About us

Ohlelo is the place to go for great conversations about your passions, and you can read all about why we’re so unique right here.

You might ask, does the world really need another social media platform? Aren’t there already enough viral echo chambers out there?  

Perhaps it doesn’t – and in fact, it probably doesn’t need most of the ones it already has! So when we were building Ohlelo, we knew it HAD to be different. And not just a little different – a lot different.

How is Ohlelo different to anything else you have used before?

There’s a place on Ohlelo to explore every one of your unique interests – we have over 3,000 topics and growing, and you can create a unique space for your own particular passion if we don’t have it yet!  Think of Ohlelo as the canvas to explore your passions.

On Ohlelo you can engage with others who share your interests in so many ways – by discussing shared interests through text comments, recording a podcast, or jumping on a live video discussion with them. You can have great conversations about exactly what you love the most!

Our content is created by Ohlelo members and our advanced ratings engine surfaces the best of it based on members’ input. Members also moderate the content, to ensure Ohlelo is a safe place for everyone!

And by the way, while we are all about connecting people with shared interests, that doesn’t mean they will have the same point of view – we aren’t fans of echo chambers! We encourage members to challenge each other’s viewpoints. If they can’t agree, they can even set up a structured video debate and see what others think of their arguments!

Ohlelo makes creating amazing multimedia content simple and easy with an incredible suite of tools to offer.  Write a blog, stream video, share your podcast, create video galleries and engage in live panel discussions, all in one place!

We think you’ll agree that all of these things make Ohlelo an incredibly unique place.

What are your particular interests and passions? We invite you to dive in to our platform. Start exploring, sharing, and expressing yourself on Ohlelo. If you can’t find the topic you are interested in, go and create it yourself and become a leading voice in your community

Our platform allows you to explore your particular interests, interact with others who share them, and discuss everything about over 3,000 topics and growing. You can create amazing multimedia content and share it directly into your niche, to drive up engagement and build your followership!

Buy in to our mission

Ohlelo’s mission is to create great conversations. We enable people to congregate and discuss their interests across a huge range of over 3,000 topics and growing!

Explore your passions

This is where you come in. You’ve got a bunch of interests and passions. And of course you already have many places to go to get information and news about them. With Ohlelo, you’ve got one place to go to immerse yourself – to hear the best of what others are saying about your particular interests and discuss your passions directly!

We will be delighted to have you as a part of our adventure! 

Curate your fascinations

Moreover, Ohlelo enables you to find people who share your very specific interests. Say you’re into both knitting and beer. Why not create a place for those who love beer coaster knitting?? Share content and discussions and connect with those who share your passions. (They may not share your point of view though, we aren’t fans of echo chambers!)

Ross Hunter our Founder and CEO

Check out our team

Our CEO had the idea for Ohlelo many years ago. Cue the Covid-19 pandemic, and Ross had free time on his hands. Enter Larysa our COO, who had been in the tech sector for 10 years, knew how to develop complex websites, and could market ice to tundra-dwellers. Ohlelo was born a few months later, with the help of teams of sharp interns from the US, UK and India and some crack developers!

Hear about our name

Ohlelo is a tweak to the Hawaiian word “olelo” which means language, statement, or to converse. We have been inspired by many people, places, and technologies in building the Ohlelo platform. One is Wikipedia, which brings people together to synthesize knowledge in text, and “wiki” is of course also Hawaiian. At Ohlelo we help people connect around their interests, and conversation is our lifeblood!

Larysa Chaplin our COO

We invite you to explore Ohlelo, discuss your interests, and fuel your passions!

Our story: how Ohlelo came together

Ohlelo is the place to go for great conversations about your passions!

Our mission is to connect people with similar interests and make it easy for them to discuss and interact around those interests. This is the story of how we came about and who we are!

The idea for the platform came many years ago. Ross was part of a debating society in his college days at UVa, and reconnected with that passion upon moving to London in 2005. Everyone knows debating is a niche activity, especially after college (where it was much more of a social club atmosphere than serious debating!). While stuck in a small German town on a study abroad in spring 2007, Ross was reflecting on the new internet technologies of that time such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Skype, and Facebook. Late one evening the thought arose that while not many adults are into debating, in aggregate across the world there are plenty of them – but they are unable to connect, being scattered all over the place. Et voila – why not create a platform for live video debating to connect them all? That was the kernel of the idea. But it struck him late that same evening that if you could build a video debating platform, you could also use it for a whole range of interactions – from the very serious (news, issues) all the way to the lighthearted (standup comedy). 

The Ohlelo concept was born. Ross furiously jotted down the idea and shared with a few close friends. But, to be perfectly honest…nothing happened. It was a daunting project to build such a platform in those days when video streaming was new. Videoconferencing software barely existed! And in his mind, it was only a matter of time before YouTube or one of the other platforms would build it. He would have taken a large bet that someone would build such a platform by 2020!

But it didn’t happen. While there are some sites with some elements of Ohlelo, such as Reddit, none had achieved Ross’s vision thirteen years later. Cue the Covid-19 pandemic, when Ross had free time on his hands. Enter Larysa, who had been in the tech sector for 10 years, knew how to develop complex websites, and could market ice to tundra-dwellers. Ohlelo was born a few months later, with the help of teams of sharp interns from the US, UK and India and some crack developers.

The name Ohlelo is a tweak to the Hawaiian word “olelo” which means language, statement, or to converse. We have been inspired by many people, places, and technologies in building the Ohlelo platform. One is Wikipedia, which brings people together to synthesize knowledge in text, and “wiki” is of course also Hawaiian, meaning quick or fast. In looking for a unique name (that works for social media, search engines and all the other digital marketing requirements!), it was an obvious place to look. We help people connect around their interests, and conversation is our lifeblood. Our name is inspired by a Hawaiian word, and we hope to learn more about the people and culture of Hawaii on the vacation we are planning once the site goes big!

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