With a name like “theINcrowd,” you might suppose this blog would involve Mean Girls-like references and lessons on how to be “cool.” But visit Georgetown freshman Shay Oyewole’s (SFS ’14) blog at itstheincrowd.com and you find something completely different. Striking text. Stunning photography. Professional quality graphic designs and images. This is just the surface of theINcrowd. Looking closer, you will find an online outlet for cultivation of creativity and exploration of art, living up to Oyewole’s passion for innovation.

What began as a storage place for his writing and photo uploads has transformed into a revolution of blogging. In high school, he focused mostly on the music industry, using theINcrowd to expose his friends to new musicians no one had heard of and create a dialogue about the music and the artists. As time went on, however, Oyewole saw a change in the way people approached blogs, especially those solely focused on music.

“Blogs should be different,” he says. “It became a race to see who puts out information first. That shouldn’t be what blogging is all about.”

This pattern in the blogosphere convinced Oyewole to change the way he thought about his own blog.

“I wanted to reinvent theINcrowd so that I can do something different,” he explains.

He first began to expand the blog by recreating its image as a movement for a lifestyle and a culture of innovation and creativity. Part of this project came from a continued love of photography and graphic design.

“I’ve always had a profound interest in photography which has grown in the past few years,” Oyewole explains. “This has pushed where theINcrowd has been going in the past few months.”

More recently, the blog posts and features themselves have been more focused on embracing art as a genre, rather than purely from a musical outlook. As an example of this goal, Oyewole plans on releasing a feature on an artist who is signed by a record label, despite his non musician status. Demont Peekaso, or the “iPad Artist” as he has become known as, creates drawings and paintings on his iPad as he listens to music.

“He’s creating a lifestyle brand,” Oyewole says. “It’s totally original.”

This appreciation for originality, coupled with the increased emphasis on making the blog itself more aesthetically appealing, has encouraged an influx of followers to the site.

“When I redesigned the site over winter break, the amount of followers blew up,” Oyewole says excitedly. “The blog has definitely grown a lot since coming to Georgetown.”

TheINcrowd has not only grown in readership since Oyewole’s arrival on the Hilltop, but also has become increasingly influenced by outside sources. Oyewole’s fellow Hoyas have become auxiliary sources for bouncing around ideas and potential posts.

“Shay is behind putting everything out there, but he asks us for opinions on the subjects,” Keegan Carter (MSB ’14) explains. “We elaborate on the subject so that what he puts out is very in depth.”

Oyewole agrees with Carter’s analysis of the work environment.

“When I started theINcrowd in high school, I took blogging way more seriously than everyone else who was a part of it,” he explains. “So for this version of theINcrowd, I put everything together myself, but I rely on the advice and opinions of my friends.”

This unofficial presence that his friends maintain in theINcrowd does not go to waste; participants in the blog actively support the mission of Oyewole.

“It’s cool to work with people your own age, accomplishing the same things you want to see accomplished,” Carter says. “It’s just exciting to be a part of all this.”

Rene Payan (SFS ’14), another contributor to theINcrowd, agrees with Carter.

“We have a lot of mutual interests,” he says of him and Oyewole. “This blog offers an avenue to see a more intimate, in depth perspective as to what we enjoy and why we enjoy it. It is something entirely creative. When people learn about [Shay’s] cause and his purpose with the blog, they catapult this endeavor to the next level.”

The mutual interests that are shared between Oyewole and his friends are the basis of the blog posts.

“Whatever I’m interested in and what sparks an interest in other people will form the idea for a post,” Oyewole says. “But I also use Twitter a lot. One tweet can become the inspiration for a feature. Twitter has definitely been helpful in formulating my thoughts into posts.”

Currently, these posts go up on the site roughly once a week, strategically released between the prime time hours of 9:00 p.m. and midnight on Friday or Sunday nights, when online traffic is high.

“I hope that I can get more posts out in a given week,” Oyewole reveals in discussing the future of theINcrowd. “Ideally, there will be more smaller pieces to stay on track with the original goal of blogging to keep up with the daily moments of life.”

Besides increasing blog post counts, Oyewole also hopes to become more connected with the D.C. culture and art scene, along with establishing a presence within that scene himself. One way to do this, he believes, is by hosting free or affordable events on campus and around the city.

“This past semester I threw a Kanye West listening party,” Oyewole says to give an example of possible events. “I want to put out events that are really innovative and exciting. I don’t want to be limited.”

The direction Oyewole is taking theINcrowd allows him to remain limitless. Inspiring a lifestyle, theINcrowd will continue to provoke and encourage followers to capitalize on the vision of the blog, which is stated in a feature on the site as “Live. Work. Create. A three-word motto. A motto that many people tend to stray away from. This phrase is my vision.”  Oyewole passionately lives up to this mission statement.

“Whether you’re into fashion, music, movies, whatever, embrace what you do,” he says. “That’s what theINcrowd does — give exposure to people who embrace what they do.”734621020

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