With the recent news of Tesla founder Elon Musk placing a bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion, black Twitter is in fear of not having a space to collectively gather in peace. But as of recently many new users are turning to a new social media platform called, Somewhere Good, an audio platform for intimate community conversations. Want to know the best part? It was founded by a black woman named Naj Austin, a woman who isn’t new to creating space for people of color.
Austin who is also the founder of Ethel’s Club, a social club and co-working space located in Brooklyn, New York, has been waiting to create a new space where collectivism is at the center of new conversations. She believes people don’t want more unhealthy platforms that fail to support our ability to gather and connect, Austin believes in changing the way social media spaces both look and feel, with community and people of color at the forefront.
Many members of Ethel’s Club requested different groups within the community: therapist recommendations, book clubs, and wellness groups. She was initially inspired to create the new platform based on the individual needs of the members of her club. After raising over $3.75 million from leading investors such as True Ventures and actor Gabrielle Union, Somewhere Good was created.
Now the creation of an audio platform isn’t a new idea, maybe you’ve heard of Somewhere Good’s digital competitor, Clubhouse. A social network valued at $1 billion, originally founded back in 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. According to Tech Crunch, Austin states during an interview, “It’s a solid company. But I think they’ve struggled with really big questions and I think that there are solutions and answers out there that Clubhouse has chosen not to embed to their platform, and that was simply a choice that they made.” She wants to continue to create a space that isn’t a reflection of the apps already on our phones, she believes Somewhere Good is the start of rebuilding trust together outside of our daily norms.
Photo Credit: Somewhere Good
What to look forward to
For now, this new platform is invite-only, but don’t worry about missing out, to gain access simply send either Naj Austin or Somewhere Good a request for the access code via a direct message, and before you know it your in. Once your inside the app you’re greeted by a selection of different worlds: Artist Ritual World, Communal Care World, Radical Library World, and Deep Discourse World. Unlike Clubhouse no single person is in control of the experience, instead, each world features a prompt and a recording button to share your experience amongst a trail of different stories from people across the world. I found it more interesting to press the play all button and see where everyone is in this exact moment, what they’re going through, their reflections, their hopes for the future. This space easily allows you to see yourself in others without the need for reassurance that what you have to say is valuable. Just people coming together sharing their response to not only the prompt but where they are in this exact moment.
Please remember before joining the original intention of this space, to help you foster connections, my best advice is to be open to others and enjoy the journey, you never know what you’ll discover amongst worlds together.