How to build & connect with community while travelling the world -Meet the nomads
or WOZIN it’s an app for instant meetups with like-minded people
This is the transcript to the interview we did with Wozin founder if you prefer to see the interview video here it is:
The team at Nomad Stays spoke with the founder of Wozin a meetup app for instant events. To connect with like-minded people as you travel or even if you don’t travel you can use the app in your coworking space and your friends so that you can all get together and go hiking, surfing, mountain biking, gliding or even yoga.
Meet Daniel The founder of the Wozin App
Evie our Host asked Daniel to introduce himself…
My name is Daniel and I was born in Budapest, and I’ve been travelling and working remotely as a software developer for the last 6 years. I founded Wozin 3 years ago.
What is the Wozin app used for exactly?
Wozin is slag for Who’s in?
It’s an instant event creation and event finder for your particular passion. Say you wanted to go surfing in a hard to get to spot and you wanted to invite other surfers and you had spare seats in the car. You create a quick event and see who responds.
Another example is Nomad Stays uses the Wozin App to connect with nomads everywhere we go as digital nomads. Building community as we go.
WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?
I’m in Tarifa in Spain. I’ve been here about a year now.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WOZIN?
Well, actually I was visiting Singapore with my girlfriend at the time and she kept bringing this idea up, and how nice it would be to have an app like this. I told her that it would never work and the conversation kept going on and on until I had fully convinced myself that I have to build this. I was telling her that it is not a good idea because there is already Facebook, there is already MeetUp, and there are a bunch of ways you can achieve what you can do with Wozin. At the same time though, there’s a vast difference.
For example; if you compare it to Facebook, you will find a lot of events and things to do but if you find a concert that you want to go to but no one wants to go with you, you just end up staying at home. But if you see that concert and you post it on Wozin, then you can easily find a group of people who enjoy the same music and who are open to meeting new people.
That’s the point of Wozin; to find those people with whom you can join activities. And then there’s a meet-up, which is again similar, but to use of meet-up is really complicated, or at least I find it so. If you’re a community builder you have to pay for it after a certain size, while on Wozin we appreciate that you’re building a community and we even monetarily reward you for it.
SO WITH WOZIN WOULD YOU SAY IT IS MORE ABOUT BUILDING THE ACTUAL COMMUNITY THAN THE ACTIVITY ITSELF?
Well, it’s both, they go together. I find that the most natural way for people to connect is to do activities that they both enjoy. For example, yesterday we went to play basketball, there were no professional basketball players there, we just all like to do it and meet new people and we enjoyed something together. You know, this is how friendships are formed, you just do stuff together.
HOW LONG WAS THE APP IN THE WORKS FOR?
The idea came three years ago, it took me about three months to figure out how the app is going to load wireframes. Another month for what won’t work etc, market research, what exists already etc. And another three months to build it. Then in 2020 January the company was formed and the first version was released. We launched in Bali in Canggu in 2020 and it was a huge success. We had hundreds of people joining in 2 months and a lot of fun activities. We went on road trips together and even on pancake day, we met a bunch of interesting people from all over the world and formed good friendships even. Then we had the pandemic, the island became empty, so there was a stall there. I was not sure how the world was going to look like after the pandemic or how long it was going to last, so I put it on hold for a bit. Just last year, when it seemed like all the restrictions are easing up, I came here to Tarifa to start it again. I knew I could give me the community, I’ve been here before a couple of times, and I would say now it is going really well here. There’s always someone who would join no matter what you feel like doing.
WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES ARE ON THE APP?
It’s a huge range really, like anything you want to do. Just to give you a few examples of what we have done in the past few weeks, a pretty big community has come together here of more than 500 people now and we know each other because we do everything together. So it’s a very easy way for example to invite all your friends and their friends for your birthday, which happened a few days ago. All sorts of sports; basketball, beach volley, hiking, we do this barbecue from time to time or we just meet for sunset drinks, board game nights were a huge success. Before, in Bali, we did road trips together. A lot of meals and talks, even some more spiritual activities I remember seeing. I think it’s a really broad range and everybody is welcome. It is a really open minded community that we have and we have built so far it’s okay to say whatever you want to do, you’ll find the people who align with it and that’s it.
