Month: May 2008

Platial heightens the experience, unveils new look and new features

Portland-based Platial, one of the original social mapping applications and caretaker of more than 150 million geobits of information, has rolled out a new build of its application that promises to take a critical step forward in social mapping, moving from the ability “to plot points on a map” to the ability to have much deeper and meaningful experiences with locations and the people who love them.


The newest release—dubbed “Flanders,” following the alphabetical NW Portland street structure that governs Platial’s release naming—introduces a number of new features and a whole new look for Platial.

Not the least of which are a ton of new categories for your map items:

Platial categories

Sharing the experience

But the most important part of the release may not be the things that you see. The most important part of the release may be the things that you feel.

Because the latest build of Platial focuses on helping the viewer move from disconnected innocent bystander to participant, by immersing him or her in the rich contextual fabric of the location.

“We’re trying to push a little further,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, Platial CEO. “We’re trying to capture that experience by providing relevant and contextual information.”

And that experience is definitely heightened by Platial’s move into the content space.

I’m happy to see Platial’s flavor of social mapping move beyond the realm of “writing a few notes about this pin on the map” to something that furthers the storytelling that has always been at the very core of the Platial service.

And with the Flanders build, I see them moving into something that truly gives meaning to location: history, context, deep content, and differing views.

It will be exciting to see where this goes.

(Hat tip Marshall Kirkpatrick)

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for May 08


Portland Creative/Tech Event Review (PC/TER) 10: BarCamp Portland

Bram Pitoyo writes “Personally, BarCamp Portland was one of the best events that I have attended in Portland. The atmosphere was both very collaborative and conductive to ideas. The people, extremely smart. And the most important thing of all was that, to me, it seems that participants were there because they wanted to be there, not because they had to.”

Sifting through your traffic stats for value at Beer and Blog

Justin Kistner writes “Most of us probably check on our traffic stats for our blogs. But, how many of us actually know how to drill down on our stats to find the valuable information that could direct our blogging activities? This session is going to explore techniques for mining your traffic stats on Google Analytics, MyBlogLog, Feedburner, and maybe some more.”

GadgetTrak chalks up two more iPod recoveries

Not exactly a “Web startup,” but from the Portland area. And what geek doesn’t want to protect his or her gadgets?

TwitterLocal Leader Board adds Top Twitterers by region

With TwitterLocal, Portland’s Matt King took a interesting foray into tracking Twitter users based on their geographical location.

But was that enough for Matt? Oh no.

So, he had to go and make it even more compelling by adding a “Leader Board,” that listed the top 30 Twitter cities, based on the number of tweets per capita.


Still not enough for Matt.

But now he really may have gone too far. Because he just snuck in what could amount to one of the most compelling slicing-and-dicings of the Twitter types I’ve seen.

That’s right folks. The Twitter leader rankings heretofore relegated to the global stage of Tweeterboard have now—thanks to Matt—taken on a decidedly local flavor.

The TwitterLocal Leader Board now provides the leading Twitter users for each city. (Here’s a snapshot of Portland’s leading Twitter users over the last 24 hours, for example.)

As an added bonus, this new view into Twitter locales also provides a flowing tweet stream from local residents.

Our little TwitterLocal is now a big ol’ “Pulse of [your leading Twitter city here],” with insight into who is currently contributing the most to the conversation.

Tweet globally, rank locally.

For more, take a moment to review the TwitterLocal Leader Board and click through to some of the leading locales.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for May 07

Parent Hacks on Twitter

Asha Dornfest writes “I could go on and on, but the point is that I was also (finally) convinced (by Jason Glaspey of Unthirsty) that Twitter is a Good Thing.”

Scott Kveton interviews Luke Crouch from SourceForge about OpenID

Kevin Fox writes “Scott and Luke talk about why SourceForge went OpenID, their support of the Open Source community, identity (why IDP vs. RP) and what issues they ran up against while implementing OpenID. There are lots of technologies that are complimentary to OpenID, what is next for SourceForge?”

AppDrop / Google App Engine Video from PDX.rb

Chris Anderson writes “Here’s the video of my talk last night. There’s also an mp3 file of the AppDrop PDX.rb Talk if you’d prefer audio. I was unable to add slides to the video, but Amy did a great job capturing the slides on camera – slides are also available as a pdf so you can follow along at home if you’d like. Thanks to PDX.rb for giving me the opportunity to put this out there.”

