Month: June 2008

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 30

mapdango Is Now Available as a Google Gadget

From the Cartosoft blog “We are happy to announce that mapdango can now be integrated with iGoogle and other Google web pages as a Google Gadget.”

Gone Raw in Oregon Business

Via Needmore Notes “OregonBusiness magazine features Gone Raw in their July cover story: 10 Coolest Tech Startups You’ve Never Heard Of. Take a look and Meet some of the coolest startups running around Silicon Forest today. You’ll find us there, along with a handy drink-finding site (so useful in these hot, hot days in Portland), among others.”

The Mercury’s New Website: A User’s Guide!

From the Portland Mercury “Hallelujah, and whoop-dee-doo! The Mercury has a brand new sexified website, with all sorts of new toys for YOU to enjoy! Surf around and check out these great new features…”

Portland Links

Carolynn Duncan writes “Did I mention how much I like Portland? Well, maybe it’s partly because things are hopping in the startup community, and I had the opportunity to meet with some great people this week, including…”

CouchEngine – CouchDB with Action Servers

Chris Anderson writes “I’ve been working (along with some friends from the CouchDB-PDX group) to enhance CouchDB with the ability to run functions at query time, and return arbitrary JSON or text. You could use this to put a little server smarts into an otherwise mostly client-based application…. Everything is extremely beta right now (I just finished writing code 5 minutes ago) and the API’s could change a little as we write some applications using the development framework Greg’s cooking up.”

Silicon Florist: Jobs in the Silicon Forest

It’s looking like this experiment has run its course. Glad I tried it, but it’s clearly not providing much in the way of that amorphous “value.” Please don’t post any additional gigs. I’ll remove it once this gig times out.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 29

Find the free WiFi here…!

Betsy Richter writes “But if I need to find a WiFi node that also has pie? Is open 24 hours? Located near the place I’m going to be tonight? Or has a way to send my search via text message? I’m going to be using WiFiPDX from now on.”

Twitter track hack: Where there’s a will, there’s a workaround

From the hypocritical blog (my personal blog) “There’s only one problem: Twitter track has been broken for quite some time. And it’s showing absolutely no sign of being repaired anytime soon. But, I’ve come up with a workaround that’s helping me compensate for the lack of track. So I thought I’d share the hack. (I’m a poet.)”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 28

SplashCast Owns Top Music Apps on MySpace

Via the SplashCast blog “SplashCast currently owns the top 12 of 20 most recently popular music applications on MySpace. Other than the Coldplay and LilWayne apps, SplashCast apps have more installs than any other artist-specific apps in the entire MySpace platform.”

Wi-Fi and the blues

Mike Rogoway writes “The Personal Telco Project, perhaps reinvigorated by the collapse of Portland’s citywide Wi-Fi project, is more active than I’ve seen it in months at breaking out new wireless initiatives.”

Twitter Status (well, the fake one anyways)

Scott Kveton pointed out the fake Twitter status blog. If you’re a Twitter user, you’ll get the joke. Unfortunately.

Mugasha Blog

Mugasha, a product of the recent Portland Startup Weekend, continues to make strides. I just noticed that they have officially launched their blog.

MetroSEEQ: Requesting feedback on information architecture

Via the MetroSEEQ blog “After nearly 3 weeks of launching metroseeq, I’ve received significant input on site usability. Therefore, I’ve decided to redesign with the objective to help users to find nearby businesses that have promotions quickly. This came as a natural evolution of the site as it was first designed to show off the pageless progressive search algorithm, but more people seems to be more interested in finding deals so thats’ what I’ll deliver and improve upon.”

An Open Letter to Mr. Panic & Mr. MacroMates

Kyle Meyer writes “You have so much going for you; you upload my files after every compulsive save, automatically. You organize my mess of websites into a visual metaphor that works impeccably well. You even house all the documentation I could ever need—right in that one gorgeous app. You’re even from my hometown of Portland, Oregon! I live right down the street from you, in fact. And yet, there’s a fundamental flaw that keeps me from purchasing and using Coda. I need Ctrl+Shift+W, Mr Panic. I want to love you, but I need your help.”

Free to Migrate

Chris Messina of Vidoop shares his thoughts on BarCamp, coworking, DiSo and open source in this presentation from Reboot 10.

Portland Web 2.0 startups get some love from Oregon Business Magazine

Oregon Business Magazine features Toonlet et alOne of the reasons I started Silicon Florist was to use my marketing powers for good, by casting the spotlight on “Portland Web 2.0 startups” and individuals who have been developing really, really cool things here in the Silicon Forest. But who, through sheer lack of time, may not have the opportunity or wherewithal to promote themselves as much as they would like.

I’m happy to report that a number of those companies just got a much brighter spotlight shone on them, thanks to Oregon Business Magazine‘s cover story this month “10 Coolest Tech Startups You’ve Never Heard Of.”

