is not imminent, since it contains so much data that Information Services must install a more powerful server to hold it. The on-line directory is also available only to alumni/ae; ANS is working on making it available to the wider MIT community, but several policy and privacy issues must first be resolved, Mr. Slibeck said.
By early August, ANS also plans to offer real-time discussion forums similar in function to an e-mail listserver, although the Web-based system will use a central server.
Alumni/ae can register with ANS and obtain more information about its services by visiting the Web site at <http://web.mit.edu/alum/ans>, or calling Maggy Bruzelius, ANS director, at x3-8260.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 4, 1997.