"Get Together" Podcast Roundup
Interviews with Sarah Leung co-creator of The Walks of Life , Sophie Mona Pagès founder of LVRSNFRNDS, and Chris Turner, the leader behind The Ring Finders
The Podcast Roundup is an introduction to the ordinary people building extraordinary communities featured on the “Get Together” Podcast. ________ Issue #10
“The difference between an audience and a community is which way the chairs are facing.”
I recently came across this wonderful quote from the author Chris Brogan. It’s the kind of language that inspires envy in other writers (read: me). Using simple imagery, Chris communicates a key difference between two concepts that are often conflated.
When differentiating between communities and other groups to feature on our podcast, we use the litmus test described in Chris’s definition. Unlike audiences, communities are not composed of one-way relationships. So: are members interacting directly? Are they organizing without the intervention of HQ?
We’d love to hear from you: What standout quotes, descriptions or definitions have helped sharpen your understanding of what a community is (and isn’t)?
Please drop them in the comments section of this Substack for all of us to enjoy.
The Podcast Roundup is an introduction to the ordinary people building extraordinary communities featured on the Get Together Podcast.
Connecting over the food & family we love🍲
Bill and Judy Leung and their daughters Sarah and Kaitlin started The Woks of Life blog to stay connected while living oceans apart. On the blog, they document how to make their favorite Chinese dishes and family memories. Today, The Woks of Life is recognized as an authority for Chinese cooking and has sparked a robust online community. We talked with Sarah about role modeling stories and conversations to spark a greater community.
Editorial note from Maggie:
I love that the Leung’s respect everyone’s personal experience with Chinese cuisine. Sometimes there’s a narrative that Chinese American takeout food is just a whitewashed version of Chinese food—it’s not real or authentic. But on The Woks of Life they post both types of recipes because they also have a heritage. They don’t invalidate anyone’s experience. As a result, their audience is diverse and everyone has different entry points.
Building real bonds amongst diverse groups of strangers 💖
As a Moroccan immigrant growing up in France, Sophie Mona Pagès grew up feeling a bit “weird” in her complex identity. She craved a space infused with diversity, inclusion, intimacy, modernity, and beauty. Instead of waiting for such a space to appear, she created LVRSNFRNDS herself, a community platform where strangers come to know each other through live conversations about the nature of modern relationships.
Editorial note from Marjorie Anderson:
Sophie stressed the importance of your community having shared values. Whether that be authenticity, open mindedness, or something else, shared values set the stage for how comfortable people feel in a space. Failure to ensure that everyone is there for the same reasons can cause communities to fall apart.
A band of 500 modern day superheroes 💍
When Chris Turner was 12 years old he got a metal detector and fell in love with looking for history. Over the years, he would be on the beach or in a park and get approached by a frantic couple looking for a lost ring. Within minutes, he was often able to help them recover their ring.
Chris started The Ring Finders in Vancouver to help people recover their rings in more places. He has built an online directory of 500 independent metal detecting specialists in 22 countries that go out in search of rings, most of which do it on a pay as you wish basis.
Editorial note from Mia Quagliarello:
What surprised me the most about The Ring Finders was that the technology, the metal detectors and other tools, are really secondary to the human nature aspect of this work. To be a successful Ring Finder, you have to be a detective. And to that end, it's all about the questions, backtracking and context.
Even questions like “were you drinking and how much?” can impact the outcome for this community. I learned that a common way for a ring to get “lost” is to be thrown by an angry spouse. And the number of drinks just might affect its trajectory.
✨This Week’s Inspiring Link
A Look at Shakespeare and Company's Tumbleweeds Program
Throughout his life, George Whitman, founder of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, traveled the world as a tumbleweed, “blowing from place to place, sheltered by the grace of strangers.”
Since opening Shakespeare and Company in 1951, George and now his daughter Silvia have welcomed traveling writers and artists to stay amongst the books in exchange for helping out at the store, reading a book a day, and writing a single-page autobiography for their archives. These guests came to be known as Tumbleweeds.
To date, an estimated 30,000 Tumbleweeds have slept in the beds found tucked between bookshelves, including folks like Allen Ginsberg, Anaïs Nin, James Baldwin, Julio Cortázar, Darren Aronofsky, and Dave Eggers.
David Litwak reflected on the bookstore’s long-term investment in aspiring writers, and how that community in turn showed up for them when the pandemic hit.