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Business: Marcellus grad starts own business

By Jordan Bruna

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? For Cheyne Rood, who grew up in Marcellus and currently lives in Syracuse, that dream became a reality as of November of 2007 when he launched his very own website, www.dustjacketreview.com.

Rood describes Dust Jacket Review (DJR) as "a website where readers can connect with other readers, find great book reviews and excerpts, and express themselves with the books they love."

Rood, 25, after graduating from Marcellus High School in 2000, went on to Colgate University where he originally declared Computer Science as his major, but graduated summa cum laude with a major in Philosophy and History.

Rood said, "Here I am working with computers after all. Maybe I am a more philosophical web designer than most."

I sat down with Cheyne to ask a few questions about how he got his business started:

What lead you to create DJR?

"I couldn't find a place online that featured the things that made me love reading. When I read a great book, it comes to represent something really personal and meaningful. I wanted to build a community where people could talk about books in this light, and connect via the books they read."

How did you create DJR? What steps did you take?

"I first created a countless number of mockups of how I thought the site should look and function. I began reading about starting a web business and looking for a developer who could help make the concept a reality. Meanwhile, I studied to learn various programming and designing methods so I could take an increasingly active role in the development process."

What are the main attractions of DJR?

"We think of books as a great way to get to know someone. One of our main features is Shelf Comments. We challenge our members to boil their reading experiences into 1-2 sentences. Sometimes people remember a book for its place in their life, rather than its content -- the book serves as a memory of travels, loved ones, or a grade school teacher. A single Shelf Comment is interesting. An entire bookshelf worth of Shelf Comments creates a narrative about the personality, experiences, and interests of a person."

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