“Don't just watch life. Participate!”
That's the slogan of Baltimore-based startup HobbyBuddy. Their purpose is to help people connect with locals who enjoy the same hobbies or activities. You can sign up as an individual or as a couple and participate in activities either in your hometown or while traveling. HobbyBuddy could be thought of as a one-stop shop for finding things to do and awesome people to do them with.
To get involved, simply set up your profile, choose activities you enjoy – either from a list, or there's space to add your own – and then join events already created, or create your own. Activities can range from something as non-committal as a pick-up basketball game to a week-long trip to Japan. It's free to join, so the only costs are for the activities themselves. To find activities or events, you can search by location, date, or event type.
As for HobbyBuddy etiquette, the founders simply remind members that “if someone sends you a Hobby, that does not mean that they are offering to treat you (though it would be nice). Sending someone a Hobby is like saying, ‘Hey Bud, I'm going to be doing this fun activity, just wanted to let you know. I'd be thrilled to HobbyUp with you.'”
While HobbyBuddy is based in Baltimore, all events are created by members, and therefore have the potential to take place in any city where members exist. This feature differentiates the company from some of the hyper-local social networking startups out there.
Most people have some type of hobby they are passionate about, and even those who have more solitary hobbies, like Sudoku or knitting, enjoy getting together with others who share their interests. While they may still have a few bugs to work out, I think HobbyBuddy provides a much-needed service in the social networking space.
Kristin Pryor is a writer interested in startups and entrepreneurship.