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Welcome to the Get Together, our show about ordinary people building extraordinary communities.


I'm today's host Michael Perello, Get Together correspondent and long time community builder at places like You Tube, Flipboard, Burning Man, and now a startup called Matter and I magazine Get Together Correspondant today hosting with Miša and currently working as a community manager at Spotify.


Each episode we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds, thousands more members? Today we're talking to Ashley Hackworth, a savvy community builder who is a main force in Army that is adorable. Representative for youth, a.k.a. K pop supergroup Bootsy's, incredibly loyal and powerful fan base. Army is so big there's even a fan or two in Antarctica.


It's a huge, leaderless web of dedicated fans like Ashley, who serve as informational and even emotional hubs for millions of fans. Army don't just love the music. They support each other through mental health issues and other human needs. They band together to impact the outcome of political movements, like foiling a Trump rally this summer and have raised millions of dollars for the Black Lives Matter movement and flooded social media platforms to drown out racist voices. For them, activism is as important as the catchy tunes.


An English teacher in South Korea by day actually manages one of the biggest fan accounts for beats. Her group not only reports on what's happening with the boys in the region, but they also serve as a hub for worldwide beats, news and even media requests, translation requests, fundraising and more. So Maggie am wondering what stood out to you from our conversation today with Ashleigh?


A lot of things started out. I mean, your summary capture so well, its army is just amazing at everything they do. But the thing that was most impressive to me was how much Army functions like a family actually talked about how when she meets other members of the community, she feels like it's immediately an older sibling, younger sibling relationship, and they just do really incredible things together. Not only does Army help to support vets through fundraising and spreading the word, they also take on a lot of volunteering projects to do social good, and they also support each other wholeheartedly as humans within army.


People will help you out if you're struggling with finances or with your homework or health advice. It's basically like it's own mini world and actually shoot a really touching story about someone whose relative needed a blood transfusion and needed someone to match the same blood type. So people and armies are sharing it, PTSD even shared it, and then eventually they got a match. So just these really human stories opened my eyes that when a group really stands for something, it can unite members beyond what they came there for.


They could have been part of Army because they loved his music and the band itself. But then they support each other and so many other ways.


And Maggie, this is our first episode together and it is so fun. And also, we had a special guest at your sister, Mira. Tell us why she joined.


So I told Mira this interview is happening and she's a huge fan of Beats. She has the latest album. She bought the Learn English with Beats Set. Her whole phone background is pictures of beats. Her room is filled with stuffed animals, mugs with them, and she just loves being part of army. So I wanted to get her in on this interview to share her perspective, too.


It was so great to have her there. All right, Maggie and Ashley, let's do this.


Actually, Maggie and I were so excited to talk to you because we're both big music fans and we're fascinated by the Beats Army. I mean, it's the most insane example of a passionate, engaged fan base. And I'm so curious about how you yourself fell into this rabbit hole.


I am a really huge music fan myself. I grew up around it because within my family, a lot of them did stuff with like a little records. And within Motown, one of my friends, her niece was having a hard time and we connected more. She was showing me on new to this group of voices and watching some of the videos with her. And I like I should learn more about them because they're really good. From then on, I started watching more videos and then American Hustle came out and I watched the TV show.


It showed their personalities. And I was like, oh yeah, they're great performers and they're hilarious. They're like normal. They're humble. I really enjoy this. I started paying more attention to the music and what's going on. I was always on Twitter and I had moved to the UK for school. I noticed there wasn't a lot going on there. So I started reaching out to accounts that were based in the UK and I was like, I would love to do.


Let's bring the fans together, because in America we have events where the fans all ages connections and would make me more popular, it would give a big hit, a reason to pay attention to them, to bring the guys over. And I found one account that was like, yeah, I would be totally interested. Would you want to be our co-ordinator? And I was like, yeah. And that was that is I've been getting way more deeply involved.


My sister has just been nodding along as you were talking about your journey falling in love. It's more like a migration than love because it's like they're so cool. And I like what they represent, like my younger siblings. I would want them to listen more than any other artist. They are like great role models. They do represent what should be presented to younger audiences, even older audiences, and they just connect with us pretty well.


Yeah, I'm wondering what your experience is. Do you want to introduce yourself quickly and share about how you became part of the Army?


Yeah, sure. I'm sure. I'm Maggies 14 year old sister, one of our family friends and two dozen 16 show me the music video for Save Me. And I feel like I need to do it.


