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 What's Your Topic?

This page was developed by:

 Jenny Meyer, Caitlyn Carr, Lauren Dermody, Mallory Wagner, Hanna Black, Courtney Troxel

 Stephanie Hobbs, Trista Roysdon, Yevgenia Yadrikhinskaya, Yekaterina Alexandrova, and Maria Shishigina

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YAZZEM Research Main Page
International Partner Communication Main Page

What is Yazzem and what does it do?

Yazzem is a free online message board center similar to the uses of Twitter. Yazzem allows anybody to create an account and begin posting topics to discuss online or join topics other people have already created. Like Twitter, Yazzem allows a user to post a status on anything. With Yazzem, a user can also start a discussion topic in the form of a question, idea, or thought, then friends can be invited to join the discussion or it can also just be opened up to the public. This is more than just a status, it is a way to share your thoughts with everyone around the world.

Who uses Yazzem?

Yazzem can be used by people of all age groups, but the most common people who use Yazzem are opinionated people in their early 20's or people who are familiar with the uses of online forums and blogs. Since this is a free application and open to the public, all that is required is an account. Anyone is free to sign up and begin posting thoughts and ideas onto forums and discussions. Yazzem can be incorporated in multiple ways in the educational and business fields as well. Teachers can use the application in their classrooms as part of daily journals, debates and other such ways.

I. History

Yazzem was founded on June 9, 2009 by Zachary Collins (Founder, CEO, and President) and Dustin Snider (Co-Founder). There are only three employees who are working for this company. The company’s headquarters is in Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, and  is privately owned.  Zachary Collins, the creator of the website, is a 14 year old who calls himself a “web geek”.  He loves to create websites and calls Yazzem his “most exciting project”. He also created which he then sold for $1850 in July 2009.6

Meet the Team:

Zachary Collins

Dustin Snider

Felipe Gomez

I1. Development

Yazzem is based off of the popular website Twitter, Yazzem allows users to create topics about anything that they want. The most popular topics right now are,Twitter, Skype, Itunes, and the weather. Others can then comment on your topic with their own thoughts and comments, in 140 characters or less. Yazzem is created so that “even a caveman could do it”. Although Yazzem is still very small, it is slowly growing and becoming more popular. Yazzem is currently ranked out of the top one million most visited sites on the internet.5

Vocabulary and terms used with Yazzem:

  • On the top of the website there are many different links that bring you to different parts of the website. The first one says 'Home'. When clicking on the home page one is brought to the main screen. From here one may post a status, see your topics, logout, or subscribe to other people.
  • Another link one may click on when on this website is 'Start New Topic'. After clicking on this one is brought to a page where one can control what their topic is, the privacy of the topic, the description of their topic, and some keywords. After one is done filling in these things, he/she can click done, and their topic will be posted.
  • When one clicks on the 'Search' link, the latest topics from the website come up. One may click on the topics, read through the replies, and add their own replies if desired. One can also search for specific topics.
  • After clicking on the link that says 'Mentions', one comes to a page that says if they were tagged in someone’s status or topic. If they were tagged in that status, then it will appear on this page with the specific topic or status.
  • If one clicks on the subscriptions page it goes to a page that shows people that you are “friends” with- subscriptions or people who are “friends” with you- subscribers. There is also a search box where one can search for a specific friend.

The Invite link at the top brings the user to a page where the user can invite his/her friends to use yazzem. The user can enter the person’s email who they want to use this site, and a direct email will be sent to that person. Also, the user of Yazzem can send out “tweets” on twitter to invite people to use Yazzem.

I2. How Does it work?

Below is a short tutorial on how to create your own Yazzem account. (video created by Yazzem team)

 Steps to Create A Yazzem Account: Listed below are screen shots of the steps needed to create your own Yazzem account. Follow each photo with the instructions listed on them and you will soon have your own account an ready to go!







(photos taken by Yazzem team)

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II. How does Yazzem relate to other applications?






Status updates

Friends only application

Individual profile

Send Private Messages

Word Limit


II1. Competitors

 Yazzem is closley related to Twitter, FriendFeed, and Myspace. Like Twitter
Yazzem and Twitter both allow you to upload photos, set a background, post topics and comments. Yazzem as well as Facebook and Myspace, allow you to create a personal profile and post a status message. Yazzem is now capable with mobile phone and Ipod touch users, just like many other of these other applications.