I found that this happens because it is growing organically, so you like the idea and you join, and you tell people that you meet in a bar ‘this is how we usually find people to do things with’. You don’t have to exchange numbers, you don’t have to think about ‘who do I invite for beach volley?’ Or ‘who do I invite for this dinner?’ You just get them all in the community and you can invite them in three seconds. That’s how we end up with groups bigger than we can sit in a restaurant.
IS IT EASY TO NAVIGATE THE APP?
I think so. I’ve watched hundreds of people do that and I thin it takes about one minute to sign up, put s bit of information about yourself and then say what you want to do and when. It literally just takes this:
- What do I want to do?
- Where do we meet?
- And when?
DO YOU RECOMMEND IT FOR DIGITAL NOMADS?
It’s a good way to build a community, and it’s also a good way to feel like you belong to a new place if you have just arrived. I had a number of people who were coming to Tarifa or Bali and they were looking for things to do or people to hang out with and I saw their comments of Facebook or WhatsApp etc, and I told them here’s this, download it, you will never feel alone again. There is always something to do. Most of them actually joined, and I met them, and they kept coming back to me, and every time I saw them so happy that they joined and they found the wrong group; maybe they never used Wozin again but maybe a few weeks later they were ready to open up again and meet a new set of people. There was also a lot of board game night events in Bali, where it was half locals, and half remote workers and expats. It was super nice to see how these two communities are connected which usually doesn’t happen.
IS WOZIN AVAILABLE TO USE EVERYWHERE?
It does work globally. We had an active community, like I said, in Bali, now we have a vibrant community in Tarifa. I see that more and more people from Gibraltar are checking in as well because it is just a short drive from there, and we are building a team of ambassadors who would be starting these communities all around, mainly focusing on remote workers or kite destinations. You don’t really need to join our team, I mean it’s very easy to start using the app and in a few weeks, you will realise the magic of it. And if you need any help on how it works, it is very easy to reach out to us on Instagram, whatever you prefer, we’re here to help.
Question from comments: HOW DO I START BUILDING A COMMUNITY WHEN THERE IS NO ONE ON WOZIN YET?
I usually start, I’ve done this twice, I usually start in person. Let’s say I go to a bar, or I go to an event and I start meeting new people and I tell them about this app. I tell them I’m building a community on this app and I’m part of a bigger global community.
Then they download the app, there’s already a new user and there’s someone they can invite in 3 seconds. You ask them to do the same. If you’re at your home place or if you already know people, you will obviously tell them to download the app, be part of the community, and you have 10/20 people; then for the next ones, you can already say that you have a small gathering or a small group coming together here, but it’s also part of a bigger one. If you’re travelling it’s going to help you find people and help you feel at home.
Of course, you have to keep posting even if no one shows up, you have to keep posting so there is content and you have to show the people how to use this. I usually try to have 2/3 events on the app, once you have that, there are a few people, I typically go for Facebook or meet-up or WhatsApp group, then I just invite them and tell them what we’re doing, and everyone is welcome to join just get the app and we can talk there. From there, it just works.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE QUITE SHY?
Most definitely. Because we all feel the need for connection, and I think it’s way more manageable like this because everybody is going to go there to meet some new people, and they go with an open mindset.
They will want to get to know you, they will try to connect and also you’re in a group, it’s not a one on one situation. If you want to retreat for a few minutes you have space to retreat, you don’t have to talk all the time, you’re not under pressure. You can just stick around and observe. Maybe you find someone who you want to talk to, maybe you don’t if you don’t like it you leave. I think it’s a very easy way to do that.
Finally but not without action…
We hope you enjoyed meeting Thomas and hearing about his innovation for instant meetups. We hope that you all go and download the app and start building your network in your community, be it rowing, biking, skydiving, climbing, hiking, boating, meeting up with people who are passionate about that thing.
Like Evie said in this interview…
it is a gift to us all