The (Recent) Alum Web Start-up Tour: Chime
Over the next few weeks, BlogDH will be guiding you through the wonderful world of recent alum web start-ups. First stop, Chime.
Sick of the mindless musings of Twitter? Hating on the Halloween photo influx on Facebook (actually, scratch that. Everyone loves those albums). Chime is a new social media platform intended to leverage social networking and actually bridge the gap to real life so you can do cool things … together! It is a startup organization founded by Drew Durbin ’08, John Cockrell ’08, Lincoln Quirk ’08, and Pete Drinan ’11, all Brown grads, all cool alums (they just couldn’t all fit in the title). BlogDH is hookin’ you up with an interview and some fun facts, after the jump.
What is Chime (mychime.com) and what makes this new and different from all of our other social networks? Chime is a place to share ideas and make them happen together in the real world. For example, you might chime “anyone want to go to dinner this week” or “play basketball this weekend?” If you get enough friends interested, then you plan the details of the event together without the messy back and forth of text messages or endless email chains. By facilitating the sharing of ideas, Chime makes more things happen offline and helps people discover new friends and adventures in the process… We’ve had almost 1,000 chimes posted since we launched last month. From go-karting in Seekonk to study breaks over pizza in the Sci Li, Chime is making awesome events happen at Brown.
What is the weirdest event you’ve seen chimed? Chime has definitely been used in ways we never expected. Two of the best from our feeds:
- A late night Taco Bell run in which the creator tried to entice his friends into joining by listing out a large portion of their renowned menu.
- Coordinating smoke-ups. Uh, I mean…study sessions.
What is the most common chime? “Anyone want to hit up Chicken Finger Friday?”…and it’s running away from the competition.
What are your favorite Chime stories?
Pete: On the night we launched, because it’s so damn easy to float ideas by your friends on Chime, I almost ruined a friend’s surprise birthday party by accidentally inviting her to the chime about her party. Fortunately, one of my other friends let me off the hook by accidentally telling her about the party that same night!
Drew: When I moved back to Providence to start Chime, Pete was about the only person I knew here. I now have made at least 30 awesome friends through Chime. Cue the “aww.”
Lincoln and John are busy building the site, but I’d have to imagine it’s any time they’ve taken coding breaks to actually take part in events they’ve planned on [the site].
When did you launch? How has the company been taking off? We launched on September 26th to 20 early adopters and the realization that gmail was sending all our emails to spam. After spending a few weeks working out bugs and incorporating a ton of feedback, we started to ramp things up last week. We have 700 users on the site now, but we’re growing fast and will likely have over 800 by the time this is published. Over 50 chimes have been posted each of the last 3 days, and the number is increasing daily. Best of all, about half of our users sign into the site everyday.
What are your short and long term visions for the site?
- Short term: to get all of Brown on Chime by Winter break. Then, to open the site up to anyone via invite so people can use Chime with their friends at home during Brown’s absurdly long winter break.
- Long term: to expand Chime to cities and incorporate a page of awesome local events/deals that people can chime to their friends.
Anything else? Why should we want to be part of Chime? Chime is a social network that’s actually social, and the site’s getting better by week. Just today, my friends have chimed about going bowling, getting drinks, lifting at [the] OMAC, working at the Rock, and grabbing dinner tonight. Brown is just the beginning. We’re building a more playful world.
Favorite Class at Brown
- Pete: Policy Implementation in Education (Ken Wong)
- Drew: Independent Study (starting my first company) (Barrett Hazeltine)
- Lincoln: Programming Languages (Shriram Krishnamurthi)
- John: Intro to Object Oriented Programming (Andy van Dam)
Nice Slice or Antonio’s?
Pete and Drew have been recruiting people to sign up for Chime on our home turf. If you want to talk to them more, either post a comment below or head to the table with the orange Chime sign in the Blue Room between 10 am and 6 pm every day.