Among the Silicon Florist alumni featured are:

Gone Raw and Lumeno.us—two sites I haven’t yet had the chance to cover except via mentions in the Portland Startup Index—made it as well.

Congratulations to all of those featured for stepping on to a much larger stage! I’ll look forward to continuing to cover your progress and highlighting your wins.

Photo credit: Michael G. Halle

Portland Lunch 2.0 roadmap

Portland Lunch 2.0, admittedly a continually evolving work-in-progress, has quickly taken a firm hold—and sparked some interesting conversations—in the Portland tech community.

And like developing any product, even though the Portland Lunch 2.0 team (read Jake Kuramoto) hasn’t launched the latest version of their product—that version will launch on Monday—the team is already hard at work on the next version.

So, I thought it might be helpful to step into a product manager role, ever so briefly. Just so you can get the milestones and release schedule on your calendar.

Let’s take a glance at the product roadmap:

  • Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4 will be released Monday, June 30, at Wieden + Kennedy
    “On Monday June 30th, the PDX Tech/Tweeple community is cordially invited to join 50-100 W+K employees for a “blind date meets grade school birthday party” ad/tech extravaganza. It’s going to be a fun, it’s going to be quirky, and it’s going to rock RockBand style (literally).”
  • Portland Lunch 2.0 SP5 will be released Wednesday, July 16, at souk
    “The Portland Lunch 2.0 saga continues at flex term office space provider souk, once again in Old Town on July 16, 2008. We won’t stop until we have Lunch 2.0 at every, single business in Old Town.”
  • Portland Lunch 2.0 SP6 will be released…?

For more information or to RSVP, visit Upcoming for the Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4 and Portland Lunch 2.0 SP5 RSVP lists. If you’re interested in hosting SP6 or a later release, please ping Jake Kuramoto.

Universal Edit Button: Ward Cunningham, Mark Dilley, and Peter Kaminski

Like the little orange RSS chiclet, the Universal Edit Buttonlaunched last week—is, in my opinion, one of the most promising promotional tools for raising the visibility of wikis and other editable sites.

But in order for it to work, people need to understand exactly what it is.

To help further that understanding, Justin Kistner sat down with Ward Cunningham and Mark Dilley of AboutUs and Peter Kaminski of SocialText to discuss the impact and potential of the UEB.

“I heard about the UEB when it came out, and I thought it was really cool,” said Kistner. “Then I started talking to some other folks about it, and managed to get Ward, who devised the wiki concept, Mark, who had been coordinating the UEB launch activities, and Pete, who had been integral to the project, all on the phone.”

Kistner’s Skype conversation is available below. (Audio quality is a little rough at times, but the content more than makes up for it. And don’t be fooled at the beginning… You didn’t just initiate a Skype call.)

Just click the little gray arrow to listen.


WordCamp Portland: WordPress geeking slated for Sept 27

WordPressEver been to an unconference? We had one here in Portland at the beginning of May called BarCamp Portland. And during that BarCamp, a number of folks had the opportunity to lead and attend a few sessions on hacking WordPress, the popular open-source blogging and content-management system. Those sessions formed, by design, a mini-version of WordCamp, a series of grassroots, locally managed conferences for WordPress developers.

So how was the mini-WordCamp received?

Well. Very well, in fact. Interest was high. And the discussions were good. (One of the more packed sessions I attended was a WordPress session.) And that got Aaron Hockley to thinking: Maybe we should get rid of the “mini” and have a full-fledged WordCamp.

And guess what? That’s exactly what he’s done.

Announcing WordCamp Portland

Hockley has announced that we will, in fact, have the opportunity to attend a full-fledged WordCamp Portland.

Do you use WordPress? Want to get more out of WordPress? Need some WordPress tips? Well then, mark September 27 on your calendar with a big W. Simply WordPress curious? You’re welcome, as well.

I’m excited. And I know some other folks around town are already champing at the bit to attend WordCamp Portland, as well. Among them, Betsy Richter of the newly launched Our PDX—a WordPress blog, itself:

[I’ve] already blocked September 27th off on my calendar and am volunteering my time to help make this happen – I really loved the energy at BarCamp & am a total WordPress idiot savant (brilliant at some things, not so hot at others), so am thrilled to see this coming together.

As with every unconference, there’s a dire need for three things: sponsors, volunteers, and participants. So, if WordCamp Portland sounds even remotely interesting to you, why not take a second to RSVP on Upcoming to help give the organizers an way to better gauge interest?

Vidoop Troop #3: Portland by way of Tulsa

Well, it’s happened quickly, but it’s been fun. As Vidoop has brought various groups of employees up for a tour of their new hometown, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting Vidoop Troops one, two, and—after this Friday’s Beer and Blog—three.

