A new TCU-centric website created by senior graphic design major Tito Soto and his staff launched recently. The website, Zabyte (pronunced zuh-bite), is an “everything college” site and is sure to make an impact in the TCU community, Soto said.
After working for parodic news website The Skiffler for a year, Soto said he saw more potential than pure satirical news.
The Skiffler and Soto disagreed on expansion, so Soto said he decided to go out on his own.
Soto wanted his website to be more than just news, he said.
He said he envisioned a website with college-themed content created specifically for TCU.
The localization would provide the TCU community content they could relate to, Soto said.
The project’s conception began in January, Soto said, but it wasn’t until May that he began working on Zabyte.
Soto purchased the Zabyte office space June 1st and began programming. TCU alumni Johnny Subash and Steve Rupp worked with him on the project.
Johnny Subash, the business development manager, managed all business aspects of the company including employees, advertising and expansion.
Creative Director Steve Rupp , managed articles, wrote and edited satire, and handled the creative layout of the website. Soto said he oversaw programs, communicated with venues, and expanded the future of Zabyte.
Soto said the website was constantly evolving to better serve the TCU community. Soto said he and his staff had many more pieces they were looking forward to adding to the Zabyte machine.
Zabyte will include a late-night food delivery option as of next week, Soto said. They will deliver fresh baked cookies, study snacks, sodas and coffee anywhere on campus, 7 days a week, from 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
As long as someone ordered within 5 miles of the campus Soto said they would deliver it all within 20 minutes.
Soto and his team also plan to include a classified section, he said. Their idea is similar to TCU Announce but will function more like a Craigslist for TCU students, Soto said.
Along with the upcoming additions, Soto said they planned to add buy-back book programs as well as offer discount concert tickets and NBA tickets to TCU students. Students who buy the tickets from the Zabyte website can have them delivered 2 to 3 days before the event.
Next semester, Soto and his staff said they wanted to expand the sports section. They planned to include interviews and coverage of all TCU sports.
“ESPN covers football and baseball, that’s it,” Soto said. “We want to be there for the students. We love the school, students love the school, and they want to know what’s going on.”
Soto said he planned to expand the site to other schools, including Penn State and A&M, but he would rather work slowly to evolve instead of rush.
“We’re going slow right now,” Soto said, “that’s why there’s only three parts on the website. ”
The website has already received 11,000 page views and 950 visitors to the site.
In the next few months, Soto said he and his staff planned to make Zabyte well-known on the campus and make it an integral part in the TCU community. What separates Zabyte from similar projects that have come to campus is their professionalism, Soto said.
“What’s going to make us different […] why are we going to succeed as opposed to everyone else is because we’re trying to make our [website] as sustainable and professional as possible,” Soto said.