II2. Unique Uses

Yazzem is unique because it is more like a forum instead of just a status update.2 Users can also have their status' from Yazzem posted directly to Twitter, without having to sign on to their Twitter account.3 To do this, one must find the settings link in the left hand side of the screen. After clicking on it, one must go to the Twitter tab. After typing in your Twitter password and account name, your posts from Yazzem will be automatically updated to Twitter. Yazzem also has a link on their application that goes to their online merchandise store. Yazzem clothing and other items can be bought there. Yazzem is not a place to look for a relationship or look at pictures like Facebook or Myspace allows. It is strictly a place to look at others topics, find information from other's topics, and post your status updates or what you are doing.

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III. Real World Aplication

III 1. Educational Lesson Plans

Yazzem is an application that can be used in multiple ways in the classroom. It can be popular in the educational field because it is a free resource to the public. At the Elementary level, a teacher can create an account and create a private topic on his or her own profile. With access to a computer and the internet, the teacher can have students individually comment on the topic they created. This acts as a journal in a way and to develop thoughts from the students.
At the secondary and post-secondary levels, teachers can have their students sign up for their own Yazzem account using personal emails if available. The teacher can post a topic and invite her students to join the discussion. This can act as a journal or online discussion. It can also be used as a debate center depending on the level of the students.The privacy of Yazzem allows teachers to communicate with students without outside visitors adding or reading comments. That’s why Yazzem can reduce stress during educational process. Students can ask questions from home or anywhere outside the classroom.

i. Elementary

Description: This unit focuses on the study of solar system. The students will be put into groups and be given a planet to research. The groups will research in the computer labs about their planet. Each group will be given a Yazzem account to load their information they find on the topic. The groups will then get the change to look at other group’s topics and learn about all the planets. At the end of the week, the students will be graded on their information on Yazzem and participation on other group's topics.

Objective: Students know and understand the difference between the solar system planets. By the end of the project they will know facts about each planet with 90% accuracy. The students will comment on other group’s topics.



Description*: This lesson focuses on poetry. The students learn about different types of poetry and rhymes. Throughout the week the students will be keeping a poetry journal. Each day the class will learn about a different type of poetry and make their own poem in their journal. At the end of the week, each student will post their favorite poem they made onto their Yazzem account. The students can access other students’ accounts and read and comment on their poems.

Objective: *Students know and understand the different types of poems. Students will learn vocabulary of poetry. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the poetry type learned that day with 90% accuracy. 



Description: This unit focuses on the American presidents. The class will learn about the American presidents by choosing one president of their choice to research and post for the class to see on Yazzem. In the computer labs, the students will have the chance to research information and stories about their president. They will make a Yazzem account and post their information. The students will be able to see other student’s presidents and comment on their information.

Objective: *Students learn about the presidents. The students will have books and the computer lab open to them to research and post information on Yazzem.Students will demonstrate their knowledge of their president posted on Yazzem with 90% accuracy.


ii. Secondary

Description: The students will go to a green house and use a computer to learn about global warming. Then they get on Yazzem and answer some questions about it.
Objective:  After visiting and learning about a greenhouse, students will have an understandment of the Greenhouse Effect and be able to hold a discussion online and answer specific questions pertaining to the topic.

Description: The students will get in pairs and discuss what people need animals for, how the need has changed over time, and have questions to answer. Then students will use Yazzem to answer questions. Then write an essay based on the posts.
Objective: After learning about pets and responsibility, students will be able to write an essay based on Yazzem posts and information gathered from the online discussion.

Description: Students will be divided into groups and research a town of Ancient Greece. They will use Yazzem to post their findings on the town they are assigned. Then write a report on their findings.
Objective: After learning about Ancietn Greece towns, students will be able to write about different Ancient Greece towns and have an understanding on the different types of towns.

iii. Post secondary

Description: This section focuses on Russian zodchestvo architecture. Students will look up information about the style of Russian zodchestvo architecture. After collecting this information the students will have to make a drawing that represents the zodchestvo style. They will then upload their drawing to their Yazzem page. Now the class will be able to look at either others drawings and make comments on them. Students will be graded on their participation and the quality of the comments that they make about other students drawings.