After that, all that’s left is actually getting them moved up here. And that, my friends, is going to a-whole-nother adventure.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got new Vidoopers to meet and welcome to the Rose City.

Who? I’m glad you asked.

Nick Davis, Founding Software Developer

What? I’m involved in several projects, but tend to focus on designing and developing authentication solutions. I also work on some information security related things when not writing code.

How? Raised in Southeast Oklahoma (Spiro), I moved to Tulsa for college and have been here ever since. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science at the University of Tulsa, and did research in secure operating systems (SE Linux) while at TU. I joined Vidoop as a founding member in March 2006. Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, reading, video games, biking, working out, and movies (especially sci-fi/cyberpunk). Recently, I got married to a wonderful girl named Adrienne, who manages to put up with my various technology obsessions (still trying to get her on Twitter 🙂 )

Links? Nick on Myvidoop, Nick on Twitter, Kernel trap, Bruce Schneier’s blog, FreeSCI

Questions about Portland?

  • Good neighborhoods to live for young married couples?
  • Good biking trails in and around the city?
  • What are the best “weird Portland” places that are unique to the city, and what things must I do/see to have the whole Portland experience?
  • What is the best seafood restaurant in the city?

Rachel Garrette, Marketing + Copy Writer

What? I write and edit copy, assist in the development/maintenance of our websites, create and maintain marketing videos as well as other marketing material, work with vendors, etc.

How? Born and bred in Oklahoma, I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Journalism / Broadcast and Electronic Media. After college, I worked for a couple of years as a video editor at the largest independent sports production company in the U.S., serving clients such as ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox Sports Net, Discovery, Major League Soccer, and many more. One fateful night in 2006, I met Luke Sontag at a concert. He pitched what then seemed like only an outlandish idea, and it soon came to fruition in the form of Vidoop. A year later, I finally joined the wild ride.

I enjoy music, art, traveling, history, puppies and fireworks (though not fireworks in, on, or under puppies). My favorite food is cereal. I love a good estate sale. I despise banana flavored taffy, and I’m the clumsiest person you’ll meet. I have an astute adolescent sense of humor eloquently coupled with a love for corny jokes. My Boston Terrier, Henry, can’t wait to explore Portland’s parks.

Links? FreeIndie.com, @rachelpalooza

Questions about Portland?

  • I’m having trouble finding a rental property in the NW district that accepts dogs. What gives?! Any suggestions?
  • Where is the best place to go for a run outdoors?
  • Where is the best place to hear live music outdoors?
  • What is the best place to get your hair cut?

Adam Kuert, Lead Web Developer

What? Attend a meeting, write some code, upgrade a server, accidentally delete a vital directory, restore from backup…you know, the usual life of a web dev.

How? Got a degree in Computer Science; realized programming was slightly more complicated than TI-83 BASIC. Ran my own company from 2 years, escaped to find job security, found… another startup. When I’m not coding, you can find me on the soccer field pretending I didn’t get cut from the team in High School. I Lived in Kenya for 18 years and I’m hoping Portland weather is just like Kenya’s: when it’s not raining…it’s perfect.

Links? http://adam.kuert.net

Questions about Portland?

  • Is the weather really as great as hear? Or does everyone trudges through the rest of the year just waiting for summer to return? [Editor: Truth be known, it’s really more of a “slog” than “trudge.”]
  • Do people actually ‘ski or go to the beach only 90 minutes away’ or is that just a sales pitch for getting people like me to move? [Editor: We have a beach 90 minutes away? Oh wait. I mean, yes.]

Steven Osborn, Founding Software Developer

What? I built the first prototype of our ImageShield technology and since then I’ve worked on nearly every project conceived at Vidoop. Currently working on alien browser plug-in technology to take over the world.

How? I’ve lived in the Tulsa area most of my life, excluding a short tour to Afghanistan. I previously worked for a healthcare software company developing web applications. I’m involved in just about every technology group in Tulsa including Tulsa PHP, Python, Ruby, and even .NET and Java which means I have access to more free pizza than any human can safely consume in their lifetime. Some technologies I’m currently excited about: Django, Python, Android and Mercurial.

Links? Steven’s Blog, Steven’s Twitter, Steven’s LinkedIn

Questions about Portland?

  • I have a 18mo son who was born 16 weeks premature. Does Oregon offer a program similar to SoonerStart? (They send out therapists on a regular basis to check up on his progress regularly free of charge.)
  • Are there any outstanding childcare facilities?
  • What are your favorite fun weekend family activities?

John Whitlock, Software Developer

What? Lead of the RecognitionAUTH team, making the backend service that runs myVidoop faster and smarter, then packaging it for licensees. I think in Python, write C++, and study software management.