So ever since I hooked, that's my all time favorite music video to. Oh, wow.


I was talking to Mira before this recording and she was talking about how being part of Army, she feels like she's part of this big family across the world. And I'm curious for you, because you're based in Korea. Right. But then the fans are all over the world. So how do you feel to be part of the community?


Yeah, I just went to Korea for work. I'm older, so I treat all the younger fans more like an older sister to very protective and watching over, because lot of the army I met are quite young and they're going through a lot of hard stuff at a younger age than when I was their age, especially because they like Pop. I want it up like Pop. Wasn't that cool? It's cooler now, but like these kids don't have any one to meet or to talk to who likes the same thing.


And they don't really have the support and they're going through a lot more issues now. So a lot of us older pop fans want to support the younger ones and let them know it's OK and that they have someone there. I think it's great to see everything going on, someone struggling with finances. And, you know, it's legit. It's going to help out if someone is struggling with self-esteem or they're getting bullied or there to support. So I just feel like it's OK to like this group.


It's OK to like a song in another language. I went through it and I want to help those that went through it because I would love to have had someone there. There's even army homework help, like there's the Army Academy and they help with tutoring services. It's in every subject. There's a medical field one. So these are medical army. They're doctors, nurses. They help with giving tips on health. There's one for cooks and chefs. We have similar experiences not just to the boys, but with each other.


And we want to make sure that everyone stays safe because. Like the guys say, it's OK to be who you are. Don't let anyone bring you down. And I think that's why we're very protective and we take care of each other as best as we can.


OK, since I'm like the grandma of this call, I feel like I feel like I need this explained, like a little bit more to me because like on the outside, you know, I might say that they're just like a bunch of pretty boys playing catchy music. So how does the band itself, like, promote these values?


A lot of it's through the music, and the funny thing is people don't know that until they turn on the captions and if you turn on the captions, you'll see it within their lyrics. One song that really connects with the Army is Magic Shop. And it's really talking about when you're feeling depressed, when you are struggling with your personal mental health issues. And we can go with into this magic shop to let all of our fears go. And they're basically saying, let's go in together.


Like I also have these problems. I also struggle with depression. I also struggle with low self-esteem. I also struggle with all this. And I do it through their music, but they also do it through their live discussions. Sometimes on YouTube, they're chatting with the fans and they're just open and honest about it. They're always talking about like, I'm having a hard time and I'm trying to get through it and I'm trying to love myself. And I hope you guys can learn how to love yourself because you got to love me, is helping me love myself and loving you should help you as well.


It's just by their actions as well. So they're donating to charities and stuff and that's kind of been ingrained in Army. Army doesn't do it just to be like in the news. I don't want to go in. Oh my gosh. Look how much we raised because they've been doing this type of stuff since the beginning. Since 2013, the guys have been donating their time and services army, especially out here in Korea, have been donating to environmental issues such as planting trees for arms, birthday to donating blood to helping raise money for a school.


It's always been a part of what they do. And Army kind of follow suit because that's what they agree and that's what they believe in as well. So do their actions. It's through their songs and it's through the conversations we have with the guys or what they have with us mostly.


How big is the army and how does the group you lead kind of fit into the big picture? How big is our army is so big there's even a fan in Antarctica like, wow, yeah. When my friends, she runs a research army account and she takes the stats of anyone interacting with, like Boethius content and we have like one or two beds in Antarctica, we're quite massive. It's all over the world. And we the account I'm a part of is the biggest account.


And so it's a bit of pressure. And they rely on this account to stay up to date on stuff within the UK. But we also update on what's going on around the world at the same time. So it's like, OK, we know what's going on in the UK with us, but also this is what's happening in Egypt. This is what's happening in Nigeria. This is what's happening in China. I guess we're like global representatives. And a lot of times when the media, the press wants to know more about it, they contact us and they do interview us and ask us questions.


We also played the role of we're representing them with concerts. A lot of the accounts are able to help raise money and make the banners that is traditional with concerts, especially with, yes, we have the permission from the court to raise money through the fans and to choose the design and to choose the slogan. But we use the people that follow us, their votes and stuff like that, and we submit it's a big hit and then it gets printed because we have a large following.


It's kind of like we're a hub. You want the latest information, you want to know what's going on. You want us to talk to someone to try to plan stuff where you would go to. But in every country there are multiple embassies and some of them even have rules of just we strictly talk about voting. Their task is they're telling you how to vote, when to vote, the best way to vote, how to get extra votes. Then there's those that do charts.


