Making a ruckus is to cause a commotion. That’s what the folks of the Kansas City-based Local Ruckus are trying to do. In a good way, of course.
"We offer a local events management and syndication platform," said Matthew W. Marcus, Local Ruckus CTO/co-founder. "We help businesses that have awesome events put them in platforms."
He noted that many, if not all, towns have lots of activities going on, but it can be difficult for people to find out about them.
"In Pittsburg, all residents will be able to see the awesome events happening around town," Marcus said. "Local Ruckus will be the easiest, most enjoyable place for them to discover and share local events."
He was in Pittsburg recently to take part in the Pittsburg State University Community Fair. With him were Monica Arredondo, Local Ruckus community organizer, and Stephanie Holm, social media and content manager, who is a PSU alum.
"The students at the community fair told us what they like to do, and then we met with PSU marketing and with City of Pittsburg officials," Holm said.
She said that Local Ruckus has much to offer PSU students, who often have little information about what’s happening out in the community.
"I lived here for a year without knowing that Fat Daddy’s existed," Holm said, referred to a Pittsburg restaurant that has since closed. "Then I worked there for years and knew everybody."
The company was launched in August, 2012, in the Kansas City Startup Village, located on the Kansas side of State Line Road. Adam Arredondo is founder/CEO.
"The village opened with one start-up and now it’s up to 25," Marcus said.
He said that there are other companies that post information on events and activities, but that Local Ruckus has its own special approach.
"We put the power back into the hands of the businesses because they are the ones who are vested," Marcus said. "The others rely on users to supply content."
Local Ruckus uses geolocator technology to ensure that users see only promotions and events in the geographic areas they specify.
"You just plug in 66762," Holm said. "We cover the spectrum from live music to drink specials, along with family events. It can be difficult to find activities for children."
There is also an emphasis on high quality in the format used by Local Ruckus.
"We’re really up to making sure here’s a quality image," Holm said.
"We also provide all the information about the promotion or event that people need to make a decision," Arredondo added. "They do not need to go to multiple sources to learn more."
Not only this, but people can easily share information about interesting events with their friends.
Local Ruckus is in Kansas City, but also spreading to Lawrence and Manhattan. The idea for coming to Pittsburg started with Holm’s friends, Heather and Roger Horton, who operate Sweet Designs Cakery in downtown Pittsburg.
"They’re very busy people, but they wanted a get-away in Kansas City," Holm said. "They planned out their weekend using Local Ruckus."
It didn’t take the Hortons long to realize that Local Ruckus could be a good thing for Pittsburg, and they brought the idea up to Holm and her colleagues.
"I think Heather and Roger should get a Pittsburg Resident of the Year Award," Holm said. "They are our cheerleaders."
Heather Horton isn’t looking for any medals. She’s just happy she and her husband, both strong supporters of downtown Pittsburg and the community in general, are part of bringing Local Ruckus to the area.
"Local Ruckus is not only fun to look at, but very easy to use," she said. "We feel it will be a central location for everyone in town, from the younger crowds to Pitt State students to older persons and families to find out about local events and happenings around the area. It will bring Pittsburg into the digital age, and open the community’s eyes to all of the wonderful things Pittsburg has to offer."
Marcus said the organization first started working with downtown Pittsburg, then decided to pull in PSU.
Jeff Wilbert, downtown district coordinator, is delighted to have Local Ruckus coming to Pittsburg.
"I think it can be a great way for our community to keep up to date on what is happening in Pittsburg," he said. "In this day of social media and the need to get information as soon as possible, I think this is the answer. The City of Pittsburg wants this to be the city calendar, where with little effort citizens can find out what’s happening in town."
The task is to get local businesses on board, he said, and willing to become a partner in the endeavor.
"It should be a win-win situation for those holding the events and those looking for something to do," Wilbert said. "The more involvement we generate in the downtown district is not only good for the local economy, but could encourage new businesses to locate downtown."
He’s pleased that the Local Ruckus team is excited about Pittsburg coming on board with them.
"They want Pittsburg to be the model city for smaller communities as they market their product throughout Kansas and the country," Wilbert said.
That national push got a boost recently when Local Ruckus found its first major customer and distribution partner, a rather well-known telecommunications holding company that provides wireless services and is also a major global internet carrier. It’s called Sprint.
"We hope to push this across the nation in the next three to four years," Marcus said.