Month: June 2008

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 24

Future of this site: PortlandSmallBusiness.com

Kevin Spence writes “PortlandSmallBusiness will be a year old in August. I’m trying to figure out how to make the time working on this site worthwhile. There are aspects of this site that I enjoy but it has cut into my livelihood over the past year. I decided early on that this site would be distinct from my primary business (not a blog promoting that business) and should stand on its own. I’ve enjoyed some success growing the site but I’m not sure how to be make the site worthwhile to users and myself.”

OpenID, The Chicken or the Egg

Eric Nelson writes “Us Intrigees have hopped on the OpenID bandwagon. For me personally, becoming involved in the Portland community and companies like Vidoop and JanRain have really opened my eyes to the prospects and work going on with this piece of technology. Most of the conversations I hear about OpenID revolve around usability, including our own Nathan Bell’s thoughts on putting OpenID in the browser. However, I myself am not a tech guy, and see a bigger issue with adoption that needs to be addressed by those of us in the believer category, making it relevant to the majority of users.”

Announcing The Substance Summit

David Lowe-Rogstad writes “The first in a series of conversations with the Portland creative community to help each other understand how we can be more inclusive, collaborative and effective. We have been inspired by Portland’s creative technology community (Legion of Tech and Silicon Florist to name a few) to help facilitate an environment where we share ideas and create a place that draws the best talent and the best clients to Portland to get the best creative work possible.”

Web Worker Daily: Use Your OpenID via Email

From Web Worker Daily “We’ve looked with some skepticism on OpenID in the past. Nevertheless, as more sites accept OpenID for login, it’s worth knowing about advances in the field. One recent change is the introduction of Emailtoid (that’s email-to-id, not some sort of android), which allows you to use your email address anywhere that you could use an OpenID.”

OEN Blog: “Rogues and Renegades” (aka entrepreneurs) for the 15th Annual OEN Tom Holce Awards for Entrepreneurial Achievement

The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network has selected thirteen “Rogues and Renegades” (aka entrepreneurs) for the 15th Annual OEN Tom Holce Awards for Entrepreneurial Achievement. Finalists and award winners will be recognized during the event at the Oregon Convention Center on September 18, 2008. Congrats to all of the nominees!

Is Twitter Changing Real Life Social Interactions?

Corvida writes “Last week I had the pleasure of flying out to Portland for Ignite Portland 3. I had a fabulous time and met some really awesomesauce people including one of my biggest idols Marshall Kirkpatrick, fellow Grand Effect Network member and now team writer for ReadWriteWeb, Frederic of The Last Podcast, and a host of other people that I’ll mention in another post that’s all about the trip to Portland. What I’m going to talk about in this post is what occurred at the after party hosted by Strands at Imbibe. “

Fast Wonder Dawn Foster launches consulting practice

If you’ve had the opportunity to attend any Portland tech events over the past year or so, it’s highly likely that you’ve come in contact with some of the handiwork of Dawn Foster. Chair of the Legion of Tech and a staunch advocate of the Portland startup tech and unconference scene, Dawn’s influence has been a critical ingredient in BarCamp Portland, Ignite Portland, the Legion of Tech Happy Hours, Portland Lunch 2.0, any number of Jive Software events, Portland is Awesome… the list goes on and on.

And now that Dawn has announced that she’s leaving Jive, some of that magic touch is for hire:

Recently, I’ve seen a number of companies struggling with how to get more savvy about social media and interacting with online communities. My focus will be on providing consulting services to help guide companies in developing a comprehensive social media and community engagement strategy. I will help companies engage with their community both online and offline to help generate buzz around their products. I can also help companies find, monitor, and respond to what others are saying about them online.

No doubt, Dawn’s expertise will be highly sought. I’m looking forward to her continued success on the other side of the desk and would like to, again, congratulate her on this exciting new endeavor.

For more, see Fast Wonder Consulting or for a (now slightly dated) bio, see Dawn Foster on Portland on Fire.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 23

Microsoft’s First Step In Accepting OpenID SignOns – HealthVault

Jason Kincaid writes “Over 16 months after first declaring its support for the OpenID authentication platform, Microsoft has finally implemented it for the first time, allowing for OpenID logins on its Health Vault medical site. Unfortunately, Health Vault will only support authentication from two OpenID providers: Trustbearer and Verisign. Whatever happened to the Open in OpenID?” Concerns are also raised about security, and Vidoop is mentioned as one of the companies improving the security.

Ignite Portland 3 photos from Aaron Hockley of Hockley Photography

Relive Ignite Portland 3, or see it for the first time, through the eye of Aaron Hockley.

Speaking at Velocity Conference : Cloud Four

Jason Grigsby writes “I’m speaking today at the Velocity Conference in San Francisco. Back in 2003 when John and I spent weeks working on performance, we never thought performance would reach the point where a whole conference would be focused on it. It’s an amazing thing.”