We have this mega, huge account run by Army charts, data. And his thing is just telling us about charting. It's mostly us charting, but how many albums we need to sell, how many streams we need to get, and how many singles we need to buy. Just replacement on the charts. So that's just a few examples. Wow, it's quite complex.


It's really interesting because in the New York Times article that you were mentioned in, they referred to as the Beats Band Lead. And it sounds like you leave the UK account, but it also seems like there's no official leader for Army.


That's the thing. What I told them is there is no lead. I made the comment. It was like a joke. I was like, we're kind of like a corporation. Everyone has a certain space where they work and the company at certain level, certain areas. But we're not really led unless it's by big hit or because they're the CEO's. Right. So we have the translators. We have the fan bases and within the fan bases, you have those that are representing the countries, those that are representing voting, those representing, charting those who are who are magazines.


So we even have magazines. Those representing radio have the health and mental. You have academics. We have the research army who play a huge role and helping us understand more about ourselves as well, because they dedicate their entire time researching. They even did an army census so we can know how many of us are around the world. And so it is literally like a small little world of our own. But I make the joke of like a corporation, our roles, and we work with it as best as we can.


They use crowdsourcing, which we took on and boom. Wow.


But that's so fascinating because in so many communities, there's usually a clear leader leading by example, especially for communities that seem really unified in their values, their behavior. So how do you think that Army functions so well without a clear leader?


Because the army is not participate, are the ones whatever project you participate in. Everyone is into that project. There are so many of us. There will always be someone wanting to do what you want to do. Someone pitches an idea, hey, guys, let's do this. You're going to find Army who agree. Like, I like that. Yeah, let's do it and let's work together on it. And so it's more like there's project managers, I guess you would say, where they pitch the idea and then people join in the form a team and everyone works on it together.


It's not like, hey, guys, we need to do this. Bigger accounts take in what other people say before making the full decision. So no one's ever making sure there's always input by those participating and stuff. So I think that's what distinguishes it, is that there's always someone so far for the projects or stuff that are pitched. There's always someone wanting to do the same thing. For example, Black Lives Matter was one army for the match to match the donation.


There's one Armatix was Black Army, just like I am. There's a lot of us army just like, why don't we match this money? Like, I feel very appreciative that the members did that. Why don't we do the same? And then another army who was like, well, let's call it MacMillian. And then it just went from there. It was literally a conversation and other people were like, yeah, this sounds great. And started retweeting it and sharing.


And other people like, that's amazing. Let's keep going. And boom, boom, boom, boom, boom army. Once we're on to something, we don't really stop. So you started seeing it in the press. You started seeing them share it with anyone and everyone they know. It's also kind of similar with dynamite. Dynamite promo was fantastic because you even had gamer army playing video games and when they were dying and dynamite. And so a lot of locals, as we call the public, were like, yeah, I listen to it because someone kept telling me to stream dynamite.


So it just kind of like we're really into doing the same thing as the other person. So why not just join along? Everyone takes their own route on how they do it, but we all have the same goal.


Yeah, it's it's really cool how you you said, yeah. Once you're on something you don't really stop. I, I feel that way just witnessing fans and how they're not just like normal music fans that attend concerts or buy merchandise, but there's also that element of working really hard to support whether it's helping to translate content or running an advertising or social media campaign. And all of it is unpaid, which I think is fascinating. Even my sister spent so much time texting her friends, including me, to stream dynamite.


We could go up to number one on the Billboard Hot one hundred. And I just thought that was so interesting.


That's the best thing about fans sourcing. Exactly.


Big must be so happy. What do you think motivates each member of the community to just work so hard?


It's just because they feel a part of the community. What does the job that is making us feel apart different than a lot of the other fan communities? We get so much information on what's going on. We don't just get content from the members, but we get to know what's going on. They always do like this quarterly debriefing that we get to watch live and see what it's planning. And they're letting us inside the letting us know. OK, so we're planning to do this kind of content, this kind of stuff.


Would they give us that insight? They give us information. They're letting us know the know how. And I think a part of that makes us feel like we are part of their success. We are a part of the team. Maybe I can look at it as like interns because you actually can take these experiences and use it as like an internship. One of my friends on our team, she's a graphic designer and she's done some amazing graphics stuff and she was able to take all this.


