Crowdfunded transcontinental train journeys for #Millennials to explore America’s new frontiers = sounds pretty awesome.
A short video:
I just watched Jodi Ettenberg’s keynote from TBEX 2015.
If you’re a travel blogger, or simply intrigued with storytelling, you ought to give it 40 minutes of your time.
Now, feel free to go capture and tell amazing stories.
Horizon is couchsurfing/airbnb within friends, friends of friends, and communities you belong to (such Peace Corps, Sigma Phi Epsilon, or Kiva). There is a giveback angle allowing travelers to thank their hosts by making a donation to charity (either the host’s favorite charity, or the organization that facilitated the stay).
You may have noticed the updates have been a bit slow these days here at Oh Hey World. There’s a reason for that.
We’re shifting gears.
Over the past 6 or 8 months, we’ve been validating a new hospitality exchange app, which we’ve recently named Horizon.
It’s our 2nd attempt at solving the rampant missed connections problem that exists for every traveler. We’re headed to Santiago (Chile) for the Start-up Chile program, and will be working on the app from there for 6 months. Unlike location sharing, finding a free or cheap place to stay for your next trip is a massive pain point for virtually all 200 million millenial travelers.
Why not make discovering the city a competition among friends & acquaintances?
That’s a question on my mind recently. I spent a month in Medellin, Colombia (some thoughts here). There was (and stil is) a strong community of expats there – most of whom are either teaching English or digital nomads – many of whom were fairly new to the city.
And, there were things to do in the area.
The challenge is matching them up. The people who want to go explore, with the others in the community that wish to see and do the same things. Few want to go explore a city by themselves.
So, why not a friendly competition among the expat community to help ensure everyone sees the city? The goal being to incentivize a larger percentage of that group to venture beyond their comfort zone.
What functionality is needed to deliver on this:
It seems you could build this using FourSquare, Yelp, or Trover lists (doesn’t make much sense to re-create that functionality) — and add the profiles and leaderboard on top.
This would likely end up being a relocation application, which is essentially what long term traveling is; constantly relocating to new cities for extended stays. The revenue model could be to have real estate agents or property managers sponsor the experience for their specific city.
The problem is, it’s largely only applicable for the long term travel and relocation segments. The average traveler doesn’t really have time for this, given they are only in town for a short period of time. I’ve seen where a product targeted at that crowd ends up.
Anyone working on this?
I randomly found the Project Pangia Kickstarter campaign a week ago on Twitter. I’m not exactly sure how — but I’m glad I did.
I watched the video (below), and within 5 minutes had backed the project.
I reached out to the person behind the project, Alexandra Ernst — and had a 45 minute skype/phone discussion while she was in transit from San Francisco down to San Diego. We are both nomads, travel addicts, and committed to leaving this world better than we entered it — so there was lots of common ground to connect over.
Now, go back the project.
I’ve been in Medellin, Colombia for 1 week. The question I get from everyone I speak to…
In short, it’s great. There is a great vibe here. A few details…
I haven’t really ventured outside the city yet for any excursions, but I’ve still got three weeks until I leave on the 29th. If you have any recommendations for things to do or contacts I should reach out to, please do let me know in the comments.
We’re setting our code free… will you fly with us?
Oh Hey World is now a 100% free, open source location sharing platform allowing you to share your location with the people, communities, and web & mobile services that matter.
As I mentioned in my Pando Daily post, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback such as the following over the past 12 months:
The classic chicken and an egg problem.
The location sharing components we’ve built at Oh Hey World, need a “home” within existing groups and communities. The fact that it’s now completely open source, gives anyone the ability to customize and tailor the offering to the needs of their specific community.
What’s on GitHub now?
Those using the site consistently today, are largely those who are using the first connected service we built – the WordPress plugin.
We know we won’t solve the location sharing opportunity on our own. Not even FourSquare is close to doing that. The goal is to build a community that believes that a connected travel experience, is a better travel experience. And, collectively, build the tools, webservices, apps, communities, and notifications needed to bring transparency to traveler locations in a way that enables them to spend time with the people that matter.
The platform needs more inputs and outputs. More connected services. That’s where the open source platform comes in. We’re leaving it up to you, the community, to adapt and grow it to fit your needs.
Do you want to fly with our group of socially conscious people committed to connecting with other like-minded people? If so, join us – go ahead, and dig into the GitHub repo (or email us if you’re not a developer).
Press release can be found here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11609447.htm
[Photo via http://www.wallpixy.com/]
Jodi recently launched her Jodi Eats food walks. Seriously, she will coordinate the best food walks ever. I just KNOW it (because I’ve eaten with her!).
For those in Saigon, or planning to visit soon, make sure you book a walk asap.
Disclosure: Jodi is a good friend. While she is NOT a foodie, she does love food.