On this episode of How to Spend the Summer, I interview Vidushi Sharma, the creator of HobMob. Over the past few summers, she has been working with a development team to make an innovative form of interest-based “social” media!
On what HobMob is:
“[HobMob] gives people a relevant and thoughtful audience of people who love what they love, so that their posts are noticed and recognized.”
“We thought [the name] ‘HobMob’ was a good fit, because it’s about your hobbies, your interests, and the mob is the community on the website.”
“This departs from [traditional, friend-based social media sites]…It’s not about about who you already know…It’s more to the core of who you really are, what you’re actually passionate about, ’cause we want you to share that on the site, and we want other people to engage with you about those topics.”
On her inspiration for HobMob:
“I remember writing an article…[on] how technology diminishes creativity a lot as its used by people today, like Facebook is something you procrastinate with…[instead of] places where you get inspired and you talk with people about projects and things that could…improve you and like, that could help you create new things.”
“I started thinking, what if we could actually pull off a website that would help people spend their time using technology in a more productive way, or not even productive, in a way that benefited their growth as a human beings a little more…We just started thinking, and then narrowed it down to this idea of an interest-based community, because that sort of drives down to the core of what every person is.”
On her aspirations for HobMob:
“[making friends on the site is] a happy outcome, but the point is really the conversation, the inspiration, the creativity that it brings out.”
“The website has been structured and built in a way that…these interest groups are essential to the functioning of the website, so it’s just much more streamlined, and…it helps grow communities in a more structured way, but also lets them be organic, because everyone can create a sub-interest. So you have art, but then if you’re only passionate about painting, you can create a sub-interest and connect with people about that.”
On the most challenging parts of creating HobMob:
“Working with a development team…I learned a lot about communication with other people, just like how clear you have to be…and I think I’ve gotten much better at that now.”
“Negotiating with my two partners on the website, my dad and his colleague, on things that should or should not be there, or how the design should be.”
“For me, as a college student user, aesthetics matter a lot, and simplicity matters a lot…whereas I think for the other two partners, they veered more to the side of being very clear to the point of being very wordy…that was a struggle, simplifying while maintaining ease of use.”
On the most enjoyable parts of creating HobMob:
“Creating it has been the most fun part! I mean, something that’s so empowering is just realizing that three people with an idea can actually make a website happen.”
“Even if this goes nowhere, it’s just been so rewarding, and will always be a fun community for our friends and family to interact on, about stuff that we’re passionate about.”
“For a nineteen year old, doing an internship over the summer, it’s very hard to get this kind of experience, where you’re in charge of the whole show…and it’s been really cool to just have something I can call my own.”
Never doubt that a few people can create something awesome and meaningful!
Are you interested in sharing your interests on the HobMob? Create an account with your friends, follow FrankPhilosophy, and help create the conversation!