Platial News and Neogeography: A Glimpse Of The World Around Me

Di-Ann Eisnor writes “So, where does Platial/Frappr go from here? That’s what we’re thinking about these days. Maybe you are thinking about where you go now as well. In case you are, I thought I’d share a few ideas from The Art Of Travel that are helping me rediscover the original spark of our work.”

Our PDX Network: You can’t keep a good team down

Our PDXNot so long ago, there used to be a Portland team blog that I read multiple times a day. Great voices. Great insights. And a really, truly great team vibe.

They had meetups, they had banter with their readers, and—most importantly—they had Portland paying attention.

Not only did I want to read the blog, I wanted to write for them. To comment. To be part of the vibe. To be part of that team. To be part of that talent that was doing a better job of keeping Portland informed—for free. Better, in fact than many of the paid journalists in town.

And then, much to my chagrin, that blog stumbled. Badly.

And the worst part of it was that it had nothing to do with the writers, nothing to do with teamwork, and absolutely nothing to do with Portland. It had to do with the fact that they were part of a much larger network that had less concern about the Portland site than they did the network as a whole. And they made some mistakes.

And now, it seems like ages since we’ve had that vibe. The blog never recovered. They lost the team except for a few who stuck around. They lost the banter by implementing an oppressive comment system. The list goes on and on.

And since then, it’s been some irreparable shell of a blog, mocking its former instantiation, dribbling out half-hearted and insipid posts on an irregular basis.

And Portland sat. Waiting for the voices to return. Or for someone to pick up the torch.

But now, that wait is over.

Our PDX Network charts a new path

I hear you. Whoa whoa whoa, Mr. Sourpuss. Don’t start my Monday morning off on such a depressing note. Geez.


How about this, sunshine? They’re back! Meet Our PDX. It’s going to be good, so add it to your feed reader, right now.

“Last Saturday, a local story dropped in my lap. But I had no outlet,” said Betsy Richter, the driving force behind Our PDX. “And, I got frustrated about the fact that I didn’t have much of a local presence any more (Twitter notwithstanding). So, I bought a couple of domains. And sent off email to a few people, asking for a review/feedback.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, it’s not the entire team, but it is a good chunk of the team. Richter, Dieselboi, PAgent… they’re putting the band back together.

Now bear in mind, it’s not a repeat of their former existence. This isn’t a “2.0” of the prior site, by any means. No, my friends, it promises to be better. Way better.

By Portland and for Portland, Our PDX promises to be a true hub of Portland news and happenings. You’ll see content developed by the Our PDX authors, but you’ll also see a great deal more. They’ll be working to aggregate publicly accessible media from throughout Portland, be that via Twitter streams or RSS feeds.

And they’ve really focused on getting the conversation going, again. Which is a very, very good thing.

Based on what I’ve heard about their vision, I’m excited. And I think it could really become that hub of activity for Portland that we’ve all been seeking.

Long story short, Our PDX will truly be a community blog.

I know that these folks know how to do it right. And I’m really looking forward to having them back.

Please join me in welcoming them back from their respective sabbaticals.

I can’t wait to see where this goes.

For more information, visit Our PDX and join in the conversation.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 22

Announcing Emailtoid: mapping email addresses to OpenIDs | FactoryCity

Chris Messina writes “The other night at Beer and Blog in Portland, fellow Vidooper Michael T Richardson announced and launched a new service that I’m both excited and a little apprehensive about.”

Ignite Portland 3: An Event Review « Link En Fuego

Bram Pitoyo writes “But to tell you the truth, I’m having a hard time deciding between what got me more excited about Ignite Portland: the wonderful presentation lineup, or the fact that I get to meet and connect with so many Twitter friends in real life?”

Twitter…Three Months Later

Andres writes “The tweets that I find most valuable are those in which someone either a) shares a URL to something worth checking out (e.g., geospatial news, a blog post, practical content, or videos that clearly show why John McCain is a complete dumbass), b) asks a technical or theoretical question that engages others, c) provides a collaborative discourse, or d) ‘re-tweets’ a valuable tweet by someone that I may not be following.”

What I Believe: My 10 Web and Blogging Expectations

In his usual brilliance, Louis Gray does a great job of capturing many of the reasons that I started Silicon Florist. He writes “Sometimes, when I talk to people about why I blog, and what I set out to accomplish through covering what I do, and engaging where I do, I say that I am trying to help shape the Web, and blogging as a whole, to be what I want it to be – a better community with some strong standards for engagement, ownership, news gathering and innovation.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 21

A Two-part Rule for Naming Your Startup

I honestly don’t even know where to begin here. But it mentions Vidoop, so I’m including it. Beyond that, it has some redeeming value as one of the most brilliant examples of absolute puffery and non-sequitur logic I’ve seen in some time. Of course, there’s always the possibility that it’s simply an ingeniously crafted trap, too.

