Category Archives: Oh Hey World Updates

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Shuttering the Doors to Oh Hey World (aka the Real Eulogy)

Oh Hey World has been a long, hard journey.  I wrote the “Almost Eulogy of Oh Hey World” a few months ago. Following another 9 months of neglect for the product due to lack of resources/money as well as further Facebook API deprecations causing login functionality to cease, the decision to pull the plug was made.  Thus, today is the real eulogy of Oh Hey World (OHW). The final chapter. The shutting of our digital doors.

Note: Legally, Oh Hey World, Inc lives on in Horizon.

While OHW found its mark helping travel bloggers update their current location on their travel blogs more efficiently — ultimately, it didn’t solve an urgent or frequent problem for a large enough addressable market to grow and survive in the world.

For that, I’m incredibly sad.

That said, I’ll forever be grateful for the experience — I wouldn’t trade the journey, experience, learnings, hardships, stress and friendships for the world. It goes without saying — without OHW, there would never have been a Horizon. On that front, we’ve recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to enable supporters to fund continued product development of the best community building tool that’s ever existed. If you’re a community builder with an interest in strengthening a global membership base, manage a home stay network with email and spreadsheets, host or stay with trusted connections regularly, or simply believe life’s magical moments occur face to face, not staring at a screen — please head over to support our Horizon Patreon campaign.

Back to OHW…

Thank You

Thank you, Eric Roland. It took me 7 months of searching to find you — but your skill and efficiency was worth the wait. You made engineering seem easy; sorry I forced us down the path to building a bloated piece of software. Thanks Will Moyer for designing the gorgeous application that OHW was. I’m still bummed the iOS version you designed never saw the light of day. Thanks Shannon O’Donnell for your faith in the company’s mission throughout. Thank you Jessica Na for your design work to bringing my initial concepts to light.

Thank you to all our advisors — Jeff Turner, Spencer Rascoff, Jerry Ostradicky, Andrew Mattie, Matt Duncan, Matt Zito, Ian Ord, and Todd Sampson. A special thank you to Seann Birkelund and Eric Marcoullier for pushing me through the rut. Without all your support, well…I have no idea where I’d be, and Horizon would likely never have been created.

Thank you to all OHW’s passionate supporters — specifically Anna Zalazar, Annie Cheng, Jessie Spielvogel, Dave Dean, Lori Bee, Jan Riedel, Peter Parkorr, Mike Derzko, Martin Bergstrom, and Kristin Henning.

To all my friends & family, and specifically Brandon Matson, thanks for constantly putting up with my thoughts, updates, and ups & downs. Thank you to my mom and step dad for putting me up with food, shelter, and support throughout the early journey.

Shutting it Down

From selling/swapping candy, baseball cards, and used nintendo64 games to offering services such as mowing lawns, house demolition and website creation — I’ve been an “entrepreneur” my whole life. In the “digital” world, I’ve embarked on lots and lots of projects, mostly blogs (Geek Estate, Carnival of Real Estate, myKRO.org, ESM, etc). Oh Hey World was the first real functional “startup” that I forced upon the world.

When I FINALLY finally clicked the delete/cancel account in EngineYard (our website host), it certainly was a weird feeling.

ohw-engineyard-cancel

How does it feel? Frankly, I’m at a loss for words. It feels like a small piece of my soul just died. Like I abandoned my first (startup) baby because they couldn’t grow up. Sad I couldn’t provide the direction and capital needed for my baby to reach adulthood.

Why Now?

I grew weary of the $150-$200 per month burning a hole in my back pocket every month continuing to push my credit card farther in the red.

Weary of the mental stress and bandwidth associated with OHW existing in the world.

Weary of asking myself, “Should I keep OHW going next month?”

Weary of not knowing whether a developer would come along to put new energy into the product.

Weary of contemplating which company might acquire the assets.

Weary of wondering who might sponsor the site (with little traffic).

