July 2nd, 2009

Silicon Florist sucks


Silicon Florist sucks

Silicon Florist sucks doesn’t it? I mean, let’s be honest. It’s not perfect. And even though it’s completely a side project, that’s no excuse for it being half-ass. In fact, to quote a good friend, I want to be “using my whole ass.”

And I know you. You’ve got opinions. Ideas about what could be done better. Gripes about what I’m not doing terribly well. Things the blog could do that it doesn’t. Things the blog does that it shouldn’t.

While I’m always open to your feedback in this regard, I wanted to make a formal plea for your input. It’s half way through 2009. It seemed like a good time to do it.

And it can be about anything. The blog. Me. My responsiveness. The writing. The frequency. My availability. My areas of coverage. My mom. Okay, wait. Maybe not my mom. Aw what the heck. You can make comments about my mom, too.

How to do it? You’ve got any number of choices. Comfortable airing your views in public? Comment below. Want to rip me to shreds in private? Send an email to siliconflorist at gmail dot com. Or keep your constructive criticism to 140 characters and send some tweets to @turoczy on Twitter.

What about Silicon Florist sucks? What could be better?

Looking forward to hearing your feedback. And, as always, thanks in advance for taking the time to share it.

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12 Responses to “Silicon Florist sucks”

  1. I keep expecting to see interviews and/or feature articles about local designers, programmers, and companies. It’s nice to know that Panic is in Portland (are there really people who didn’t know that?), but I want to know why. Why have they stayed in Portland all these years? What’s the draw? Does the city give them inspiration that they couldn’t get in the Bay Area? Do they even care?

    Or how about the lowly, nobody designers and programmers who make up the bulk of Portland’s creative life? There are tens of thousands of us in this city. Too many of us are out of work. Why are we still here? What projects are we working on? What past projects are we most proud of? If we’re working, who are we working for? Who are our influences? How are we contributing to Portland’s creative energy, even, or perhaps especially, if we aren’t working for one of the major design firms? Where do we hang out?

    There is a literally endless supply of interesting people in this city. Graffiti artists, fashion designers, Etsy stay-at-home moms, creative writers, ruby on rails programmers, font designers, musicians, museum owners, college radio hosts, gig poster artists, etc. ad infinitum. These are the people who make it possible for start-ups to start up.

    This is the best city in the world because of the people who live and create here. I want to meet them.

  2. Jake Olsen says:

    Hey Rick, I honestly enjoy reading your coverage on the startup scene in Portland.

    While I understand it’s your emphasis on promoting the startup culture, it would be nice to see a little more criticism on this site. Things like “why does this matter”, “they’re going after a long shot”, “so and so has completely overtaken them”, “this app completely sucks”, etc.

    Nevertheless, great work, and thanks for doing this.

  3. AdamD says:

    Your mother is a delight.

    And so is the site. If you really want more work, I’d echo Ethan’s call to get personal. I know that’s the idea of Portland On Fire, but I’d say actively seek out and write up every side project in Portland. Even if they aren’t viable startups (or even intend to make money), giving them a voice is totally within the spirit of this site.

    I’m reminded of an anecdote in Made to Stick about a successful local newspaperman. His three rules were “names, names, names.” Let’s raise Portland up, one developer/designer/product manager name at a time.

  4. TG says:

    How about broadening your scope to be more than just he start-up scene. Some of the most important future technology developments are brewing out in those giant campuses in Hillsboro. Find the real people doing the work ad cover that.

  5. Chase Reeves says:

    First off, thanks for asking, thanks for openness.

    I agree with Jake: show us some opinion about whether or not this matters, is hopeful, etc. Just to make it a bit more sexy and encourage some backtalk… Not overboard, though, because you’re not a psychic or magician (are you?). Just a little more salt on the heartiness.

    Also, as an entrepreneur, I’m really interested in interviews with other entrepreneurs… What was it like starting up? When did it tip? What’s one of the top 5 lessons you learned in this venture… Their experience is really valuable to me and other people with hopes to start things up…

    cheers.

  6. Rick Turoczy says:

    Thanks so much to everyone taking the time to provide this feedback—both here and in private. It’s all awesome. And I’m taking it all to heart.

    Keep it coming!

  7. Kristin Wolff says:

    How about a series (or a monthly item) that’s themed? (Riffing off Jake…) How about starting with the O’Reilly “work that matters” theme – what work going on in PDX really matters? Let’s hear about it.

    You could even crowdsource 12 themes to cover each month for the next year.

    PS I love SF – can always count on quality and timeliness.

  8. Matt Bonner says:

    First off, let me be the 1000th person to say that your blog is wonderful for me, like a newsroom and fan base all rolled into one.

    So, the only thing I can really think of to suggest springs from your recent piece on companies you didn’t know were here. ( http://siliconflorist.com/2009/06/30/oregon-portland-17-projects-silicon-forest-cred-deserve/ ): more coverage and/or reporting on “medium-sized” companies like Ensequence, Tripwire, Rentrak, etc. They’ve moved past the “OMG we actually shipped!” phase, but they’re still pretty much Portland companies, and employ decent numbers of people. What are they up to? Where are they heading? Who are the people behind them? That kind of thing.

    Regardless of whose suggestions you act on, you’re doing great work, and you’re one of the first names on my list when I want to tell people how to follow the Portland tech scene.

  9. The Silicon Florist does NOT suck. I enjoy your accessible, relevant, and timely news about what’s happening in town.

    Things I’d like to see more of:
    - Stronger summaries at the beginning of articles will help readers understand WHAT the featured company/product/event/etc is and WHY it matters.
    - More quotes and interviews will strengthen the articles by providing a greater range of facts/opinions.
    - Fewer total stories, but a few longer articles each month for special occasions that have more depth, photos and such. These may also provide you with an opportunity to collaborate with other local writers, photographers, etc.

    Thanks for the good work, support and publicity that you’ve provided our community.

  10. Mike Francis says:

    Rick, I am astounded by the volume of stuff you produce, and how well organized you are. Just a HT. (Or should that be “Just an HT”?)


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