And I was like, look. This is like a mini internship project that you can put together and make a portfolio and get a gig, and she actually did get a job. All these experiences in these projects do benefit us in a way for future work because it's like this is what we did. This is so big. It's kind of given back in a way that allowed us to do all this content. But it helps big hit because they can check what we're doing.


We're providing extra stats and analysis that they're not able to check. There's only so many of them in the company. So they have to be able to keep up what's going on. There's so many of us, so we have a system in that way. But then also it helps the boys. They're really talented and passionate and we really enjoy their content. A lot of us want really great success, especially those that's been there from the beginning and seen the way that they were treated, and especially those who are industry gatekeepers who are trying to tell us what is acceptable and what isn't.


So a lot of us are kind of rebelling a little bit like, no, they're great artists. Just because they don't sing in English doesn't mean they can't be successful. So I'm going to show you, you don't want to take the time to turn on the captions and learn more about them. I'm going to show you what they do.


That's kind of the role we've taken on in terms of attracting new people to the army. Is it happening organically or are there things that you do to have people join you?


Honestly, I don't try to push anyone into anything. If you are a follower of mine, because my account isn't technically a stay on account, it's my personal account I've had forever. But I do post yes, I share a bit of content usually. And if you're intrigued and you ask me questions, I will answer them and then they're going to continue. You're going to always ask more. That's usually how it is. It's like you just want to know, hey, what's this person's name?


He's cute or what's this person? He has a great voice. And then once you start doing that, you start wanting to learn more and more and more and more. And then, yeah, that's that's it. Like you're already in. So that's how I usually do it. I will share a song, I will share their song. Everyone's like, Hey guys, you're interested. This vibe is more disco pop. That's how I was with dynamite.


This is where disco pop and I know a lot of my family is into it. So you guys should really check it out. And because you guys have a hard time with it in other language, this is in English. So you guys should have no issue. And they're like, oh, awesome, OK, we're going to check this out. And they actually loved it. My mom loves disco. My family loves it. They said it reminded them of the Jackson five.


Or if I'm talking to someone, they know I'm army. But I guess because I'm older, they don't treat me as as they treat their army because the way I carry myself is a little different. So they're always like, OK, so where you like, it's what genres do they do? And I'm like, OK, so what genre are you into? Are you in the rock song for that? Are you into pop songs that are you into hip hop, alternative hip hop RB?


They tell me their genres and I'm like, OK, listen to this. On this, on this song I'm going to like three and then they do it. So it's usually people who are approaching me because they're interested or those are just curious as to why I like them, what not. And I give them a little sample and they're just like, that's cool. I see why you like them.


I bet you have some incredible stories of how fans look out for each other. I would love to hear some of them.


OK, so this was amazing. Actually, we helped with this one. So on Wevers, which is like a private app on me and other artists like Dayman, her, I think it was it or her grandfather or her uncle needed a blood transfusion and needed someone that can match the blood type. And she was asking on there. And then other people started asking and it was trendy and it turned out so much that we actually got involved in sharing it as well.


And so Ami was sharing it and we were sharing it. And the person was able to find someone that would match the blood because she put the blood type and she's using this emergency that and it happened they were able to match someone because it was a dire situation. So that's one way or another. And from what I've seen from my own, I've seen Ami who their family found out that they were gay. And that's still a situation that's quite raw.


But they'll get home and they have no place to go. And so I've seen Army their there. Where are you based? You can stay at my place. Are you looking for work? My job's hiring. Do you have cash. Do you have people we can help support for a bit. So there's that as well. I've seen that actually quite frequently also with the elections. Same thing. Those that come from firms that are mainly Republican, those teens or young adults are getting kicked out as well.


There's also a lot of support that I've seen on my side. Fortunately, of those with very, very low self esteem and or those, unfortunately, who are having really suicidal thoughts. And there are many who come on and try to talk to them, see how they're doing. So what's going on, and just keep conversation with them over a period of time until they're in a better mental state. I feel like a lot of they feel like they can find someone to talk to.


They're having a really hard time. And you may not know this person, but there are. So you kind of feel like, OK, I can share this with you because you understand what I'm going through. And it usually creates a good friendship. It usually does help the person. From what I've seen on my own and where are these conversations happening, Twitter, Twitter, we have Instagram, we have Facebook, but our main hub is Twitter.