That combined weariness, and stress, could only go on so long before insanity crept into the equation. At some point, I had to decide enough is enough.

RIP, Oh Hey World.

screencapture-ohheyworld-1493677596372

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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The (Almost) Eulogy of Oh Hey World

Over the past few years, I’ve worked on two travel apps – Oh Hey World (OHW) and, more recently, Horizon.

This post pertains to the earlier product, OHW. I shared a lot of learnings in my 12 months of learnings on Pando in late 2013. That post was written while still trying to figure out a viable strategy around “community” pages — and before ever deciding take another shot at making community accessible everywhere, for everyone with a complete re-brand to Horizon.

Specifically, I want to fill in the blanks in the story and address:

When is enough, enough?

Filling in the Gap

By the time I wrote the Pando recap, we were already out of money. The rest of the team was doing consulting work while I was trying to find a product/strategy that could scale. I’d say late fall 2013 was the low point of my professional life.

We finished “community” pages (see here) and showed them to individual travelers as well as organizations such as Kiva and Peace Corps. What we ultimately ended up hearing from individuals was “What do I get out of connecting? Why should I connect?” From organizations, we heard “how do you get enough people using this to enable people to actually find other community members nearby?” Turns out, outside of entrepreneurs and sales/biz dev professionals, few people have an any desire to connect for no reason. People generally need a very specific reason to ever go out of their way in the real physical world to meet someone.

Oh Hey World was a powerful offering but it lacked a “why use it” people cared about. Connect.com has raised $16M+ and thus have created a better product, but if you compare feature by feature, you’ll find they are virtually identical product offerings.

My next idea was to solve the why use it with “to consume email newsletters and de-clutter your inbox”. I spent several months validating a mobile, social email newsletter reader. The conceptual feedback was amazing from publishers (the thought of analytics on email newsletter consumption is extremely enticing), but I couldn’t identify a large enough “problem” on the consumer side. Cleaning out your inbox is a pain, sure… but there were already existing solutions (that the tech industry knew about and used). There’s also the whole “most email newsletters are spam that get deleted within seconds” reality to fight, and thus I wasn’t sure a better way to consume email newsletters would be of interest to a large crowd. If there’s one thing I learned from building OHW, it was I wasn’t going to build another product that didn’t address a very clear pain point experienced by a lot of people — so I canned the concept prior to ever developing anything.

The breakthrough that ended up leading to Horizon came when a high school friend of mine, Annie Cheng, clued me into a large (19,000) high trust community she belonged to that was interested in a “private couchsurfing” for their members. A strategic deal never ended up coming to fruition, but those conversations provided proof there were very large networks in which private hospitality exchanges would work. I then started to investigate fraternities, colleges, non profit volunteer networks, and religion organizations. From several months of customer discussions and research, I finally got enough validation that enabling private hospitality exchanges inside existing communities was a product strategy with strong potential, and enough of an incentive (free or cheap place to stay, friends, community) on the consumer side to scale.

We were originally going to morph Oh Hey World into this new hospitality exchange product, but thought better of it and realized we should cut our technical debt and start over from scratch — both from a tech and a brand perspective.

With Horizon, we solved the “why use it?” question with “to find a place to stay” — which is something every single traveler has to solve, otherwise they will never go anywhere.

Money

I’ve heard from several people they really want to know the nitty gritty of startups; how much money does it cost?

There is close to $70,000 invested into OHW — pretty much all of it my personal money (some of it was consulting money Eric, Will and I made working on various projects). That’s in addition to the hundreds upon hundreds of hours of research, customer validation, product work, writing, pitching, etc.

Building an equivalent product at market rate (aka a development shop or with developers making a regular salary rather than extremely equity heavy deal) probably would have cost three times as much — or more, depending on the development shop or how senior the engineers were.

Every month, it costs about $200 just to let OHW run. That includes the server (which is on Engine Yard), and core services such as SendGrid and Twilio. Multiple $175 or $200 x 45 (we’ve been paying for Engine Yard since October of 2012) — and you get another $9,000.

