Hey there, it's Oshyan ("ocean")

Hi folks, my name is Oshyan (pronounced “ocean”), he/him, living in Albany (Berkeley area) in California. I’m passionate about the intersection of technology and human connection, and that’s why I’m here!

I’ve been in the tech industry for 20 years or so, and while my day job is now in real estate, creative and positive uses of technology still inspire me more than anything. So I’ve started working on the tech side of community building over the last year or so, in particular. Prior to that I built or helped build and manage communities either as part of a hobby, or as one part of my job, but this is the first time I’ve focused on the community building itself as the driving force, rather than as more of an extension or expression of some other goal, i.e. a means to an end.

My online community journey began with old-school BBSs as a kid, went through a solid Usenet and IRC phase, and then I got hooked on forums, vB, PHPBB, SMF, etc. until more modern platforms came around. I’ve been following Rosie for a while now and I’m excited to be here! I’m still a big fan of more long-form, asynchronous forum-style community spaces, so I’m glad to see this place being developed.

I greatly appreciate everything Rosie does to foster and support community development, and help out all the people who are creating, managing, and furthering “community” as a whole! Not just in a functional, practical sense (tools, guide, advice, etc.), but also the ongoing explorations of what “community” is and can be and the signal boosting of others doing similar exploration. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Rosieland newsletter is a must!

4 Likes

Welcome Oshyan!! Seems like wherever you go in your life, community follows you🎉

What is your favorite community out there?

3 Likes

Hey, thanks for dropping by with your kind and supportive words.

And I feel less old when I’m surrounded by others who have been in tech for 20+ yrs :rofl:

There’s actually many little things that I’d love to bring back from the old skool days of the internet. Though this forum will be quite a time consuming project to maintain.

4 Likes

Welcome, Oshyan. :wave:t2:

And thanks for sharing your community story. Good to meet you on here.

See you around. :smiley:

3 Likes

Oh, what an interesting question! There are many great ones, of course, and it’s hard for me to pick just one. So I’ll give you a few with a short reason why. :grin:

Offline, the spirits + cocktail (and broader food) community is amazing. So much creativity, support, and information exchange. There are online spaces too, but I haven’t found them to be as magical as the in-person, which might have a lot to do with the subject, something that is best appreciated IRL.

The Obsidian (note taking app) community is my favorite community that I barely participate in. :laughing: It is incredibly vibrant and full of brilliant people giving so much to each other. And they manage to have a really active Discord and Discourse forum together.

The entire Tools for Thought (TfT) community, often most interconnected on Twitter from what I’ve found, is one I participate in more and really love. You’ll see researchers, users, and app devs all interacting, trading ideas, knowledge, workflows, testing things, etc., it’s amazing. I particularly love seeing devs + researchers get deeply nerdy about human-computer interaction, UI/UX, etc.

My last example(s) might be unexpected, but I honestly love a certain type of Facebook group, of which there seem to be many, which centers around some particular, usually amusing, often animal-related theme, and is all about sharing photos, stories, etc. on that theme. Not only is the content funny or adorable, and the interactions often just very sweet and supportive, but the modmins are really creating some wonderful, inclusive, safe spaces for people who might need a refuge, a break, etc. Examples include “Recreate artworks with things you find at home”, “Post a gay cat” (FkA “Post a Cat”), “Himb a good boi”, etc.

I feel like there’s something about this generation… hah.

If you find the time, I’d love to know what some of those are! I bet I share some of them. :grin:

1 Like

Thanks for this answer Oshyan🎉 Usually when I ask this I just get a bunch of links that send me on to community landing pages, so I LOVE that you mention multiple types of communities on multiple platforms and multiple different reasons as to why you enjoy them so much🙌🏻

How did the spirits + cocktail community deal with covid? I remember seeing a lot more videos and posts about making your own cocktails at home and bars selling DIY cocktail kits too

1 Like

Yes, another great question. Although I said:

There are online spaces too, but I haven’t found them to be as magical as the in-person

I actually met a ton of amazing new people through a regular cocktail video chat that a friend of mine setup. She works in a local spirits store, and honestly was someone I didn’t know that well; we’d met maybe a few times in the store and chatted about cocktails a little. But apparently that was enough for her to know that I was “her kind of people” :smile: and so she invited me to one of the first of these video chats fairly early in the pandemic. She turned out to have good instincts, and I got closer to her as a result, as well as to many other great people she connected together.

