Tech + Social + Real-life = Authentic
I’ve thought and written a lot about human connection, and how I hope there will be a trend towards technology which really brings people together, offline.
Through creating PartyWith I’ve experienced first-hand what this could look like.
And it’s glorious!
Sure I’m biased, and glorious is a big word (and a word I just really like saying).
But it’s true.
How it’s different to existing things and ways of connecting with people:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc.: online-only connections with people you already know, used to know, or just follow online (and will likely never meet offline).
Meeting Your Friends: same people, same places, same food and drinks, same conversations (‘How about those property prices?’).
Meetup.com (& Internations, Expat Events): business networking and/or meat market.
Tinder (& Dating): one-on-one, (awkward) first dates, platform like a game (swipe, swipe, ding)
Couchsurfing — Backpackers and people in their early 20s seeing how they can get free accommodation and party on the cheap (‘let’s just go to a park and get stoned, take mushrooms)
Bringing new people together offline, for authentic connections, activities, and shared experiences (nightlife in our case) is something that doesn’t happen very often.
There are numerous reports and studies which show that most of us feel more isolated
There’s something different (and special) about when the people from PartyWith (a Local) get together.
Diverse people feel comfortable.
I’ve done a lot of partying in my time, in all different forms, all over the world
I’m totally oversimplifying and dramatising
No arseholes — people talk about work and what they do or how much money they have.
Startups, big companies, unemployed, expats, locals, travelers. It makes it interesting.
People from Brazil, Syria, US, Amsterdam, Aruba, Australia, Latvia
A bit of randomness — party unicorn
Interesting conversations — I at various times talked about and dropped into conversations about meditation, work challenges, (mental) health challenges, underground music, the existence of aliens.
Tinder is a lot of things, it has revolutionised dating, but one thing it is not is a community (it’s maybe closer to a game — swipe, swipe, ding!).
We may not have the scale of some dating apps yet, but we also have a distinct lack of fake users, bots, prostitutes, creeps… and dick pics!
What about Meetup.com?
larger group meetups for singles, or networking events.
Something Different, Something New, Something Special
There’s something different and special about the Party with a Local community we have built so far, and it’s on full display when you meet someone new via the app, and/or at the events we run with the community. It’s usually a diverse group of people you meet, and a very welcoming, spontaneous, relaxed and fun-loving atmosphere. I’m of course biased, being the Founder, but I haven’t really experienced that too many other places when meeting new people. It’s Awesome!
It doesn’t matter your nationality, your background, what school you went to, what you do, how much money make, whether you’re single, your sexual orientation, your religion etc. If you are open-minded, open to meeting new people, up for new experiences, and like to have fun, then you just belong.
At one of our recent ‘Thirsty Thursday’ events in Amsterdam we had a group of around 20 people attend — a diverse mix of locals, expats & travelers (10+ nationalities, from Aruba to South Africa). A traveler from Kyrgyzstan arrived and sat down at the long table with the group. One of the first thing he remarked was: ‘Do you all work for the app? You all seem to be really good friends.’ …We had all met 10 minutes before he arrived.
And this is not something confined to Amsterdam, where we are based — we’ve witnessed this first hand as a team, and had the same special feeling in New York (where we were for Techstars Connection), Berlin, Lisbon, Lille & Kuala Lumpur.
Why is it different and special? I believe part of it is actually a sense of relief with the type of connections we facilitate and at the events we and others in the community run — ‘Yay, there’s not the pressure of an awkward date!’ or ‘Woot, this isn’t another boring networking event!’ There is actually a really interesting and open-minded community of people that want to just meet, share experiences and have fun. Not have some ulterior motive for meeting.
Technology, and in particular software and apps, are permeating every aspect of our lives. to meet new people (for something other than dating or networking).
The next big social platform will be about connecting people in real-life. It’s going to be amazing. I truly believe that. …And hope it’s us who have started building it! 😃