Call it a very, very expensive personal learning experience.

Current Status

Why haven’t I just shut down OHW?

The site still gets users on a daily basis. The domain has 6+ years of domain history, links, and a lot of great content (aka SEO). Every person using OHW is someone that could be using Horizon.

Lastly, I still believe there is a really compelling product sitting inside OHW. Maybe not for the masses, but certainly for heavy travelers or for the enterprise.

For instance, what if, as an American citizen, it automatically notified the State Department of your whereabouts? The State Department’s “STEP” program doesn’t exactly look like a consumer friendly offering.

What if Microsoft could communicate with their global work force based on current location? What if the Red Cross could rally both their donors and volunteers with location context?

The Opportunity

travatarWhat’s the big opportunity still lurking that Oh Hey World can capitalize on?

Travatar.

Think Gravatar (a “globally recognized avatar” which I’ll wager 80% of people reading this blog have) — but for location.

The question is how to monetize, short of selling it to the likes of Expedia, Priceline, TripAdvisor, or Hipmunk. Which, inevitably, is a big risk.

Read more about that opportunity here.

Another post to get you thinking: The Starting Point to Real Time Travel Advice: A Location Based Content Delivery Platform.

Go Forward Strategy

The near term goal is to get OHW generating $1,500 per month.

How?

First, strip down the product to the core “check-in”, and then add external partners for related services.

If you go to www.ohheyworld.com, sign in, and then check-in to a city – you’ll end up what I call the “post check-in screen”. Compare what you see there today, to the following wireframe:

PostCheck-in-ownview

Second, add a home page sponsorship.

Third, offer a sponsorship of the Oh Hey World WordPress plugin. This would come with the possibility of many, many links from a wide variety of domains (the holy grail of SEO). Below is what it looks like now:

ohw-wordpress-widget

Fourth, promote the partners on the Oh Hey World blog.

Partnership / Development

OHW can’t continue without development to get it to revenue. That could come in the form of an individual who wants to take on an open source project on the side of their consulting work, or it could be an organization with a development community with an interest in maintaining/growing an open source project.

What an individual developer would get out of taking over OHW:

  • A user base of several thousand to start with
  • Existing brand & design assets
  • Working product
  • Financial upside, without needing to take significant financial risk to build something from scratch
  • Strong SEO

What a college program, coding academy, or accelerator would get:

  • Everything listed above
  • An open source project for their students/entrepreneurs to work on
  • Branding/marketing. Everytime the open source project is talked about, covered by the press, forked, etc – the brand of the organization would be part of that story
  • Ecosystem of jobs with the companies using the open source code base over time

Example organizations that would make sense: Code Fellows, UW Science and Engineering, Start-Up Chile, or TravelStartups.co.

Another option would be a development firm that sees the opportunity to build brand/community as well as a robust location based platform available to be utilized on numerous client projects in the future.

The other option is to find a partner who wants to sponsor the entire site to the tune of $1,500 per month for at least 6 months – and allocate some of that to a developer to spend some of their time growing the product.

Context as to what I/Horizon wants out of a partnership:

  • Recoup the money I’ve put into the product (not necessarily looking to maximize revenue)
  • Help covering server costs of OHW/Horizon in the near term
  • Enable OHW users to find Horizon from the app
  • Long term SEO for Horizon

I’d be willing to do a profit split for ohheyworld.com — likely about 75% – after all monthly services for OHW/Horizon (servers, email, accounting software, etc) are covered (currently about $700 per month).

In the event of a sale of the ohheyworld.com brand and assets to someone like Amadeus, Travelport, Concur, TripAdvisor, etc – there would be a sliding basis of the split. 10% of sale price up to $50,000, 30% of the incremental between $50,001 and $70,000, and 70% of incremental above $70,000.

If you’re a developer or organization interested in an agreement in the realm of what’s outlined above, shoot me an email at drew at horizonapp co.

