Gociety app provides social network for people who love the outdoors
The free Gociety app links outdoor enthusiasts based on proximity. Visit gociety.com for more information or to download the app.
It can be difficult to find outdoor companions with similar interests and skill levels, despite living in a valley full of active outdoor enthusiasts.
Gociety brings those people together and links them based on proximity. The app allows users to provide information about themselves, such as what activities they enjoy, in addition to their skill level.
“I think the coolest part is just meeting other cool people,” said Joe Howdyshell, of Breckenridge. “I’m 32, so I’m meeting people in my age group and adventure level.”
The app, started in 2012 and launched in 2014, targets the 24-to-34 age range, said co-founder Anna Theilke.
“It’s for somebody who wants to find exactly that person that’s the same skill level,” Theilke said. “We’ve opened it up since then to say, actually, anyone can use this.”
While Gociety isn’t a dating site, relationships have sparked from Gociety meetups.
“The outdoor community is amazing,” Theilke said. “It’s bound to happen. I think that’s a really cool side-effect.”
HOW IT STARTED
Theilke said she would try to make same-sex friends on sites such as OKCupid, but it was “just so awkward.” She developed the idea for Gociety with her partner, Alex Witkowiz, after they were laid off at SKI Magazine but continued to work together.
“We said, ‘Well, what problems can we solve,’” Theilke said. “How do you instantly meet somebody? How do you get off the singles line? We didn’t feel anybody had a real solution.”
The app started in Denver and is now all around the world. There is a large following in the Czech Republic, Theilke said.
“It definitely works better in Denver and Colorado areas,” she said. “If you’re in one of those areas where there aren’t a lot of people, we want to help them get through it.”
HOW IT WORKS
Gociety users can log in with their Facebook accounts and the user-friendly app easily allows you to check activities you enjoy, as well as skill levels for each and the times you are most available.
It then links you to other users in the area, where you can see profiles with information including name, age, gender and town. You can also see their interests. You can approve or deny connections, much like Tinder, and build a friends list.
Users also have immediate access to plans in the area. All it takes is one user to create a plan, such as hiking Mount of the Holy Cross, and others can join. Users can see skill level required and be prepared, as well as have access to the creator’s notes.
“They haven’t quite gained a whole lot of traction up here yet,” Howdyshell said. “I’m not really sure why. It’s a great app with great functionality.”
I signed up seamlessly with Facebook. I took a few minutes to thoughtfully fill out my interests and skill levels, including expert groomer snowboarder, learning backcountry and intermediate stand-up paddleboarder.
I immediately found people in my town, Avon, within my age range. I am 26 and found a few younger people and a few older people, both male and female.
The profiles are very genuine and are focused on activities nearby, rather than a person’s looks or personality, although you can attain that from the information in the profile.
A lot of the activities planned sound awesome, but there weren’t many locally quite yet, although there were some mountain bikers gathering this weekend.
Gociety puts on events across the state throughout the year. It recently partnered with the Merrell footwear brand to tour the country with five stops. At the end of August, the annual Mountain Gathering will take place in Breckenridge.
The events places to meet like-minded people and come away with a few partners to get outdoors with.
Howdyshell said he’s been to events “everywhere from Ouray, Boulder, Denver, Winter Park and A-Basin” doing “all kinds of stuff.”
“You end up with this group of friends who is always up for doing something fun in random places,” Howdyshell said.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.