When Jason Haines and Tommy Tayman were pulling all-nighters at Centre College, they figured it as a temporary, college-only experience. Little did they know that, years later, they’d be driving across the state, locking themselves in a shared office and cranking out code until the wee hours of the morning.
These days, the pair is looking for a little more than good grades. Their new company, boostchatter
, is a social rewards program that allows businesses and other organizations to incentivize social activity on Facebook and Twitter.
“It gives businesses or organizations a way to reward customers for being active on social media – it could be commenting, liking stuff, checking stuff, tagging, retweeting," Haines says. "Any of the social actions you perform as a user, you can incentivize users for doing them."
For a small retail shop, that might mean free coffee, a t-shirt or a coupon. For awareness groups or nonprofits, it could be a trinket for some type of medical awareness or a chance at earning points to redeem for merchandise. Basically, the business or organization can set up its own rewards that make sense to its own users.
Boostchatter isn’t the first post-college project the two have collaborated on. In 2004, they partnered to form Optimle, a custom application and web development firm headquartered in Cincinnati.
So, when Haines packed his bags and drove down to Knoxville, where Tayman lives, at the end of last year (typically a slow time for web developers), it wasn’t unusual for them to spend 10 or 12 hours – or more – each day hashing out ideas for boostchatter. A private beta for the project is currently in the works.
By Robin Donovan