Localflux: “using the Internet as a tool to amass people for positive world adjustment”

So grateful for young techies and their brilliant, dedicated, generous spirits.

Localflux generates funding without the pizazz of a crowdfunding campaign.

Localflux — crowdfunding and crowd-making in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2013

by

wagingnonviolence.org

Localflux brainstorming wordmap — click to see full size. (Localflux/Travis Simon)

Localflux brainstorming wordmap — click to see full size. (Localflux/Travis Simon)Joshua Kogan is the man behind Localflux, a curious new online project with big offline ambitions. It includes a crowdfunding platform and an events tool designed for mobilizing activists, with a bit of an art magazine crammed in between. The website emerged in part out of the Occupy Sandy grassroots relief effort that began a year ago, and it is one of the ways in which the impact of the storm and its aftermath are still being lived out one year later.

Excerpts:

There are lots of other sites where people can crowdfund. Why did you set up a new system for this through Localflux?

Yes there are, and each approach to their business — yes, business — from the top down vary from one another. I started considering creating a crowdfunding platform alternative over a year ago when a non-profit organization (that I know the organizers of personally) was rejected by the most famous crowdfunding platform. From what I was told, the platform considered their campaign a do-good project, and at that time such projects and more generally, non-profits, weren’t allowed to crowdfund. Shortly after, Hurricane Sandy hit. With a broken foot, I (along with my wife-partner) was out of my home in Brooklyn a few days afterwards digging people out of their homes in Queens, delivering food, water and clothing to those in need. I have no words to describe my feelings at the time, but I knew I needed to dedicate myself to a proper rebuild. I focused my efforts in the Rockaways, specifically with the YANA Community Center, as some of my Zuccotti Park Occupy family was already aligned with this magical community beacon. The crowdfunding tool went into effect immediately, and we raised more than the needed amount for the YANA center. Fees were not charged by Localflux. We typically do charge fees for campaigns, but they are the lowest out there, and a sliding scale is available, if you reach out to us and explain why you could use the support.

. . .

Crowdfunding is only one part of the project. Where does it fit in the broader whole?

Localflux is about using virtual space to positively adjust physical space, and the crowdfunding element ultimately will be just a small portion. Another focus is on events.

How does Critical Mass, your events tool, compare to the competition?

Most activists use Facebook for event planning. I don’t trust Facebook. Before Localflux, I didn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account. I do now, as it would be a disservice to the purpose of those contributing to the Localflux not to have them. That said, I think it’s important to offer a free alternative to Facebook (and other event management sites that charge fees, or impose heavy advertising) so that people can keep privacy with regard to whom they’re physically congregating with, as well as when, where and why they’re congregating. I’ve talked to many people at various rallies, and they’re all in favor of this, but they’re still currently addicted to Facebook. I have a few more tweaks to do to my events functionality, to make it easier for people to create accounts and commit to events, as well as to generate and manage groups. Once they’re complete, I’m expecting some real momentum. A Critical Mass campaign is like crowdfunding, but without the money. Instead of someone campaigning for capital, they’re campaigning for people — it’s literally crowd funding. Again, this is brand new, and with a few tweaks, we hope to help change the world.

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