To Pull the Plug, or not Pull the Plug?

Anyone that has slaved away on a startup knows how hard they are. Hundreds of hours. The stressful nights (& resulting grey hairs). The weekends spent in front of your computer while friends are out having fun. It really is like nurturing a baby (from what I’ve heard from those who have done both).

There comes a point where you’ve got to just move on. Shutting down your first “startup” is a tough decision. There’s so many hours, and so much money, that were thrown into it that you want to see it live on to see another day.

Where’s there’s a will, there’s a way.

Ultimately, unless that will is shared by someone with development chops to own and grow the product, OHW will need to see it’s last day soon.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Looking for a Rails Engineer to Take Over Oh Hey World

OHWiconWe open sourced the entire Oh Hey World platform in early 2014. Since then, we’ve been working on Horizon, which is our 2nd attempt at making community accessible everywhere. (a 18 month recap can be found here)

We know location sharing is not a “problem” to the masses (one of our big learnings from the time spent building OHW) — but Oh Hey World is still a valuable offering to frequent travelers (digital nomads, travel bloggers, entrepreneurs, business travelers, and those on sabbatical or extended backpacking trips). It still gets new users every week who use it to track their locations, update their current location on their travel blog with our WordPress plugin, or text their loved ones upon arrival.

We’ve been on the lookout for the right full stack engineer to maintain and improve Ohheyworld.com.

Changes to be Made

Like many startups, we overbuilt. Oh Hey World is an amazingly powerful platform — but many don’t know what to do with it due to its complexity. The primary goal in the near term is to simplify the user interface to be 100% about the “check-in” and link off to partners/sponsors for everything else a traveler may need (finding friends nearby, things to do, hotels, hostels, vacation rentals, etc).

Revenue

I believe many people would pay for a native iOS or Android app that handles tracking their location with the correct privacy considerations. The travel bloggers using the OHW WordPress plugin may be a niche crowd, but they are the content creators of the entire travel industry – there is considerable value to getting new travel products in front of them.

Alternatively, a development firm could be built on top of the Oh Hey World platform. Considerable effort by travel startups (especially B2C) is spent getting the basic aspects of a travel offering up and running: user accounts, locations, social graph, city searches, and information tagged to those cities. Ohheyworld.com has built all that already. It could turn into a great developer showcase for the big travel tech companies such as Concur, Amadeus, TravelPort, or Sabre.

Long Term

In addition to the “travatar” opportunity (Gravatar, for current location), see my thoughts on how an open source project such as OHW could serve as a catalyst for a location based content delivery platform.

Why keep Oh Hey World running at all?

That’s certainly a legitimate question, given our focus is on Horizon. To be very transparent, the interest in keeping OHW running is the URL has good domain (aka SEO) juice built over 5+ years — as well as additional opportunity with increased distribution of the WordPress plugin. Lastly, every user who finds OHW is likely someone who would utilize Horizon’s offering to find people to stay with.

Who would be the ideal fit?

  1. A self taught Rails engineer (or one currently or recently enrolled in a bootcamp) looking for a real world product with users to work on as a portfolio/learning project.
  2. An engineer with a passion for travel looking for a side project with income potential down the road.
  3. Someone who wants experience overseeing & working on an open source initiative.
  4. Someone who believes in the power of travel, ands wants to be involved with Horizon team long term.

Are you an interested engineer? Shoot me a mail if so – drew at horizonapp co

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Horizon is on the App Store

horizon-logoIt’s been quite awhile (July of 2014 to be exact) since we’ve updated this blog, but I wanted to share the fact that our newest undertaking, Horizon, is now on the app store.

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 can either download it on an iPhone or iPad from THIS LINK or use the web app HERE.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Shifting Gears – Horizon

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.

horizon-logo

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.

