Making Moves: Ben Bator, Texts From Last Night

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By Rosemary Dorsett > Senior > Journalism > University of Maryland
It’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday and you’re waking up to a pounding headache, pizza on the floor and your phone’s empty outbox. Uh oh, do you know where your texts are?

Chances are Ben Bator does. The co-founder of Texts From Last Night has been collecting up to 15,000 texts a day for over a year. He’s already showcased them in a book and is working with FOX on a new TV show. Bator and his classmate Lauren Leto, started TFLN in February 2009 with one mission: to prolong their college career as long as possible.
Before TFLN, Bator graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Advertising and was offered a scholarship to law school. Leto, also a MSU alumna, was already in law school and living in the Detroit area when the two started the website.
“We pretty much graduated and realized we didn’t really love what we had to put up with out of school,” Bator said.
The two regularly exchanged crazy texts from last night before realizing they had enough material to dedicate an entire site to it. At first, Bator and Leto used Facebook statuses, a fan page and Twitter to market TFLN, which quickly garnered a college cult following.
Last June, Bator and Leto were offered a book deal. “That’s when we realized, okay this could actually be something where we might have a career in doing Internet based businesses,” Bator said.
This texter isn’t anxious to get back grad school. “I think there’s a lot more that we can do with TFLN,” Bator said. “Also, this is so much more fun than sitting in a library crying because I have an exam in two days. So yeah, I’ll keep doing this.”

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College Magazine Staff

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