Sometimes you see this on Wevers, and I think it's really cute. It's homework help. Right? So when I have this math problem I can't solve, can you help me? And then there's someone that counts on there. Oh, OK. So you do it like this and like that and they help them with their homework like that. But for more serious situations, it's usually on Twitter because there's so many of us and you'll see someone step it up.


Another person like I'm getting bullied because I don't know how many friends. Is there anyone in my area and I know the account I was a part of would share that, you know, hey, is there anyone in the city or other big accounts would share and then all of a sudden people from that area or nearby will comment. And there you go. You got someone to talk to within your area so that you don't feel alone. Actually, what were some of the things you learned the hard way about building this community, fundraising, fundraising?


Oh, my. Yeah, the thing is, there have been those who take advantage of the free community who do fundraising and stuff, and they'll put up a fake story or they will offer a raffle and usually to donate towards this charity and they put it in the paper and stuff like that. And the person either never gets the raffle prize or they just take the money and then disappear. So we had to learn about that because when our account was trying to raise the money, this was before I love myself was global.


This was before it was very global. So they weren't really taking money directly from the UK or US accounts. You had to somehow find a way to transfer it into a Korean account. And the people on our team are a lot younger. So what they did is they set up a paper and it was under the name of the group instead of the person's name. So that they are like, hey guys, look, we're not going to take the money.


And they learned the hard way that that's not what you're supposed to do. You need to have it. Unless the group is registered as a company, at least within the U.K., you need to have it under a person's name, because when they try to donate, they were having a hard time because of the Korean accounts. And so when they were trying to get access, the account ended up getting locked out for about a good six months because they had to prove their identity.


So finally, they got access and they were able to contact the myself based in Korea. And we were able to transfer the money directly to their bank account, like they gave us more information to make it easier. So we had to learn the hard way on how to do proper fundraising. Now, with one in an army, we were in an even better way. Instead of taking the money directly, we just set up with an account page and you can donate through the account page.


And that keeps it safe because you're never too sure on what some of these people who are in the Army or taking advantage of army are doing. We're also learning the hard way of because we've made it so public that we like to raise for charity and stuff, we will get people that are like, hi, I need help for this. And if we're like, no, or we don't really have the time to do that, we'll get attacked.


Or there's like, well, aren't you guys this and all that. So we've taken on a larger responsibility. So we have to kind of be careful on what we're promoting and what information we're giving to the public. That's probably the biggest lesson. I think everything else has been fine. Yeah, it's I guess like a parallel to your experience, as I was reading about those people who run the BBC's translater accounts and how they also get burnt out because so many fans are asking, can you translate this might not translate this yet.


Oh, you gave all this attention to this one member. How about the other member? And it's really easy to just get exhausted by the amount of requests.


And it's only a few people like you still have our account because there's so many people. We get thousands of questions and there is only like ten of us on a Twitter account. I think now it's down to five because a lot of us are busy and we have other work. We just don't have the time and they're having to go through it and they get really upset if you miss something or if you make an error. And so sometimes we have to be careful with how we write things because it can create a bit of chaos.


And it's hard. I wish sometimes those who follow the accounts do realize how much effort we're putting in, how much time and energy translators are put in and those who run embassies and stuff because it's like a second part time job. You're doing a lot of hours of work for really no pay or anything just because we want to. And it's feels good when people are appreciative, they're excited, they're happy, but it feels bad when you get a lot of hate and threats and uncomfortable competition.


Yeah, for sure.


It's hard when you're, I guess, catering to such a large community of really passionate people, and especially because so much is online, it must be hard. Things get lost in translation. You can't read tone of voice from like a tweet. So I've heard AMI is just known for being like the most tech savvy strategic business like fan base. I mean, you just joked about it being a corporation. And I think it's interesting how fans will really pay attention to metrics like album sales, music streaming.


And I heard even after like big hits, corporate meetings, people actually look for the business strategy documents to read them because they're just fascinating.


I know really well.


So I'm just curious, why did you look at it? Why is this an important tactic? Why do you think AMI is so tech savvy and pay attention to the numbers so much?


Well, I am an entrepreneur. I do lot freelance stuff with events and with the music. I enjoy reading business documents and. Everyone thinks that army so young that we wouldn't understand stuff like that, but a lot of us are really interested in tech or really interested in businesses and seeing how the labels being run and all that, because we either want to do it ourselves or they're studying it if they're in college. Also, because we want to find a way to make sure that the boys get the support that we believe they deserve.


