"Poking"--a new 21st-century form of the childish practice perfected by generations of bickering siblings--is quickly becoming the latest buzzword on college campuses. More than 1 million current and former students from coast to coast reportedly are swept up in the digital phenomenon created by thefacebook.com, an online user's circle that is part popularity contest, part social encyclopedia.

Created by a group of friends and former roommates at Harvard University last February, thefacebook.com gives students at participating universities an opportunity to cultivate new relationships via the web, weigh in on the latest gossip across campus, and keep track


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