March 25th, 2011

There’s no such thing as bad press: Portland startups featured by Time Magazine, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Jimmy Fallon


There’s no such thing as bad press: Portland startups featured by Time Magazine, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Jimmy Fallon

Well, well, it’s been quite the big media week for our little burg, this week. All because a few Portland startups are getting the recognition they so richly deserve by national media. Better yet, it’s traditional media. Which has far broader reach than the usual tech echo chamber.

So who made the news this week? Well, Spotlight Mobile‘s Meridian, RDTN.org, Urban Airship, and Twitalyzer, to name a few.

So let’s see who said what about whom, shall we?

Meridian got the most random coverage this week. Not only did the get a mention by Time Magazine Techland:

It’s called Meridian, and you’ll want to think of it as a GPS tool for the other half. You know, those of us trundling around half lost in-doors. How’s it do it? Using GPS when it can, of course, but also indoor location-sensing tech, when it’s available, from partners like Cisco.

They also wound up as part of Jimmy Fallon’s monologue (at around 1:45).

Meridian, however, wasn’t the only app to wind up in Time, this week. And it definitely wasn’t monologue material. Following the crisis in Japan, led Time to RDTN.org, the weekend project designed to help the people of Japan measure and track radiation levels, which has gained international attention as being one of the few sources for information about the radiation conditions in Japan.

During the nuclear crisis that hit Japan in the wake of the earthquake on March 11, there have been conflicting reports on the the level of actual radiation, both in the area immediately surrounding the nuclear plant and in other Japanese cities.

A new website aims at filling the information gap. RDTN.org, launched by a Oregon-based design firm called Uncorked Studios, collects the latest readings of radiation detection devices and shows them on a map.

Not a good situation. But amazing that 72-hours of work, here in Portland, Oregon, is helping the people of Japan—and the world—in such a meaningful way.

Turning to the world of mobile, it was a huge week for the Android platform. And one of the big stories was the availability of embedded push notifications in Android apps from Portland’s Urban Airship—which just happens to be the landlord for the folks who built RDTN. UA’s CEO Scott Kveton was quoted in the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D.

“There’s a boatload of pent-up demand from applications that have been successfully deployed on iOS, but haven’t had the means to monetize yet on Android. There’s a deluge of developers who will go live with it,” said Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship, a company that provides tools to application developers.

Kveton said he’s been working with Google to build additional tools around in-app payments to make the process even easier for developers to build into their applications. Those tools will also be ready at the time of launch.

“We announced we would be supporting it and we have 300-plus developers who have signed up already. It’s mostly our customers from iOS,” he said.

And rounding out the week, with both some online and print recognition, is local startup Twitalyzer, which helps folks analyze the influence of Twitter personalities. They’re awaiting the Sunday Times for their writeup in The New York Times Magazine.

So who are the most influential people on Twitter? We asked the people at Twitalyzer, an independent research firm, to study the question, and they came back with something called the Influence Index. It counts the number of times somebody’s Twitter name is mentioned by other users (including retweets, which occur when one user rebroadcasts another’s message). The Influence Index doesn’t merely measure who’s talking on Twitter, but it also measures how much someone is affecting the conversation. Look below at how low Lady Gaga’s influence score is, for example.

And while they were waiting, USA Today picked up on the story, as well.

But David Leonhardt, writing in The New York Times magazine, reports that Obama is only the 7th “most influential” Twitter-er, behind a comedian, an American football player, a British actor, a couple of television hosts, and a rap singer/media celebrity.

Leonhardt cited an independent research firm called Twitalyzer, which came up with something called the Influence Index.

Not a bad week at all. And it just goes to show you that the stuff happening here in Portland? The people with whom you’re rubbing elbows at Lunch 2.0 and Beer and Blog? They’re starting to recognized for all the awesome stuff they do.

And there’s a lot more where that came from.

(Hat tip @jshardison and @petegrillo)

(Image courtesy Rodney Keeling. Used under Creative Commons.)

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4 Responses to “There’s no such thing as bad press: Portland startups featured by Time Magazine, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Jimmy Fallon”

  1. Jeff Katz says:

    Thanks for picking up the Twitalyzer news coverage. For those interested, CEO Eric Peterson will be on MSNBC at 9:45 am today (He was on there on Saturday as well) and representing the PDX start-up community

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