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Congrats to the (former)SynapseLife team on the auction and the founders are now working on their down2night startup which connects people with nightly hot spots. Check out our coverage of down2night.
As reported by Nick earlier today, SynapseLife is now on the eBay quick sale block. Bidding starts at $50,000. Mark Michael sent me an email saying that their focus will be on Down2Night, a sms based event finding service.
Best of luck to the Synapse Team with their auction.
Our previous SynapseLife coverage includes:
I had a chat this evening with Mark Michael, co-founder of SynapseLife. SynapseLife is a tool that helps you manage your contacts, favorites, calendars events and then access to it from any Internet-ready device or RSS feed.
He let me know that on Wednesday morning they are launching a browser toolbar that will work with many of the popular social web sites. The first site it will work with is Facebook.
They will be issuing a press release and here are a couple snippits:
"The primary focus of this update is to expand our user’s capability to complement their experiences with social networks," explained Mark Michael. “This fills a gap, since other community projects seem to have neglected to offer their user’s functional applications that allow them to manage their everyday lives."
"We initially focused on providing a Facebook.com interface for our toolbar, because our users requested it, and Facebook has a large market penetration,” explains Daniel Rust, SynapseLife’s Chief Architect. “We will then start to tackle interface with the other popular network applications."
Check out our other coverage of Synapselife.
Back in October, we interviewed Mark Michael and Daniel Rust, the founders of SynapseLife. Yesterday, they gave us a sneak peek at their upcoming Release 2 of SynapseLife which is scheduled to launch on December 19th.
Synapselife is a web-based application accessible on any browser or any internet device for managing people, lists, ledgers, broadcasts, tags, favorites and feeds.
From Mark, “With the upgraded version of SynapseLife users will be able to interact and share information across social networks including but not limited to Facebook. In our features release on December 19, 2006 we will also introduce users to their own interactive ticker, downloadable toolbar, and private/shared pages.”
“Also, users will be able to see who is online within their social networks as well as within the SynapseLife community. SynapseLife is completely accessible from any internet enabled device.”
Some of the updated features include:
- Interactive Ticker
- Sharing System
- Community Portal
- User Profiles (Favorites & Feeds)
- User Tag Search
- Fixed Back Button / URI Specific Loading
- New Features! Section
- Integration Tools
– Favorite & Feed Buttons (Dragable)
– Set Feed Reader Type (Firefox 2)
– Firefox Extension
– “Add to SynapseLife” icon for Blog Promotion
– Search Applet for Firefox & IE7
- Calendar Enhancements
– Separate Calendars
– Recurring Events
– All Day Events
– AJAX Date Chooser
- Sortable Lists & Ledgers
SynapseLife launched their beta product last week. They have received a lot of press since the launch and I wanted to find out more about the product and how it can help you. Founders Mark Michael and Daniel Rust spent some time with me discussing their product along with the future for the web.
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Click the start button below to begin the audio interview (or download the mp3):
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Below is a partial text transcript of the audio interview. Please listen to the audio for the entire discussion.
Allen: Can you provide a brief bio about yourself?
I am Mark Michael and my business partner is Daniel Rust. We have been going at it since we were 16 and our first company was in 1999. Our parents forced us to college and while in college we built databases and used those databases to run (and win) student government. We started to use those databases for inventory and customer management. We moved to Seattle with 2 clients, now we have 42 and a natural evolution led us to SynapseLife.
Allen: What is SynapseLife?
Synapselife is currently a web-based application accessible on any browser or any internet device for managing people, lists, ledgers, broadcasts, tags, favorites and feeds. In January we will launch the business tools and in November we plan to launch the collaboration features.
Allen: How can SynapseLife help me?
So basically it brings all those applications you are using externally into one area which allows you to have one area to store all of your information. And then it can connect to your mobile devices to keep everything current.
Allen: Do you support any of the microformats currently available such as vCard or hCalendar?
Right now we are connected with iCal and so you can export to iCal then bring into any other app from there. We are working on importing vCards for contacts and then you will have the import and export capabilities.
Allen: How do you compare SynapseLife to the Google or Yahoo tools?
Very easy use and connectivity to mobile devices. And we are really keyed in with the customer feedback and we are responding usually within the hour with updates to the system.
Allen: Is there a way to expose my data outside to friends and colleagues?
Not right now, but we are working on the collaboration tools so you can share them with your contacts. And that is the part that is rolling out in November.
Allen: How will you monetize SynapseLife if you plan to?
In January we will rollout the business solutions and those will be with monthly fees and there will be some layers based on the monthly fees. The personal will be free but we may come out with an enhanced life version and that will be in the future.
Allen: How do you define Web 2.0?
I would say Web 2.0 is accessible using APIs to enable other people to innovate using the same platform and having the community aspect in being able to share information. Mobile which isn’t really much in Web 2.0 now but will be in the future.
Allen: Is SynapseLife a Web 2.0 site?
I woudl say yes, it is in that realm now. We can also define our own area as well.
Allen: What’s the technology behind SynapseLife and more importantly, how do you protect and safeguard my data?
Right now we have our servers setup with a 2-week redundant backup which saves all of the information and if there was a crash we could backup to the previous day.
Allen: What does the SynapseLife team look like and do you offshore any of your development?
The team is headed by Daniel Rust and there is also Melissa Lim, Project Manager and Daniel Bezruchkin, Programmer and then you have me. Self-funded, never taken a loan, no credit cards, no debt. In terms of offshore, never, never have done it and don’t plan on doing it. We want to see the faces and who we are dealing with. I think working in the same time zone is key and a certain chemistry and it’s hard to do it over instant messenger, I gotta see the face. Daniel and Melissa have worked out really well.
Allen: How many people have signed up for the beta?
Honestly, since it launched on Thursday at 5:11pm, over 2000. Feedback has been complimenting the interface and a lot of the feedback was about the feeds, we worked on that. We are working with the feedback and most has been really positive. When we get criticism e-mails we try to deal with those right away.
Allen: Do you consider Synapselife for the mass or just for the tech community?
I think it is for the mainstream because it is easy to use.
Allen: What’s the web app market like in Seattle?
I think there is not a lot of web app companies, but there are some community web sites like 43 things, but as web apps go, I don’t know of any in Seattle. Probably not as hot as LA and California.
Allen: What do you think is the most important success characteristic for SynapseLife?
I think the users will dictate a lot of the direction as we respond to what they want. I think if we keep it clean and simple people will gravitate towards it more than other applications that are feature-rich but you can’t find what you are looking for. We are also launching a tutorial in the next couple of days.
Allen: Saw the commercial, can you speak about any of your other marketing plans?
Stay the course and don’t build a castle in the sky. Listen to the user feedback. We were letting users see the development process, and letting them contribute their thoughts and completely working with users. We built it completely with cash. We used friends from the University of Washington to help build the commercial. And networking with sites like yours.
Allen: What’s next for SynapseLife over the next year?
I think we can develop it out and build some new applications that are innovative to plug into the user base.
Allen: What’s next for the Web over the next year or two?
Mobile connectivity and building off of the platforms for sharing data between applications.
Allen: Anything else to add?
Try out SynapseLife – come to the site and signup for free.
Well we have reached the end of our interview with the SynapseLife team. Thanks to Michael and Daniel for participating and to you for reading and listening.
If you would like to participate in a conversation on CenterNetworks, or if you have any comments or questions, you can contact me via e-mail at allen===at===centernetworks.com or visit CenterNetworks for all of our news, reviews, insights and conversations.