How? I was raised in Arnold, just south of St. Louis. I begged for a computer, then a Borland C++ compiler, and spent my allowance on programming books. I got an electrical engineering degree from the University of Tulsa, because I wanted to dive one level deeper into computers. However, code mistakes are less painful than electrical mistakes, so I put away the soldering iron and stuck with programming. I worked for 8 years at a flight simulation company, helping to make pilot training simulators and learning
more Fortran than I ever wanted. When my company started to dissolve, I was surprised to find a web startup in our own backyard.

My wife Jennifer is a research librarian, advocating for new technologies to support the information needs of customers. She is also the Foundation Center Coordinator, helping local non-profits find funding. Our daughter Ainsley recently turned four, and confuses Austin and Portland.

Links? Ambient Librarian, John @ Twitter, CppUnit Wiki, ConfIdent Technologies Software Development Kit

Questions about Portland?

  • Where are the good, affordable, all-day child care centers / pre-schools?
  • Was is the difference between Austin and Portland? [Editor: We have better beer. Our parks feature green grass as opposed to dead yellow grass. And our birds know to quiet down at night.]
  • Are earthquakes a problem? Is there something we tornado-dodgers should do to prepare?
  • Can someone please babysit for Corin so that Sleater-Kinney can put out another album?

How can I meet Vidoop Troop #3?

Well, the place to meet and greet the past two troops seems as good of a place as any don’t you think? C’mon down to Beer and Blog on Friday afternoon. We’ll be back at one of our favorite haunts: the Green Dragon. That’s right. Not that other place. The Green Dragon. You know. The one where they have more than one bartender? Yeah, that one. Let me give you one more nemonic device to remember that: Green Dragon.

And no Justin Kistner, this week. And no substitute appointed.

Looking forward to seeing you and the last flight of the Vidoopers there.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 25

Why Web 2.0 Is No Bubble: Corporations Are Willing to Pay for It – The Groundswell Effect

From Harvard Business “Everyone seems to want an answer to the question ‘When will Web 2.0 startups start making money?’ The implication is that unless we can answer the question, the ‘bubble’ of Web 2.0 will burst and all of us who believe in this stuff will be revealed as fantasists. The fact is, it’s incredibly hard to make money as a Web 2.0 startup aimed at consumers.”

Social Networking; Bubble or Bankable?

From Fast Company Buzz “And since Fast Company Buzz is all about finding out whose doing what and what’s working, I talked with the CEOs of two companies that are riding the bubble all the way to the bank. Michael Berkley CEO of SplashCast Media, a company that distributes branded content channels in social networks, explained how his company creates effective and profitable advertising on Web 2.0 platforms like Facebook. Mike said, ‘If you want to advertise to the social media crowd you need to make sure you do a couple of things…'”

Help Me Understand Techmeme and Their Selection Process

Jason Harris writes “Techmeme is, by and large, a fantastic way to stay up on the present buzz occurring in the tech blogosphere. However, I’m confused at how the system works so I’m hoping to shed some light on the subject with this post and the conversation that ensues. In talking to other blogging friends, I’m not the only one who is curious about this subject.”

Lighthouse member/invites system gets some love

Will writes “Last Wednesday, we took Lighthouse offline to deploy some bug fixes and give it some serious feature love. Our original intention was to blog about the new features the next morning so that users would wake up to something pretty cool, but we got a little sidetracked tweaking some last minute details. Now we owe our users a blog post, so without further ado…”

Clicky releases new weekly and monthly views for all data

Via the Clicky blog “When we introduced the new line graphs, one key feature of Clicky was removed because it was quite challenging to implement in this new flash software, and we didn’t want major differences between the two different views. Also, I was feeling lazy.”

Internet Strategy Forum Summit: Gaining momentum

Internet Strategy Forum Summit 2008The Internet Strategy Forum Summit, the homegrown Portland event that focuses on “a diverse array of important and complementary strategy areas including general digital strategy, social media strategy, personalized marketing, e-commerce, email marketing and customer metrics,” is drawing ever closer. Only a few weeks remain until the fifth incarnation of the event, July 17 and 18.

This year’s Summit promises to draw a wide-range folks from out-of-town. But more importantly, it’s drawing an all-star line up of speakers, including:

But it’s not just the Summit that’s gaining traction. The Internet Strategy Forum (ISF), the group of Internet professionals on the corporate side of the desk for which the Summit serves as an opportune annual meeting, has been growing by leaps and bounds. In fact the ISF is on track to double its membership—doubling since December 2007.

Considering that it took the organization three-and-a-half years to grow to 850 screened members, adding another 850 in six months is impressive, to say the least.

Interested in attending the Internet Strategy Forum Summit and getting a chance to see all the cool folks listed above, firsthand? You’re in luck. Silicon Florist readers are entitled to a 10% discount on their Internet Strategy Forum Summit registration. Simply enter the discount code FLORIST.