Q&A: Now In Columbus' Christoph Ono

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A new neighborhood pub, a hidden public park, your favorite hamburger - this is what Christoph Ono hopes Columbus residents will broadcast to the world. He spoke more about Now In Columbus, his awesome new photo-sharing site dedicated to all the city has to offer.

I'm originally from Aalen. It's in the south of Germany, in the Swabish area, so a lot of the stereotypes that you know from Schmidt's probably apply in some way. It used to be a Roman outpost 2,000 years ago.

It's also small . That's one of the reasons why I decided after high school to just eject. Go to the United States. Do something totally different. I came here to study design. I just wanted to see the big world.

I studied graphic design, but I always found it too static. My official day job is for an interactive firm. We make websites. Last year, I worked on Porsche, MTV, Atari, Time Warner Cable. The future is all interactive, so I taught myself all this stuff.

Three things I can't live without are my laptop with internet, my family and creativity.

The idea for Now in Columbus started at my wedding. My family lives in Germany, and my wife's family lives in Japan. I built a website for us. People could send stuff to an e-mail address, and it pops up instantly. Our families could see wedding pictures 20 minutes after they were taken.

With Now in Columbus, you don't need to sign up. You just send in a picture of what you're doing right now. It's whatever you think is cool and interesting. People are looking for something where they can talk about the city in a very open way and kind of help create this snapshot of everyday life.

Here's the way I like to think about it. Facebook gives you ambient knowledge about your friends. You don't even talk to them. Imagine the same ambient knowledge about your surroundings - you simply know more about your city than you've personally experienced.

The best advice I've ever received came from my oldest brother. He said that the best way to grow and learn is to look at the people you respect, figure out what they're amazing at and what's great about them, and then take that and make it your own.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at

Age: 30

Neighborhood: Grandview

Hometown: Aalen, Germany

Playing Favorites

Favorite movie: "Inception"

Favorite TV show: "Mad Men"

Favorite food: My wife's Japanese

Favorite drink: Beer