As a reminder, Oh Hey World is completely open source (code can be found here). It will remain operational for its existing user base, and we have no plans right now to shut it down.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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We’re Setting it Free – Oh Hey World’s Location Sharing Platform is Now Open Source

bald-eagle

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:

  • It would be great if all my friends were using it
  • It would be great if everyone who cares about microfinance were using it
  • It would be great if a large number of people in Barcelona were using it
  • It would be great if there was great advice for every city in Thailand

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/]

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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The Process of Revamping our About Page Message

OHWiconWe’ve been thinking a lot about the future direction of Oh Hey World. You may have read the PandoDaily recap I wrote about a month ago. Part of that, is revamping our about page message.

Old Version

Arriving in a new city is a high stress moment that involves some combination of a wide range of disconnected services. You text your parents, and call your significant other. Email your three best friends back home. Text the friend you’re staying with and shoot an email to the friend you’ve scheduled coffee with. You look at Yelp for a restaurant recommendation. Check in to Foursquare, which in turn updates Facebook and Twitter. Order a car on Uber or Lyft. Finally, you may take a peek at TripAdvisor or Google to find things to do.

In short — it’s a total mess.

And we don’t like messes. So we decided to do something about it. Oh Hey World simplifies that process to one central experience driven from the palm of your hand. Location sharing is centralized over text, email, Facebook, Twitter, and even to a WordPress.org blog. We also understand that every trip is different, and that you may not want to broadcast your location every time you leave home (no one wants to be the “jerk” bragging about all their travels) — our private and public check-ins ensure the people who need to know, know … and those who don’t, well, don’t.

Arriving in a new city doesn’t need to be a disconnected mess that stresses you out. Shouldn’t it just require one click?

We think so.

Why?

Despite the enormous sums of money that have been thrown at the travel vertical, the online travel experience has remained stagnant for over a decade. In short, the current travel experience sucks, and we see a better way. A brighter future some might say (who says that? um…us). You see, our grand vision is to break down all barriers to travel and get more people traveling – a world where everyone not only has a passport, but a stamp in it (more on that here).

Current Thoughts

Sure, the online travel experience sucks and it should be better. We KNOW it will get better. Yet we realized, we aren’t going to centralize the entire arrival experience in one go. That’s a bit ambitious, even for a venture backed company — and certainly for a bootstrapped startup such as ourselves. We thought that was the right approach way back when, when we were busy with our elaborate plot to boil the vast vast blue ocean. Hint: it didn’t work. Lucky for us, centralizing the arrival process is not truly what we are setting out to solve anyway.

The high level goal for Oh Hey World long term is, and always has been, to connect people with shared passions & interests in person.

New Version (seen here)

In the simplest sense, Oh Hey World is the site you, a changemaker, visit when you want to meaningfully connect with others who share your passions and interests.

That’s the core of our company, and it’s why we believe you’re here. In-person conversations with fellow changemakers (or email/skype/phone conversations at the very least) are the holy grail of travel; what take your experience from enjoyable to life-changing.

The communities here on Oh Hey World allow you to connect with others in a new city or town (heck, even your own town!) who want to hold great conversations with others who have that same level of passion as you. 

So, what do we mean by communities?

Well, you can rally around any number of causes, ideas, or organizations and find others who share that passion. Whether it’s startups, microfinance, photography, Kiva, social entrepreneurship, Apple, or any of a thousand other topics, we believe great conversations occur when you meet others in your community. 

Our dream: two people with shared interests meeting eye to eye in the same room and  forming real relationships. This is where the magic in life happens. People need to look up in life from time to time to enjoy the moment, to enjoy their environment, ideas and company of others who share their interests in life.

Our aim is to build a tool that creates this value for every person using it in a fast, simple way that they can use in their own town, but especially to make new connections when they’re on the road or traveling the world (more on that here).

Why?

Nothing happens in life without great relationships. And great relationships start as connections, and turn into real trusted & valuable relationships only after in person time is added to the mix. Networking, and finding those right relationships, is a horribly inefficient process – particularly when travel is thrown into the equation. We see a better way. A brighter future some might say (who says that? um…us).