They get a fair shot. They get a fair chance. Like I said earlier, we're kind of rebelling against the norm. What the gatekeepers are saying is a lot and a lot of us feel like this is great music. They're saying they're sending great messages and everyone should hear it, but no one's giving it a chance just because they're a minority or they're speaking another language. So it's kind of like we can understand what's going on in the company.


We can make sure the guys are OK. We can see what a big hit has planned and then how we can assist them. And so I feel like it's a whole bunch of those things. They want to see how the boys are doing, what's going to be happening with them, or they're interested to see the method or the way that it's taking. Some of us may want to work with some of us may want to work with the company and see how they run things that could influence them and their business plan ideas.


So it's more like interest. It just is giving us more insight, which now it's become like it's a right for us because we're so involved. We have the right to know. So, yeah, I mean, me is just because I'm an entrepreneur and I want to do more stuff with the music and I like to see how they're running and managing the label a little bit. I'm so curious as to if the IPO's changed anything about the tone of this committee.


I mean, you could say that it wouldn't have happened at all without your hard work.


Well, but here's the thing. As I explained with The New York Times, it's like a triangle to three way thing without the Navy or Army. Without Army, there's no way can be. Yes and without there's no army. So it's literally like a shared thing. I can't really say that it's more one person or the other. It's all three of us together. And I think the people are just intrigued. A lot of the media made it seem like all these kids are going to be throwing their money and they don't understand what's going on.


But a lot of the army, which is entrenched, they're like, what's an IPO? How does this work? How does this benefit big hit? How does this benefit meet's? So it was more of an interest or will this help the guys? Will this give them more exposure? Will this give them a better opportunity? So I created more interest and excitement because they're like, OK, they can get more money, more funding, and we're supporting them, know.


So it's like OK to emerge. Who's going to be taking on shares? Are we going to be into wanting to support this? So it was more like that. From what I was seeing. There was a lot of army who actually do invest in things that were explaining stuff, very, very simplified version, like the ice cream version where like if you're an ice cream store, there was a lot of that going on. I was a part of discord where there were a lot of Army investors who were interested in investing in the market as well.


And so seeing that they were from the Philippines or some from the US, they were some from Australia, they were talking about. Yeah, I've I've invested in Nike, so I'm hoping I can do this and that. And so I feel like it just created more interest. It helped them want to learn more about what an investment is, what it will do for the group, what it would do for the company. That's all it really does, is it just creates more interest.


And some army did get share, not a lot of our input from them because they actually have the money.


Yeah, it's interesting because you talked about connecting people through discourse, through Twitter and I mean the New York Times article they wrote about how you also plan virtual meet ups with people where it's like games and you have sponsors and you actually reach out to radio stations to promote it. And then even beyond the fan groups, I saw how Beats held that two day concert with almost a million attendees. And it's just really interesting for us because in the midst of the pandemic, so many communities have been shifting online.


But the Beats community has been online for quite a while and worked really well, virtually. So what kind of advice do you have for existing as an online community?


Well, the thing is, pop and technology has always been a really big thing because it's the way of being able to expand into global territory. That's the biggest thing we honestly did our virtual because we couldn't do it in person every year or every few months. We've always did it in person. Everyone was having a hard time, though. And so our team decided, why don't we just do it online? We have the resources there. Zoome We have the sponsors because these are people we've worked with in the past so we can still do the exact same things.


But online you just have to cut out the random mansplaining stuff. But the best advice is to look at the resources. What kind of opportunities could you create out of what's available, having researched what kind of platforms you can use, what you can do with those platforms? Do you have an audience? Do you have the pool to bring people in to join you, to participate in whatever project you're doing? And if you do, then that can work with sponsors and all that.


I feel like we've already had the advantage of having those we've worked with. But if you are interested in the platform, you do need to have the analytics to know how many people are interested. You can do it through like ticketing and where are you going to do the ticketing? You can do it for free off of a website that you create and where you have the ticketing options, you can do Wick's or you can use like event and offer free tickets, which will give you the stats so that when you're pitching in to try to get sponsors like, hey, we have this many people interested.


If you're trying to sell them on your idea, you need to make sure that the company you're contacting would actually be interested. Why is it unique? Why is it virtual? Besides, the virus kapok has always been a huge part of technology advancement because of coming from Korea, which is really advanced and technology itself. So you've got to kind of have an understanding of how the technology will work within your field of work or with your group, how do they use the technology and how can you replicate it?


