Outlook: Ohio University News & Information

Computer science student launches top-150 Web site

Imgur site makes image sharing easy 
Mar 5, 2010
By Mary Reed

Ohio University senior Alan Schaaf has developed an image-sharing Web site that is one of the top 150 most-visited sites in the United States.

According to Alexa Internet, Imgur.com* (pronounced "imager?) is ranked evenly with reuters.com and just above overstock.com within a year of its launch. The site attracts 18 million views daily and allows users to post photos and other digital images on the Web. It is similar to services offered by flickr.com and Facebook, but Imgur does not require a login or for anyone to be online friends in order to share photos.

"There are many other sites out there that do the exact same thing that my site does, but they're all sort of missing the point, which is to get your picture on the Internet as quickly as possible without any hassle," said Schaaf, a computer science major. "My site became popular because it's very simple to upload a picture; it takes about one second. You select a picture and you click continue and it's up."

Schaaf is just breaking even on the site, with donations, advertising and professional subscriptions keeping it afloat. But he is considered so successful at scaling up (going from zero to 18 million views a day within a year) that he has been invited to be a panelist on the topic at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival that will be held in Austin, Texas, in March.

"When Alan told me that he was asked to interview for a job at Google and Facebook, I was speechless," said David Juedes, associate professor of computer science. "Jobs at those companies, number one and number two in Web traffic, are so coveted that being asked to interview with them almost never happens."

Entrepreneurship is hardly new to Schaaf, who at the age of 16 started his own computer repair business. He visited client's homes "like the Geek Squad, but only better," he noted.

At his alma mater, Granville High School in Ohio, he built all the computers piece by piece and then worked on a team to install software and set up labs.

Despite the Facebook and Google interviews, Schaaf hopes to turn Imgur into a full-time job after graduating in June.

"Hopefully, when I get some income from (Imgur), I can travel around the world and work on it from wherever I am," he said.


* Following this link takes you outside Ohio University's Web site.


Published: Mar 5, 2010 5:14 PM

Alan Schaaf

Alan Schaaf


Search Outlook

Share this story
Email To:

A valid EMAIL TO address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.
Email From:

A valid EMAIL FROM address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.

 Top stories

Feb 4, 2003
Residence halls conserve and recycle
Feb 5, 2003
E Street to Late Night: An evening with Max Weinberg
Feb 17, 2003
Kenner Bush receives prestigious Founders Citation
Wilfred Konneker receives prestigious Founders Citation
Mar 5, 2003
The Local Girls to perform at Ohio University Lancaster Campus
Sep 2, 2003
Local artist Ora Anderson featured on WOUB's 'Afternoon Edition'

Sign up for emergency text messages.
Outlook welcomes your feedback, news items and story ideas
Share comments about the site
Submit an announcement
Share a faculty, staff or departmental achievement

Subscribe to the Outlook listserv

Tel: 740-593-2200    Fax: 740-593-1887   E-mail:
All Rights Reserved