We dream of a world where passionate people seeking to make this a better world can build a community of like minded folks to help turn their ideas for change into reality. One email, coffee appointment, glass of wine, happy hour, or free place to stay at a time.

Do you give a damn?

A Bit About Us

The Oh Hey World team is a diverse group of travel-lovers who banded together under a shared vision that there was a better way to connect changemakers to each other. With the disparate ways to “do good” in this world, we were frustrated by missed connections with great people in each new city we visited.

From that frustration we connected the dots into the idea that we could built that solution. We could create a passionate community of travelers who give a damn about making this world better by simply allowing them to enter into conversations with each other on the road.

You can read more about the OHW team here.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Welcome Jeff Turner as a Mentor and Advisor

I’ve known Jeff Turner a long time. I can’t remember exactly the first time we met in person, but it was in 2006 or 2007 at a real estate conference. Over the course of the past 7 years, I’ve spent time with him in multiple cities all over the country — and been to his house outside of LA in Santa Clarita once. I’ve even spent some time at Rocky’s orphanage in Kenya (see here and here).

Point being. He is no stranger.

Far from it.

He’s one of the people in the real estate industry I truly, deeply respect. If you know Jeff personally, or even from afar, that won’t surprise you in the slightest.

Last week, I watched his CRS presentation from 2012:

YouTube Preview Image

I highly encourage you to spend the hour and watch it, or at least put it on in the background as you work. As I mentioned last week, he completely and utterly understands the power of community. Like Jeff, community is what I crave in my life.

What did I do after watching?

I listened to his advice of course, which is to find a mentor who shares my core values — and I emailed Jeff to ask him whether he’d be willing.

Less than 20 minutes later, I was fortunate to get a yes in response. The reasons he’s a good match are not really even a question. They include, among others, 25 years of business experience, a focus on impact & helping others, and a deep understanding of community. Jeff’s bio has been added to our team page.

Welcome to the team, and thank you for your support.

PS: For all those reading who know Jeff and Rocky, please consider joining our Mothers Fighting for Others community to pledge your support for the amazing cause.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Are You Building a Passion Community?

We’ve been working on the concept of community pages for awhile to connect people with shared passions. If you follow this blog regularly, you know that we’ve had this concept baked into our product for quite awhile (see post from August).

Our new community pages came from the interest we received for finding people with shared passions, yet our tag result pages not being the focus of our user experience. Frankly, most people never figured out they could add tags to their profiles.

The new community pages put the entire focus on the specific communities of like minded people. What’s different from the old tag result pages? A few things…

  • Larger photos
  • Community-specific profiles that help you understand why someone cares about a particular community, cause, topic, or brand.
  • A big “join” button so it’s clear how to indicate you care.

Here are a few early communities already setup:

  • Kiva – The peer to peer microfinance lending platform likely needs no introduction. People that care about Kiva, are extremely passionate about giving people a hand up rather than a hand out.
  • Geek Estate – the real estate technology community that I started in 2007. Geeky real estate professionals trying to figure out how to use technology to their advantage.
  • AVC – I’d wager a guess that this is the most passionate community on the entire internet. Certainly the most passionate communities of business startup geeks.
  • Mothers Fighting for Others – Every child needs an amazing home where they are loved. MFFO supports 40+ children who otherwise never would have anyone to love them.
  • Oh Hey World – For those who love Oh Hey World, we’d love you to join the OHW community page and tell us why.

Are you building a passion community with an interest in discovering each other and connecting with others in person?

If so, we’d love to hear from you – shoot me an email at drew at ohheyworld.

Note: To join community pages, you’ll have to sign into Oh Hey World, check-in to a city, and THEN visit the community page of interest (a bunch of communities are linked from my OHW profile). We’re currently working through the UI/UX/Design – we’ll end up with an intuitive flow focused on communities and not the check-in…but we’re not there yet.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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