When someone from outside the 412 (and 724) comes to Pittsburgh, where do you go to “show them the city”? Sure the incline is fun, Primanti Brother’s and Pamela’s is delicious, and the point is beautiful, but those are just places in Pittsburgh; where do you go to connect with the people in Pittsburgh?
This was the question Brett Wiewiora asked over and over again during his time as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. Brett, a native Pittsburgher, wanted to create a resource where anyone, from an international student at CMU to a native Pittsburgher like himself, could discover and connect with the people and culture of Pittsburgh. While Brett was getting his Masters in Public Policy and Management, he decided to take his interest and put it to action, Brett created Only In Pittsburgh.
Only In Pittsburgh started in May of 2010 as a “visual event aggregator”, Brett said. Brett knew that people would go to new places and meet new people in Pittsburgh if something was going on there. Brett decided to make a website where people could post different events, and include pictures of the place and the event. This was working for a while, but his goal was to “connect people with communities”, and Only in Pittsburgh wasn’t doing that as well as it could have. So Brett decided to change it.
Brett could have turned Only in Pittsburgh into a lifestyle magazine of sorts or a list of events, but he wanted to be “more community focused” than event focused. Brett also noticed that community’s web presence was rather “silo-ed”; Yelp has just reviews of places, Urban spoon just had restaurant reviews and recommendations. Brett wanted to create something that encompassed the entire community, not just one piece of it (as a computer science student, Brett best described the situation in terms of columns and rows. Communities had an online representation that was made of different columns,
each column pertaining to just one small piece of many communities. Brett wanted to develop a row view, a view of a community that showed everything it had to offer). This lead to Scenable.
Scenable is a mobile app that is a “platform for communities…. online”. The idea of Scenable is to have one solitary platform that has all of the information about one community. Want to know what a community’s music ‘scene’ is, what the local bloggers are saying about it, and what the local businesses are up to? Check out the Scenable app for your neighborhood, its all there.
Here is a short intro video to Scenable
Right now Scenable is in Beta version. Brett started with a grant from CMU and is continuing to work with support from the Oakland Business Improvement District. The Scenable app is only made for the Oakland “scene” right now, and it still coming together. Brett feels confident that the direction he and Only in Pittsburgh are headed in with the Scenable App has potential. Brett sees himself not only as a tech entrepreneur trying to make money, but as a social entrepreneur trying to help his the people around him better connect to their community.
What’s there to do in Pittsburgh, what does the Pittsburgh scene hold?
Well… there’s an app for that, Scenable.