Portland MetroFi: Coming Down

Sam Churchill writes “I’m sorry to see it go. I’m using MetroFi’s ‘free’ service in Portland right now, and posting this story using it. The wireless service has been good enough for me not to abandon it. Many of the early glitches seemed to have been resolved (for me at least).”

New LinkedIn group for Portland Oregon technology people – join us!

Greg Hughes writes “Jeff Martens had an idea, one I had been thinking similarly about – but he vocalized it first (or ‘tweeterized it’ might be more accurate). I jumped right in and created a new LinkedIn group called ‘PDX Tech,’ a networking group for people in the Portland, Oregon general area who work in what we will loosely define as the technology marketplace. “

FOSSCoach at OSCON 2008

FOSSCoach is a series of events designed to share and improve the essential skills required to participate in collaborative, free and open online projects like Firefox® and Wikipedia. The first FOSSCoach session will be held from July 23-25 in Portland, Oregon, USA as a part of OSCON 2008. Participation is free.

Now Featuring the FriendFeed Plugin

Jake Kuramoto writes “Commenting on FriendFeed opens the conversation normally reserved to your blog readers to others in the extended network. However, the conversation becomes fragmented as some people comment on FriendFeed and others comment directly on the blog post. A few months ago, Glenn Slaven (thanks!) wrote a WordPress plugin to unite the comments in a single view, and I’ve finally got it installed and running here on our little blog. “

Portland Says C’est La Vie To Wi-Fi Shutdown

From InformationWeek “As expected, municipal Wi-Fi network provider MetroFi is switching off its free Wi-Fi service in Portland, as well as smaller projects in California and Illinois. The company ceased expansion of its existing networks last fall and said earlier this year that they would be shut down if no buyers emerged. Portland wireless chief Logan Kleier, who was instrumental in getting the MetroFi deal signed and underway, responded in surprisingly philosophical fashion to the project’s end. “

Good night all | Portland Metblogs

I would have commented on this post, but I had to login to do so. Buh dum bah. Oh settle down. I’m only kidding. Glad to see Brett (dieselboi) moving on to greener pastures. I’m looking forward to seeing this new effort flourish. I’m also looking forward to providing more details on that new home, next week.

ReadWriteWeb, the Adidas of tech blogs, now a Portland blog

ReadWriteWeb—the Adidas of tech blogs—is the second most influential technology blog according to the Techmeme Leaderboard (TechCrunch is the leader) and one of the top 20 blogs (#11 as of this writing) in the world according to Technorati. And now—continuing to extend the Adidas metaphor—they’re officially part of Portland.


RWW announced today that Portland-based Frederic Lardinois has joined RWW as the “News & Reviews” blogger. According to RWW founder Richard MacManus, “[Frederic] will be a daily presence on RWW throughout the working week.”

With this announcement, we’re soon to have more ReadWriteWeb content produced in Portland than anywhere else. Because Portland is now home to twice as many ReadWriteWeb bloggers as any other city in the world.

We have two: Marshall Kirpatrick and Frederic.

And I don’t know about you, but if you got the chance to meet Corvidawho was formally welcomed as part-time writer for RWW, as well—at Ignite Portland 3 or the Strands after party, I think we have a good chance at having at taking an insurmountable lead as the de facto home of ReadWriteWeb.

So much so, in fact, that let’s just agree that ReadWriteWeb is now a Portland blog. Okay? Okay.

I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time a major player, headquartered somewhere else, had more employees in the Silicon Forest than in their hometown. Now would it, Intel?

And, this isn’t the first time Portland has been lucky enough to attract a major blog to our fair city. Another high-traffic property—Waxy.orgbecame a Portland blog when Andy Baio moved here earlier this year.

Congratulations to Frederic and ReadWriteWeb on this new relationship. I’m looking forward to continuing to read what is now the most popular Portland blog. And I’m also looking forward to Corvida coming back to town—so that we can further increase our lead.

ReadWriteWeb began publishing on April 20, 2003 and is now one of the most widely read and respected blogs in the world. It has over 220,000 RSS and email subscribers. ReadWriteWeb is edited by Richard MacManus and is written by a team of Web enthusiasts.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for June 20

Metafluence – Friends, my blogging hiatus ends tonight!!

Justin Kistner writes “My goal was to move my blogging activities to JustinKistner.com at the same time that I started on at Voce, which was 90 days ago. Instead, I got stuck. Originally I got stuck because I wanted to roll out a new design. Then I got stuck because I wanted to move my content from Metafluence over to JustinKistner.com. Then, I just got burned out.”

BricaBox: Goodbye World!