Attendance fluctuated, we even got some local spirits luminaries, writers, reviewers, bartenders, etc., but we ultimately settled on a smaller core of people who stuck to meeting regularly up until perhaps 6 months ago, and we’ve even done a few special one-offs since. Including a couple in-person events! But for a while there it was twice weekly online only, and I’m amazed we kept that up for so long. It was a really unexpected but lovely and spontaneous experiment in community and I’ve made some friendships that I hope last for years to come. Some of these people I still haven’t met, yet I consider them friends, people I care about. :slight_smile: (I’m no stranger to creating strong bonds solely through online spaces though, I am still online friends with a couple people I met more than 20 years ago and hope one day to visit them in their various homes around the world!)

The Pandemic also brought a tremendous increase in accessibility of information, creation or strengthening of broader online community, and big boosts in drink-related content creation. Organizations like Portland Cocktail Week, Mezcalistas, and many brands created regular educational video content, which previously would have been in-person events open only to e.g. bartenders, but are now recorded (and live) video and often made available openly and freely on e.g. YouTube. The increased availability of informational content from really expert folks is amazing. And I think this has also helped fuel community growth, often around the e.g. YouTube channel itself (in extensive comment threads, etc.), but especially where a channel or brand provides an additional outlet, like YT channel The Educated Barfly and their very active Discord.

I think Rosieland well demonstrates how making information accessible even outside of a direct “community space” can do a lot to help create and support community more broadly. I suspect there was a lot of in-person and other small-scale, local community growth bolstered by people’s growing understanding and appreciation of how to make good drinks. Friends new and old getting together to share new recipes and knowledge, and even virtual happy hours and the like. I did some virtual cocktail classes with a few friends as well, which was a small form of community. And I even saw some well-known bartenders doing online classes, whether because they were out of work, or simply to connect with people (something many of them missed so much when that part of their job went away, even if they did remain employed to make e.g. to-go drinks).

I think what connects all this is simply breadth, variety, and creativity. People found new ways to connect during the pandemic, and topics like cocktails were perhaps of particular interest since going out was no longer an option for many, and likewise people wanted ways to celebrate and find brightness even in dark times. Whether it was trading recipes and tips through Reddit or doing Zoom happy hours, people found and created community in new ways. :slight_smile:

Outside the direct community sphere there was also an explosion in both to-go cocktails (and trial + error and innovation surrounding that), as well as Ready to Drink (RTD) products. And in some cases there were interesting changes in laws around alcohol sales and consumption, some of which (like small distilleries being able to sell and ship directly to consumers) I hope sticks! The US still has some rather outdated laws and structures in place around alcohol that serve little purpose as far as keeping unsafe products out of consumer’s hands, and just create useless bureaucracy.

2 Likes

What you said really raised my appreciation for community. While we are all living our lives, entire groups of people go through so many changes just to keep in touch with the people who are connected to them by a shared interest.
I wish every community had their own ‘timeline’ website showing all of the changes they’ve gone through during covid

2 Likes

That’s a cool idea! Reminds me that I’m not aware of any really easy to use and generally available “timeline” creation tools. It would be great if such a thing existed and could be used collaboratively. :thinking:

2 Likes

I can’t think about it too much or I’ll buy a domain for it right away and never build it😂
And I love the collaborative angle

2 Likes

:thinking:

It’s nice to meet someone else who grew up with the same tools! 20 years is a lifetime in tech.

2 Likes