When you were young, making friends was easy.
You would do it everywhere: at school, play groups, parties, even at the park.
As we get older, most of us find it harder to make new friends because we are busier.
Studies show that 1 in 8 of us feel lonely and a 2014 study found that 18-24 year olds were four times more likely to feel lonely all the time.
Friendship is important for our mental well-being and it's something we tend to put to one side in favour of work, study, and family.
SoSa is about Friendship. Adults chat, play and share with other adults all over the world.
4 years ago, the imgur.com community were asking for more meaningful ways to connect but no one answered the call.
James reached out and started building a platform called Social Savanna.
It wasn't long after we launched in February 2014 that we realised there was a bigger need for adults everywhere. That's when we expanded our site and apps to be available to everyone, not just the imgur community.
Last year, we renamed to SoSa | Chat Play Share to be closer to our roots.
The most important part of SoSa is the community.
We have about 80,000 members from all over the world with about 200-300 active, unique users every day.
The community are from all walks of life, from students to managing directors and everything in between, aged 18-60 all with very different outlooks on life and aspirations.
Many of them have literally crossed continents to meet each other. Our last big London meetup saw people coming from Canada, Australia, Germany and a bunch of other countries!
This year our London meetup is expected to see people from America, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Denmark, Czech Republic and even the Philippines.
Since January 2018 we have been dipping our toe into paid advertising for the first time and are slowly growing.
Over 2018 we are implementing exciting new features, modernizing the interface, introducing our own voice chat, and improving the apps.
We are also adding a layer of gamification to the site through achievements, powerups and virtual items. These can be used by users across the site to better express themselves and provide a more interesting social dynamic.
Soon we will be starting a weekly quiz night and our own Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
SoSa is currently funded by James's full time work and freelancing.
This covers the costs of servers, infrastructure, staff, office space, basic advertising and 2 meet ups during 2018.
James is the only developer which means time working on the platform is limited, progress can be slow and bugs linger longer than they should.
With your help, James will be able to improve the platform, apps and implement exciting new features quicker.
During 2018 we're hosting a meetup in London and New York, but in 2019 we aim to do 4 in total. One in the U.K., mainland Europe and two in America (East and West coast).
Right now, we run a single game night every week. We'd like to increase that to 3 to support our users in different time zones.
Fund us for 6 months, James can spend 3 months of the year focused solely on SoSa.
Fund us for a year, James can spend 6 months of the year focused solely on SoSa.
James working full time on SoSa, meaning the platform would improve dramatically, apps would get a lot more love and attention, and we could advertise and do 2 meetups in 2019.
James is working full time on Sosa. Console and desktop apps would be considered, we would hire a sales person to help us become more self-sufficient, outsource design, and advertise to grow the platform. We could also host 3 meetups in 2019.
James is working full time, we've got a sales person, and we would hire a 2nd developer to start building social games. Designing is outsourced, and we use paid advertising to grow the platform. We would also host 4 meetups in 2019.
We would start to invest more into advertising and 'community entertainers', which would help us grow and maintain the friendly, fun atmosphere we have.
This would mean more game nights, more activities on the site and more ways of connecting existing and potential users.
James is a 32-year-old entrepreneur from Bristol who has always had a love for technology and has been using chatrooms and gaming since he was young.
With over 13 years commercial experience, James is the sole developer for SoSa. He manages the community and the SoSa Facebook page.
Originally a member, Ena was picked up on her positive interactions with users and made a mod. Later, Ena became a full-time team member where she co-manages the community, handles our twitter account, and does data analysis to help with our growth.
Before joining SoSa, Ena did data analysis for Merck, to compliment her degree in economics.
Just like James as a teenager she spent an unhealthy amount of time in IRC chats and gaming.