What is leading this army taught you about yourself? Well, I don't really think I'm leaving anyone. I'm just a participant, but it didn't help me. I've always been quite outspoken and assertive and I have my firm beliefs. I think it helped me realize that that's OK. And there are people who do think the same as you. You're not as different as you once thought you were, because some of us, we feel like we're the only one.


That's where no one feels the same as us. We stand out, we're two different. We're not accepted. And I feel like with the community, I found people that do accept how I am, what I believe in, who agree with me or who may disagree, but they accept me for who I am and that I'm not some weird outsider type person that I felt when I was younger.


Where do you go from here, Ashley? What are you trying to figure out right now and what really keeps you going?


Honestly, I want to work more within. I want to see more of how they function. But I also want to bring some stuff back in to keep up, keep up, trying to expand more globally. And it's starting to do that rapidly, actually. But there's still some things that I feel there needs to be changes on within like the areas of culture appreciation versus culture appropriation within diversity of the teams, because as it's going global, people are not going to take it serious when there's a lack of diversity, when there's a lack of consciousness within culture around the world.


And I would love to be able to bring that in because I really appreciate it mostly, to be honest, but to continue to support such a great genre now because it's become its own genre, even though it's just pop and Korean. Yeah, it's exciting.


I'm excited to see where it goes in the next few years. If you it just on this rocket ship that's just like going so fast.


That must be very exhausting for all the fan groups. Yeah. You're actually one has been begging to jump in with a question, so I'm going to pass to her because I know we're going to ramp up soon as we as many as you can. So who's your bias should have mentioned?


And you should Shuga for like two years and then I finally switch to V, I can understand why V, but I'm more V, I'm very envious, but definitely sugar, because he's very open. He is like the main going force talking about mental health issues. He just tells it like it is. He's quite assertive, he's quite opinionated and I'm similar in that sort. You know, he's a bit misunderstood because of that. And so I relate to him in that way.


And also his rap game is on point.


So, yeah, I really wanted to do a dance solo. It's a first love. Oh, that would be. Yeah. Have you ever met any of the beats? No, no, no.


That's like meeting a unicorn and then and like I guess close to me. But like I don't believe my intentions are to meet them. If I happen to meet them, I would want it to be for a project rather than as a fan, because I don't want to put that pressure on them having to play up meeting a fan and feel like it puts pressure on them when they do meet the fans, that they have to come off a certain way.


And I don't want to do that to them.


I have to ask, what is your most coveted bit of merchandise as much as anything else in my hats?


Yeah, I have a huge hat collection. I love wearing hats. And seven of those hats are.


Do you have the. Because I read that you're a teacher, a language teacher in Korea. So do you have the learn English with beats? Because I learn Korean with beats because is obsessed.


I am learning it, but I was intrigued to see what they do with it because I'm one of the weavers and the weavers. One is like, OK, but I really wanted to see how they were going to take this because I'm really a huge advocate for education. I got it. And it's really well done. And the one thing that they're doing is like, you know, their new graduate, they saw it. They're doing a whole series where they put up and she's going to Korea.


And that's what these books are based off of. Well, they're doing an online series where you can study together with a lot of the armies and then we share your stories. And this is big in Korean. So I'm glad I have this set because instead of just studying alone by yourself, you're going to be able to interactively study starting in December with other army. And you know what? The pin that is brilliant, you don't just want a Korea, it has Japanese and Spanish.


So if you're looking at all the work that you can change the languages, they can take this and expand it into multilingual language practices. It's really well done compared to other language books.


Yeah, the pen. Yes.


Even my my coworkers. I have Shogunate when I got to say Normandy and they were so rough. Why can't we get something like this for like English learning. The students would love having this kind of technology for English that we can do like after school or for their practice at home.


Fantastic. This was excellent. Oh, thank you so much.


If you want to connect with Ashley, you can reach her on Twitter at Ashley says Yay. That's a s h a l a y. S a y. S. Yeah. And thank you to our team. Thank you, Miltown, for engineering and editing, Greg David for his design work and Katie O'Connell for marketing. This episode you can find more about the work at People, a company helping organizations get clearer on who their most important communities are and how to build with those people by heading to our website, people and company.


Also, if you want to start your own community or supercharge one, you're already a part of the People and Company Handbook is here for you. Visit, Get Together Book Dotcom to grab a copy. It's full of stories and learnings from conversations with community leaders like this one.


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