BY: ADAM TURNER
To be or not to be?
Sometimes that’s a loaded question when it comes to relationships. When seeking the advice of friends and family for the answer, certain partialities are certain to stand in the way of brutal honesty.
Thankfully, one clever Eastern student may have found a way around this with his new website Break Up Vote.
“I always noticed that any relationship advice that you ever get from anyone seemed like it was biased toward you no matter what,” said Andrew Pennington, 23, business major from Corbin. “It was always, ‘They were a bad person; you didn’t do anything wrong; they suck; you’re so much better than that.’ And I thought that maybe there was a pretty good chance that just wasn’t always the case. Maybe you needed some unbiased advice from an anonymous source where you could be anonymous too.”
Shortly after, Break Up Vote was born. The premise of the site is simple: Post anonymously about your relationships, your concerns and your complaints, and visitors then vote on your situation. A whole heart means stay together, a broken one means it’s time to let your lover go. The votes add up to help you make your decision.
“I’ve always considered it as a kind of crowd sourced Dear Abby call or letter to your hometown paper, that’s been my tagline,” Pennington said. “You can think of it in terms of Reddit’s up or down vote. It just counts your votes instead of ranking them in significance.”
Pennington said the project has been entirely his from the start.
“I did it all myself,” he said. “I don’t know much about coding and programming or anything like that, so I basically used a WordPress template, found people who had already developed plugins for it and used the limited knowledge I had to change the code to suit my needs, which were pretty simple.”
Three months later, the site has seen great success.
“I’ve had a ton of discussion about it on Reddit,” Pennington said. “When it first came out, it had about 5,000 visits in like a week. I’ve had around 30 people sign up to actually be members and had an incredible amount of people vote on each situation.”
Throughout its infancy, Pennington has taken special measures to make sure it remains up to par.
“I’ve been really working on tweaking it so it looks awesome on every operating system,” he said.
Though it may seem surpriseing to some that a site developed by one of our own at Eastern has taken off, Pennington has had experience in this field. Previously, he developed a niche-specific classifieds and auction marketplace geared toward people selling business materials called Contractor Yard Sale.
“I’m still doing that, but I’m considering relaunching it now,” Pennington said. “I’ve had it offline working on some stuff with it, so I’m trying to think on a different approach.”
Until then, however, Pennington gets to play matchmaker and home-wrecker in equal measure with his creative and intriguing new project.
Check out the website at www.breakupvote.com and sign up for an account today.