Community and culture. For the last year and a half, we’ve heard the continual drumbeat of downtown’s resurgence—a beat that has quickly echoed into other parts of the city. But how do you maintain any sense of connectivity in a continuously growing community of entrepreneurs, technologists, artists and cultural enthusiasts?
With an app, of course.
Local startup Ayloo recently launched an iPhone app designed to make it easier to foster this wide spectrum of communities. And, no, it’s not another social network like Meetup.com. It’s an events tool or—in Ayloo parlance—a gatherings tool. It easily allows you to use your mobile device to find local gatherings happening right now, track events that are coming soon or create your own get-together.
The app uses the increasingly familiar virtual meet space to encourage real face-to-face interaction. As Ayloo co-founder Mark Johnson put it: “We’re hoping the app makes real physical communities and the people who are part of them much more accessible.” This idea also works in reverse, making it easier for established groups to grow using digital means. “Physical methods of fostering community are pretty effective, but require a ton of work,” says Johnson, a 2006 graduate of Advanced Technologies Academy. “Plus, it costs money to manage something you’re usually doing for free because it’s a passion.”
For Las Vegas, this is an ideal time for Ayloo to come along. As this explosion in mini-communities and subcultures continues, we need to make sure it’s harnessed not only across interests but also distance. Says Johnson: “I think Vegas is a good test bed because of its structure as a city. We’re so spread out that … we all become less accessible. We’re hoping that we can leverage technology to make our city and others like it more connected.”