Started as a way for University of Michigan students to gossip during class, founder Dan Rich says he was inspired by the simplicity of sites like Texts From Last Night and FML when he built Syncronizer, a community where you can follow chat conversations about anything from “Jersey Shore” to “Econ 503.” In fact Rich brings up stealth startup BNTER, started by Texts From Last Night founders Lauren Leto and Patrick Moberg, as a possible competitor.
Here’s what I like about Syncronizer: Like Facebook, it’s another socializing platform germinating from hotbed of all social interactions, a college campus, and despite the fact a lot of the conversations degenerate into the usual fratty deliberations on boobs and beer, it seems as though there is something unique happening here.
The idea of following group chats instead of people is also novel, and socializing becomes more about tracking interests and less about individual personal nodes. You now have the ability to communicate with friends and strangers in both visible and invisible modes, and, in the case of “Econ 503″ some rooms are closed to non-members. The site bridges the gap between public and private so users can pick and choose which conversations to track through your dashboard.
The main difference between a Syncronizer chat and a normal group chat room is that Syncronizer chats stick around for a long time. That and simplicity of use, say Rich, “Everything on the site works with a single click- visibility/anonymity, tracking a room, restricting a room, etc.”
Rich says he was attempting to flip the Twitter model of following people on its axis, so instead of broadcasting updates to anybody and everybody, the conversation becomes the focus of the follow.
“So, for example, you might want a place to discuss plans or stories with a large group of friends you know very well. You could create a room and invite your friends, and restrict access so that only your friends can view it. But at the same time, you may want to also remain engaged in a public conversation about your favorite tv show.”
Self-funded, Rich’s future plans include improving the chat aggregator’s search functionality so users can better find rooms of interest to them, and developing ways that Syncronizer can further connect people with conversations that are relevant.