Same Portland Lunch 2.0 building, new Portland Lunch 2.0 host, also bacon

Sad that you missed seeing the eROI space at the last Portland Lunch 2.0? Well, wipe away those tears, gentle reader. We can get you close.

The latest Portland Lunch 2.0 date and location have been announced. And, as luck would have it, it’s in the same exact spot, only one floor down.

Vidoop, one of the ever-burgeoning residents of the eROI-owned space in Old Town, has volunteered to host the next Portland Lunch 2.0, to be held May 28. Those interested in attending can RSVP via Upcoming.

This lunch marks a celebration of sorts for the Vidoop team, in a Welcome Wagon sort of way:

From what I hear, this will be a cool time for Vidoop. Apparently, their entire Tulsa office is transplanting itself to Portland this month, in an epic roadtrip. So, this will be a great chance to welcome them to Portland and give them a taste of how we do Lunch 2.0 here.

No word on the amount of bacon to be had. (Knowing the hosts, I’m assuming this is not an “if” question, but rather a “how much” question.) But, rumor has it that Ford’s on Fifth may be tapped to cater the event.

Jake Kuramoto, the energy behind Portland’s version of Lunch 2.0, has said he’s interested in squeezing a few more Portland Lunch 2.0 gatherings into the summer months. So, if you’re interested in hosting, please ping Jake on Twitter or feel free to comment below.

Future Portland Lunch 2.0 hosts include Wieden + Kennedy and maybe, just maybe, yours truly. But first, let’s all head on over to see Vidoop’s new digs.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for May 07

The Associated Press: The chi of Portland: High weirdness in Nirvana

Wha…? No mentions of “open source” or our tech scene? Pshaw. Worth a read anyway.

Sharing Features

From the Green Renter blog “We added a new feature today making it easy to share green buildings with other social sites like Delicious and Flickr, in addition to emailing your friends. On a building detail page, simply look for the ‘Share’ tool bar on the right side of the page.”

Lifestyle Entrepreneurship – Having a Business So You Can Live Your Life…

Trevor Mauch writes “To me, ‘lifestyle entrepreneurship’ is all about creating a business (or businesses) that allows you to truly lead the life you want to live.”


[Please note: ma.gnolia, as much as I love it, has been choking a bit recently on my link posts. As such, some folks—whom I would really like to highlight—have not been shared here. (When I force ma.gnolia to post, the most it can post is three entries.) So, if you’re willing, I’d highly encourage you to peruse the wealth of links in the Silicon Florist group on ma.gnolia.]

Iterasi: Get your own personal Wayback Machine

[Full discloure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I worked with them a great deal on the initial announcement of their product in February, but aside from some ad hoc consultation, I did not participate in this launch.]

Vancouver-based Iterasi, the service that allows you to run your own personal Wayback Machine, has come out of private BETA and announced general availability for the Windows version of their browser toolbar. Using the toolbar, you gain the ability to capture an entire Web page, exactly as you see it—dynamic elements and all—and save it in that state, forever.

Sound interesting? Head over to the site to register and download your Iterasi toolbar.

The team has added some compelling features since the last time I wrote about the product back in February. Most notably the ability to embed captured pages within Web pages.

I’ve posted one of my favorite examples—the ability to save a Google search for future reference—below.

As you’ll see from the embedded page, Iterasi saves the entire Web page as fully functional HTML, including any AJAX wackiness or completed form fields. In many ways, it’s the evolution of bookmarking. Moving from saving the location of a Web page to saving the Web page, itself.

But even that description might not give you a full feel for the potential of the product. So, if you’re a Windows user or have access to Windows on your Mac, I’d encourage you to download it and give it a shot.

The Mac version of Iterasi’s toolbar is still under development.

For more information, visit Iterasi.

OregonLive Reddit now based on latest not greatest

OregonLive Reddit is completely borkedSince I had written an earlier editorial on OregonLive Reddit about its wealth of potential, I thought it appropriate to post that—until further notice—that potential is now completely gone.

Why? Because now OregonLive Reddit stories make the front page of the OregonLive not as a result of their popularity or user voting, but as a result of the order in which the OregonLive Reddit articles were submitted.

