"Get Together" Podcast Roundup

Interviews with Jonathan Carey of Atlas Obscura, Nate & Steffi of Allyship & Action, and Joe Robinson of Designers + Geeks.

The Podcast Roundup is an introduction to ordinary people building extraordinary communities featured on the “Get Together” Podcast.

Issue #5 

Greetings friends👋

Over the last few weeks,  we’ve been training our correspondents Marjorie and Whitney on all things “Get Together” podcast in preparation for their first interviews, which are taking place now. 

As part of their training, Maggie Zhang compiled a lovely list of guiding principles for how we interview guests. I thought I’d share some highlights with you here: 

  • Seek out the personal. We often start our interviews with the question about personal motivations and stories.

    What do you think it is about you—upbringing, personality, life circumstances—that makes you passionate about community building?

    That personal, not strategic or professional angle, helps connect the listener to our interviewees. 

  • Information begets information, and vulnerability begets vulnerability. When we as hosts share personal stories, it encourages others to do so as well. 

  • The magic question is "why?"  And the simplest or most “obvious” questions tend to be the most informative ones.

  • Look for the universal in the specific. No matter how specific someone’s work is, their experiences as people and in community-building can be relatable to all listeners. Probe for these themes and "human moments."

  • Recap complex reflections. Artfully playing back and framing a guest’s longer answers helps the audience to absorb the insight, and to move the narrative along. 

What do you believe makes a good interview?

Leave a comment

Over the last three episodes of the Get Together we’ve heard from: Jonathan Carey of Atlas Obscura, Nate Nichols and Steffi Behringer of the Allyship & Action Summit, and Joe Robinson of Designer’s + Geeks.

Learn more about our conversations and tune in below. 

Onward ✌️


🔊Podcast Roundup

Crowdsourcing the world’s hidden wonders 🌎

Atlas Obscura is one of the few community-driven travel platforms.  The site focuses on the hard-to-find wonders and oddities of the world, from a church with Frederic Chopin’s heart in Poland to an abandoned Eurostar train covered in graffiti in France, to the Ottoman Bird Palaces (yes, ornate mansions for birds!) hiding in Istanbul. All of the 20,000+ discoveries are sourced by their community and published in partnership with “A.O.” staff editors. Jonathan Carey is Associate Places Editor and Community Headmaster at Atlas Obscura, editing the places people submit and jumping into the forums to encourage conversation. 

Photo from Atlas Obscura’s Eclipse viewing party in 2017

Editorial note from Maggie:

Atlas Obscura is designed around natural instincts—people want to talk about their travels. The founders created a space to fulfill that existing desire. On Atlas Obscura people can share their discoveries and experiences, and also find like-minded people who appreciate them. 

In our interview, Jonathan also mentioned that the reason they are so successful as a community-driven travel platform is because they treat their contributors like staff members: giving them feedback, looping them in when they want to learn more about a place, sometimes even asking them to host events. And they’re respectful about each person’s individual process—there’s not one defined editorial template, because they want to encourage individual writing styles. Instead they share principles and guidelines of what makes a good piece and then work with the writer to accommodate what’s best for them.

🎧 Listen on your favorite podcast platform.
Apple, Google, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, YouTube, RSS.

👀 Keep your eyes peeled.

Bailey is working on a deep dive on how Atlas Obscura got off the ground that we will share in the next few weeks. 

Rallying allies ✊🏾 

Nate Nichols and Steffi Behringer are life and business partners, and most recently the founders of Allyship & Action. 

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Nate and Steffi spun up the Allyship & Action Summit as an urgent source of information on allyship, providing tangible next steps on anti-racism for ad land. The summit and supporting Slack groups and workshops connect allies to Black creatives and allies to learn and continue the conversation. They are also calling on major brands and organizations to sign the Allyship & Action Pledge, “a commitment to transparency with a common, core code we use every time we enter into our business transactions.”

Nate pictured left and Steffi on the right.

Editorial note from Kevin:

Nate and Steffi  have this mentality that if they have to navigate this tough time, others in the advertising industry do too, so let’s organize them.

After the murder of George Floyd, they stepped up yet again—meeting uncertainty with community building. Nate and Steffi saw the need for a community within their industry that’s promoting, facilitating, and pushing conversation related to antiracism.

🎧 Listen on your favorite podcast platform.
Apple, Google, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, YouTube, RSS.

🗓 You can experience the Allyship & Actions Summit on October 29-30.

It’s a source of information on allyship and will provide tangible next steps on anti-racism specifically in the advertising industry.

✊🏾 Learn more & RSVP

Mastering the art of meetups 🤓

By day, Joe Robinson is the co-founder of Hummingbird, a new service focused on fighting financial crime. But on the podcast we talked to him about his side project, a community he sparked called Designers + Geeks.

Joe is a community-building veteran. He ran the Live Music SF and led Silicon Valley NewTech meetups before starting Designers + Geeks, a mashup of his interests in design, art, and technology. For the past decade, they’ve been featuring monthly speakers on niche topics such as designing for all human senses, designing for dyslexia, designing for accessibility, designing for stigma.

Image for post

Designers + Geeks celebrates their 5th birthday! Joe is pictured center left.

Editorial note from Maggie:

What stood out to me most is how Joe mentioned he’s an introvert, a fact that he says surprises a lot of people. Most people imagine community organizers as the most social person in the room. And you may think that if you are quieter or more reserved, you could never play that role. But Joe emphasized that introverts make great leaders because they have to think through details, connecting all the dots and creating structure for the spaces they are in. There’s not one personality type that suits a community organizer. 

🎧 Listen on your favorite podcast platform.
Apple, Google, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, YouTube, RSS.

Bonus! Kevin on Masters of Community with David Spinks 

Back in July, Kevin was on the “Masters of Community” podcast. David Spinks and Kevin discuss Kevin's early career at CreativeMornings and The Feast, the work we do at People & Company to help organizations make smarter bets on community building investments, and the responsibility of community leaders to take a stand against racial injustice.

🎧 Listen on your favorite podcast platform.
Apple, Google, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, YouTube, RSS.

🎙Subscribe to Get Together🎙

✨This Week’s Inspiring Link

BTS’s Loyal Army of Fans Is the Secret Weapon Behind a $4 Billion Valuation  

It’s 10:30 on a Monday night, and Ashley Hackworth is putting the final touches on a personal project to make the world’s biggest boy band a little bit bigger. 

Ms. Hackworth, who teaches English in South Korea, is on a Zoom call with five other fans of the Korean pop group BTS, planning a virtual meet-up for followers. An online game for the event still needs work. Someone has to reach out to local radio stations about media coverage. And who can contact potential sponsors? 

Their fan group will not be paid a dime for promoting the band. But without their efforts, and those of a vast network of other hyper-dedicated fans, the Korean company that manages BTS, Big Hit Entertainment, would not now be a multibillion-dollar enterprise. 

On Thursday, shares in the company will begin trading in South Korea, capping off the country’s most hotly anticipated initial public offering since 2017...what these investors are really paying for is not necessarily Big Hit or even BTS. It’s a huge and highly connected ecosystem of fans like Ms. Hackworth with a deep, even life-changing, attachment to the group and its message of inclusivity and self-love. 

More Community Inspo 📚

More on all things People & Company and Get Together here.

We published a book, host a podcast, and coach organizations on how to make smarter bets with their community-building investments.