As part of our Curious Cornhuskers initiative, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “What is the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s website called Planet Red, and what is its purpose?”
According to Bob Crisler, director of internet and interactive media for University Communication, Planet Red allows students, staff and faculty to change their avatar for the UNL Directory. Planet Red, he said, has been around for 10 years and was set up as a minor check to make sure individuals changing their avatar were a part of the UNL system and not frauds.
There was a social feature on Planet Red called “The Wire” that was used as a communication platform for anyone with an NUID number, according to Leslie Reed, public affairs director for University Communication.
According to Crisler, “The Wire” originally only allowed access to people with NUIDs as a way to hold students and others accountable for their messages, as well as to keep non-UNL affiliates from posting. However, Crisler said that control was diminished over time due to software upgrades.
Crisler said he and his team decided to shut down the “The Wire” at the end of January due to the inability to monitor the messages being posted.
“The Wire” was also disabled because not enough students were using it, Reed said. Crisler and his team thought it was unnecessary to keep using their resources to monitor and maintain the messages being sent.
According to Reed, Planet Red now only exists to let UNL students, staff and faculty change their avatar for the directory.