That’s right.

It’s important to note that the OregonLive home page now features the most recent submissions, and not the hottest posts.

And here’s my favorite part…

This change took place about one week ago in order to keep the Reddit posts fresh on the home page.

Perhaps the folks at The Oregonian and OregonLive are even more Web 2.0 than I thought, given that the new system follows the logic that “shiny and new” far outweighs “relevant and interesting.”

So go ahead and vote the Silicon Florist submissions up or down. It doesn’t really matter.

-1 for social media

At a time when the OregonLive Reddit user base was in the midst of asking good questions and having deep discussions about the nature of the service—at a time when many were working to embrace the potential of this feature—the team at OregonLive chose to remove the one and only thing that made the feature worth using: the voting that allowed the populous to determine what appeared on the front page.

Currently, the social feature has absolutely no bearing on what appears on the front page. It’s all chronological.

Kind of like, oh I don’t know, a printed newspaper?

I hear you, “Sounds like sour grapes to me, Turoczy. You’re just mad that you can’t keep content on the front page.”

You’re right. You’re absolutely right.

But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

As I mentioned in my earlier editorial, I felt this service was one of the more promising avenues to give startups in town some of the much needed limelight they deserved from traditional media. And I find it unfortunate that that avenue—an avenue that I thought had so much potential—has taken a hit.

Here’s hoping they reconsider this move.

Until that point, I’ll continue my search for other resources that truly have the potential to highlight the great work many of you are doing here in the Silicon Forest.

Because the people around here need to see the amazing things you’re doing.

Just not on OregonLive, I guess.

Interesting gigs on the Silicon Florist Gig board

Looking for a new gig? You might want to take a look at the Silicon Florist Gig board to see what’s what. Web startup looking to hire? Use the discount code freebie to post your open gigs for free.

Or maybe you’re a Portvangelist-to-be looking to move to the Rose City? Or someone who already lives here who’s looking for something new to do or a side project?

Well, don’t be shy. Feel free to use the gig board to pitch you skills. Just make sure you use a subject that makes it obvious like “inbound” or “looking” or “I am really cool” or something. Again, freebie at checkout and it’s, well, free.

As far as gigs, here are some of the newest ones:

  • Flex programmer at toonlet
    “toonlet is looking for a skilled contract Flex programmer to help us build out our online comic-creation tools on a short-term, per-project basis. If you’ve got the skill-set, we could really use your help.” [Editor: Personally? I’d jump at the chance to work with these guys. Not only are they exceedingly pleasant, they’ve got some really cool ideas going with toonlet. And obviously, much more to come.]
  • Django developer at Extreme Arts & Sciences
    “Extreme Arts & Sciences, a change management and business consulting firm, is looking for an established freelancer to tweak our django CMS to better conform to our needs. We also anticipate a revamp of our site architecture and look-and-feel update coming soon, and will need to meld the new graphics and whatnot with the django CMS.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for May 05

The Portland Pulse beats in 4/4 time

Michael Kelly writes “Since Intrigo has moved offices to Portland, the substantial amount of tech resources to both pull and contribute to trumps any other city I’ve been intimate with. Portland is an enabler, connector, grower, and supporter of it’s business residents. I can’t say this about Tucson or any other (unnamed) cities.”

Congratulations! You’re Our 1,000,000th Color!

Darius Monsef writes “Almost 4 years ago I had an idea and threw down some code that would allow people to share colors and rate them… Just a few days ago our 1,000,00th color was named and shared on the site. It was only 10 days ago, but since that milestone color was upload… another 32,000 have been shared. That’s some serious color love!”

Four Lessons for Entrepreneurs from Working Two Weeks as Press

Shannon Clark writes “Although I am an entrepreneur, for the past two weeks I have also been active press as I covered parts of Ad:Tech San Francisco and Web 2.0 Expo also here in San Francisco. Having done this for the past two weeks as well as a few earlier conferences, I have learned a few lessons and would encourage all entrepreneurs to spend some time working as a member of the press.”

Updates to OsoEco!

From the OsoEco blog “Phew. We’ve just uploaded some updates to the site – most notably with language changes, ratings, tag me nots, and search.”

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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