Objective: After learning about Russian zodchestvo architecture, students will draw a house in Russian zodchestvo style with 100% accuracy or according to a requirement checklist and make quality comments on other student's drawings.

Description: In this lesson students will learn about all the different aspects of loans. The students will look up information about loans on the internet. Once they have gathered all the information that they need, students will post questions on Yazzem and use what they have researched to discuss their topic with their peers. The students will be graded on the quality of their discussions.

Objective: After learning about all the aspects of loans, students will participate in an online discussion on Yazzem about the aspects of loans with quality responses.

Description: In this lesson students will learn about the role of auditors. They will use the internet to research information about auditors. Once they have done this they will be asked to compare their information with other students in the class. Then they will log in to their Yazzem accounts and comment on the similarities and differences of information they had with other students. Once all students have participated in the online discussion they will have to write at least a paragraph about the information that they researched and their contributions to the online discussion.

Objective: After learning about the roles of auditors, students will comment on Yazzem and write a paragraph about auditors according to a writing rubric created by the teacher.

III 2. Business

 Like the classroom applications, Yazzem can also be used in the business world. Companies can use Yazzem during meetings or in place of meetings. Since topics can be made private, a company can have their own discussion on Yazzem only amongst certain people. This can be a great application used for global communication amongst different businesses. The discussions can be used to display important and new ideas at any time.

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VI. Demonstration of Educational Value

Yazzem is a simple Web 2.0 application that can be used as a discussion tool for educational purposes. Opening up discussions online will allow teachers to monitor student's feedback and allow other students to communicate and participate either in school or even outside of the classroom. While a teacher can use the Yazzem discussion board as a teaching tool, students can create their own groups pertaining to specific classes and discuss problems, concerns, etc., with other students. Moving outside of the classroom and working on the Yazzem account, students are engaging in educational learning just by communicating with other students who share similar ideas and concerns about specific topics. This allows communication amongst teacher and students to be more available and open and also to develop creative ideas that everyone can see. As for the instructors, it can become a quick way to receive feedback from their students whether it be from homework, an assigned reading or specific lessons that are discussed on the discussion forum. This is a process of engaging in social-learning and benefits many students who are afraid or shy away from participating out-loud in class. The teacher can use this as an alternate way of communicating with some students.4

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V. How is Yazzem used internationally?

 Yazzem allows every user to send messages to others in any country of the world. It is a very easy
way to communicate internationally. Through Yazzem, students can interact with other students from different countries. People could keep in touch with other people across the world, seeing what their relatives/friends are doing through their status updates or topics they generated. Although it is easily accessed anywhere internet is available, it is only available in English as of right now. Therefore, it might be hard for people who speak other languages to use this program. As this program grows, it may adapt into other languages and be more readily available for international and other language use.

Below is a map of the places where Yazzem is currently being used. As of right now, it is available in the major countries such as the United States, Asia, Canada etc. Yazzem can only be accessed by way of internet connection, so as more countries can access it, the more places it will show up.

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VI. Meet The Team

Jenny Meyer
  • Elementary Education Major
  • Jenny loves to spend time with her family and friends,bake and watch movies in her spare time.


Caitlyn Carr
  • Elementary Education Major
  • Caitlyn loves to go to her lakehouse and dance in her spare time.



Stephanie Hobbs
  • History Education
  • Stephanie loves running and listening to music in her spare time.



Courtney Troxel
  • PE and Health Education
  • Courtney likes to read and spend hours on Facebook in her spare time.



Lauren Dermody
  • Math Education Major
  • Lauren likes to travel and watch movies in her spare time.
    Trista Roysdon
  • Special education major
  • Trista likes to read and spend time with her fiance.

Hanna Black
  • Elementary Education
  • Hanna likes to be with friends and play volleyball in her spare time.

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VII. References

1.Brusilovsky, Daniel.31 August 2009."Yazzem Launches Version 2; Improves Latest Activity Among Users."

2. Dustin Sniders- Personal email
3.Collins, Zachary.28November 2009. Blogs. 4. Google Sites. Educational Value of HotSeat As A Classroom Engagement and Learning Tool. Hotseat.Retrieved from 5. (2008). Yazzem. Retrieved from 6. (2007). Interview With Zachary Collins. Retrieved from

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