Community Q&A with Tricia Byrnes

by: Scott Bakken

We are only two weeks away from Socality Live San Diego! And this week we are discussing Community.

We recently interviewed Tricia Byrnes a member of the Community Team at Steller. Tricia is a workshop speaker at Socality Live San Diego. She's also a former Olympic Skier! Read more about the story of Steller and its community below.

1. What is Steller and how do we sign up?

Steller is a storytelling app that let’s you share photos, videos + text right from your iphone to make beautifully designed stories. Anyone and everyone can sign up and share stories, here’s the download link

2. What was the inspiration behind the app?

Big sister and little brother design team, Karen Poole + Brian McNaiff wanted to create a place for people to tell beautiful stories and found there was no app that could do what they wanted, so they decided to build one...enter Steller! I’d say they didn’t a mighty fine job of it too :)

3. Why do you think story telling is so important in our day?

I think storytelling is an important part of our heritage as humans, it’s how we learn and get inspired and share the meaningful events, lesson and loves of our lives with our community. And now with all this new fandangled technology, our communities are getting bigger and I think people are craving the sense of connection that storytelling brings online or off. And it’s cool to see how online storytelling inspires real life hangouts and community.

4. What are is your story? Tell us 3 things about you.

  1. I’m the youngest of five kids.
  2. I’ve always dreamed of having a late night talk show
  3. Once upon a time, I competed at the Olympics.

5. How have you seen Steller connect others in the last year? Is there an example you can share

It’s been amazing to see the connections that Steller has inspired from Steller Meets to kid’s projects at schools. Here are two of my favorites Steller connections: Missy Jena, a school teacher in Toronto has used Steller for various projects with her fifth grade class. One of which was using Christoffer Collin’s story on the Faroe Islands to inspire the children. Children sent Christoffer notes sharing how his story inspired them. Heart melting for sure!

“When you receive 21 handwritten letters from kids aged 9-11 telling you how much they loved your Steller story about Faroe Islands, it would take a heart of stone not to be affected. Cuteness overload and something that definitely brought happy tears to my eyes.”- wisslaren

Another Steller connection that I love was when Deb Hopewell came across a man dressed in a Storm Trooper costume walking 501 miles from Petaluma, CA to San Diego, CA in costume for Comi-con to raise money and awareness for cancer research in honor of his late wife. Deb shared her Steller story on her Facebook page and her friend Tess Vigeland who works in Public Radio, read the story, interviewed Kevin Doyle on air and raise a whole bunch of awareness for his cause.

That’s the stuff that I find really inspiring! 

6. You guys have hosted some cool meets. Can you share more about these?

We’re really excited about the Steller Meets that we’ve been hosting and have on tap to host. It’s been so much fun connecting with Steller authors around the world to co-host Steller Meets which range from two hour city exploration events in places like Vienna, Chicago and London to some more adventurous ones in Joshua Tree and Utah. In May, We Love Utah gathered together an amazing crew looking to capture sunrise and sunset on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It was only supposed to be one day but most of us ended up camping out for two nights and making really great friendships.  We’re working on a lot more this summer so be on the look out for more on Steller and our Instagram page.

7. What is next for Steller?

We’re working on some really great community projects that we’ll be launching this fall and Karen+Brian are always working on new themes and beautiful, easy, and fun ways to share your stories.

8. What is one thing you are looking forward to at Socality San Diego?

I love meeting people so I’m super excited to meet some of the people I’ve connected with online in person and to hear everyone’s stories.