No matter how in tune you are to the social calendar, there’s always something going on in your town that you miss simply because you didn’t know about it or maybe you spend an excessive amount of time in front of your computer. Local Ruckus is a startup that helps people avoid that problem and engage in their local community.
Adam Arredondo founded Local Ruckus and was frustrated by how much time he spent in front of his computer. He realized that the time spent surfing the internet could be better utilized engaging with others in person — for instance, attending a battle of the bands or hitting up Harversters’ Fashion Show. Arredondo set out to turn his internet surfing tendencies into a tool that listed local events brought on by organizations for local citizens to attend.
Last Friday, Local Ruckus launched the public beta of its website by hosting a Battle of Bands shindig in Kansas City’s Power & Light District. I had the opportunity to visit with Arredondo before the event and Local Ruckus as a whole.
Silicon Prairie News: Tell me about Local Ruckus and what you do.
AA: I don’t know about you, but I have found myself a number of times just wasting hour upon hour on Facebook or Twitter just looking at whatever pops up. This always drives me crazy when I’m done and I’ve just wasted an hour of my life. (Left: photo courtesy of Arredondo.)
The Local Ruckus mission is to get people off their computers and into the community. We want people to be active and get out more often. We’ll do this by providing the only online platform for discovering people, music, restaurants, things to do and ways to serve, in your own community.
Local Ruckus will provide users with everything from events, food and drink specials and live music to volunteer opportunities all in one place. The content is displayed based on the user’s location, so everything you view is as relevant to you as possible.
One other part of Local Ruckus that we are very proud of is our commitment to local charities. Twenty percent of all revenue will go to local charities. Our first charity partner is Harvesters. I realize that 20 percent is pretty substantial, but I really wanted to do something impactful and I feel that 20 percent does the trick.
SPN: What inspired the idea?
AA: The idea has evolved over the last year and a half. Really, it started as a simple event- and business-listing site for small towns and small businesses because I felt that so much of what is available online today focuses on big towns and big businesses.
From there, we started talking about how the old-fashioned sense of community that used to exist has been lost. The time when everyone knew their neighbors and social lives revolved around community activities and events has been replaced by Facebook chats and tweets.
We just feel that it’s time for someone to build a site that once again connects people with their local community, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
SPN: Local Ruckus had a kick off party with local bands at the P&L last Friday. Tell me a little about that. Should the KC community expect Local Ruckus to put on these types of events often?
AA: You heard right. We threw a huge party at Power & Light to officially launch the Local Ruckus beta site. We had eight Kansas City bands take the stage. It was a great show, and we had a couple thousand people turn out. The headliners were Red Line Chemistry and Evalyn Awake, both of which played at RockFest, so needless to say, the place was rocking.
Aside from launching the site, we really want people to know that we want them to be a part of the development and growth of Local Ruckus. We have an “Ideas” link at the top of the site for everyone to submit thoughts, concerns or whatever they want. We will make it our top priority to take all of this feedback and use it to drive the future of Local Ruckus. We want this to change from our vision to Kansas City’s vision.
As far as other events, we definitely plan on being active community members moving forward. Since we are a young company, how that happens is yet to be determined, but I can guarantee that you Local Ruckus will be visible in our community.
SPN: How are local organizations like Harvesters responding to collaborating with Local Ruckus?
Arredondo: Harvesters has been really excited about what we’re trying to accomplish and was a huge part of what we did for launch. Not only did we launch LocalRuckus.com, but we were attempting to raise a bunch of money for Harvesters. We had several corporate sponsors, including Polsinelli Shughart, PC, that allowed us to donate 20 meals for everyone that signed up on the website leading up to launch. The final totals aren’t in yet, but we raised well over $2,000. Other charities have shown enthusiasm as well for Local Ruckus.
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