We are so excited to kick off our Croatian diaspora Spotlight Series for 2020 by interviewing Nik Kraljevic, the founder of Pleme, an online network & social media platform for Croatians.
Thank you guys. I’m excited to chat to you!
I’m a Croatian born in Australia. I’m 27 years old and a tech entrepreneur who currently resides in Sydney, Australia. My dad and grandparents came to Australia from Komin on the Neretva near Ploče / Metković, while my mum’s parents came to Australia from Zadar so they could live a better life than what was available to them in Yugoslavia at the time.
In some ways I was pretty lucky that my dad was in IT and early cybersecurity, so I got to see some of it growing up and from what I did see I was super interested. By the time I was in my teens, I already had a good idea of what I wanted to do. Fast forward a few years and I finished a Computer Science Degree with a major in Cyber Security and I went to work as a cyber security consultant for a large international consulting firm which gave me some good experience.
To anybody wanting to follow a similar career path, I would say you are in luck! You have more options available today compared to a few years ago. You don’t necessarily need a degree as there are all kinds of courses, books and videos available and if you’re disciplined enough you could teach yourself everything you need to know. If I had to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing but a few key things I would recommend are to encourage everyone to always collect or learn practical skills (the earlier you learn the better), try to work on your people skills as well as it can be easy to forget about that and lastly it’s going to be tough combining school and work, especially early on and there’s no point in trying to coast along so decide if you are all in or all out.
There wasn’t really a light bulb moment but the idea formed gradually over a few months. After reading a lot and looking into this space, post the various scandals (Cambridge Analytica, Google+ breach .. etc) I was ready to go ahead with creating Pleme. Everybody knows Croatians punch above their weight, especially in sports, so I think we can also do it in other categories too so Pleme is here to help with that in any way we can.
Overall, it’s been extremely positive and gone way better than I had planned. The reaction from Croatia and the Diaspora has been great! I still get messages every other day from people around the world saying thank you for doing this or they love it. I’m very grateful for how Pleme has been received. Engagement likewise is better than I expected and getting better every day!
Pleme is slightly more curated than other social networks. There is a general community feed where people can post and chat about anything and then we have special categories based on peoples interests. The idea of the different categories is to foster connections with people in Croatia and the diaspora in those areas e.g. manufacturing, technology, startups, food, wine, crypto as well as location groups for cities and countries so the diaspora can connect and communicate more effectively.
Personally, I’m most excited and engage in the categories to do with technology, history, Australia, language learning and sport. We are adding new categories that people ask for so we should have something for most interest areas now.
The main goal of Pleme is to connect Croatians (and people interested in Croatia) in a meaningful way that allows them to communicate about opportunities related to Croatia and form some links that lead to real-life change, which is a very different goal from the other socials.
I think what’s really hurt the other social media networks is that they don’t really have any incentive to get people up and doing things in the real world. The other socials are also so enormous now and they try to appeal to everyone which is great but we are now starting to see the drawbacks. There’s a growing number of people (myself included) who think that the future of social networking will be niche social networks and communities based around specific interests or themes which is what Pleme is. In addition to this, I think socials need to do more in terms of raising awareness about scams, crowdfunding and fundraising especially for older users which is hard to do on the larger socials due to their size.
Without giving away too many secrets. What’s next is polishing and improving how things look, feel and respond. The Pleme users have been great so far in telling me what they like and don’t like. The big new things we are working on are to do with sports and music as well as integrating more third-party apps. I think lots of people will be pleased when they see the new stuff drop.
I’m nikola.kraljevic on Pleme (https://pleme.app) which you can get from the App Store and Google Play but they can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram as Nik Kraljević or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I prefer to chat on Pleme but I’m biased 😊
I’ll also be at the crodiaspora conference in Brač in May come and say hi if you are around.
Thank you for being part of this spotlight series and telling our readers more about you and the new social networking tool Pleme.
♡ Meagan & Michael
We hope you enjoyed our first Croatian Diaspora interview in 2020! If you would like to be interviewed or would like to recommend someone let us know at email@example.com
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Mirjana Cestar is the President of Croatia House - a cultural association established to promote Croatian performing and visual Arts in Australia. Continue reading to find out how Mirjana has been connecting Australia & Croatia and to find out more about the films Croatia House is featuring at the Croatian Film Festival