Nate Westheimer of BricaBox is going to share his mistakes with you. He writes “Whatever it is, I’m going to take a tremendous amount of experience, lessons, wisdom, etc with me. And, over the next few weeks, I intend on blogging diligently about every aspect of this failure. I’ve taken extensive mental notes on these lessons, and I look forward to sharing them with you. I think this process will help me institutionalize these lessons for myself, and of course I hope you can learn something from them as well.”

Summer Love’s Event from Back Fence PDX

Love Ignite Portland? Then I bet you’ll love Back Fence PDX, too. Melissa Lion writes “Check out a few videos we shot at the June 19th event. We have fancier, professional video coming from the fabulous Brian Belefant, but here’s what we shot with a flip camera [Editor: Geek cred for Flip reference]. Enjoy!”

Email to ID: My OpenID is an email address

Email to ID from VidoopOh boy. He’s on that OpenID soapbox again.

Look. You’re in Portland. Arguably the de facto hub of OpenID. So it happens. The OpenID soapbox is literally right here. I can jump on it at practically any time.

So yes, I’m talking about OpenID, again.

But this time, I think even the staunchest critics will find the discussion interesting. Because it solves a very common complaint.

You see, once you get past initial objections surrounding OpenID and the “we should push the value, not the technology” discussion—once you get into actually trying to convince people to use OpenID as a form of credential for online services—one criticism tends to pop up time and time again…

Why is OpenID a url? Why can’t OpenID be an email address?

Why does this complaint come up so much? Because email passes the “mom ‘n’ pop” test. As in mom ‘n’ pop are growing increasingly comfortable with the idea of having an email address. They “get it.” And they’re far more comfortable managing that type of address than they are managing a url.

Long story short, email seems easier to grasp.

And we’ve been so conditioned to plug an email address into the “username” box, that it’s almost becoming second nature.

So the conversation always, always, always comes around to “What if logging in with OpenID were as easy as logging in using your email address?

If only! If only someone, somewhere could put some of the leading minds together with some brilliant developers and get this thing figured out. I mean, maybe like Chris Messina and Will Norris. Maybe get Scott Kveton and Scott Blomquist in there. And that Michael Richardson is a pretty sharp developer.

I mean, if someone could manage to put a team like that together… I’m sorry. What? Really? Really? Vidoop? They all work for Vidoop? Oh. Well. That would probably explain this then….

Enter Email to ID, a new service from the folks at Portland-based Vidoop. (And yes, this is the thing they’ll be demoing at Beer and Blog this evening.)

How does Email to ID work?

The concept is simple. And congruent with current OpenID logins.

One box. One credential to enter. The basic difference being that you’re using an email address instead of url.

So how do you validate that you are who you say you are? Well, there are a couple of ways.

If you don’t have know that you already have an OpenID, you can just use your email address and Email to ID will create an OpenID association for you.

The first time you sign into a new site, Email to ID will send a validation code to that email account. (Much in the same way CAN-SPAM encourages people to confirm their membership on email lists.) Using the code, you can validate that the email address is, in fact, yours and that you are who you say you are.

If you’re already a typical OpenID user, you can associate your existing OpenID(s) and relying parties with an email address. This allows you to use the inherent security features of your relying party instead of having to check your inbox every time you want log into a new site.

Technically, what’s Email to ID doing?

Okay. I can see you geekily salivating over there. But I’m not going to try to explain it. Instead, I’ll let the people doing the work explain that:

Emailtoid is a simply a mapping service – we take a GET request to our mapper ( eg, http://emailtoid.net/mapper?email=jane@example.com ) and return an HTTP redirect (a 302) to an OpenID. If the email address is not in our system, we create an OpenID account for the user on the fly. The user logs into the OpenID account by verifying his or her email address through a one time URL or confirmation code sent to that email address. The RP (relying party, the site that originally sent the request) then has the user returned to it.

Get it? Good. Explain it to me sometime.

All I care about is that it works. And it does. Quite gracefully. And that is technology as it should be.

So is OpenID “mainstream” now?

I don’t know that making OpenID mainstream should even be a goal. But I do know that making services and technologies more useful to the general populous should.

“Basically, OpenID is great, it’s a wonderful technology, but it can be a bit confusing to the end users,” said Richardson, lead developer for Email to ID. “Users are already trained to use email as an identifier, so this bridges the gap between email and OpenID.

“Ideally, this service will go away as all top level domains will implement their own mapping. But until that time, we provide a way for sites to have people to use OpenID through their email address. The barrier of entry into OpenID is significantly lower.”

Conceptually, this service marks a huge step forward for “bending the OpenID technology to the needs of the common user.” And as such, it could definitely be one avenue for introducing a new way of logging-in to a wider group of people.

But, whether the term or concept “OpenID” needs to travel along with that form of credentialing is still a matter of debate.

To paraphrase something that Kveton, who in addition to efforts at Vidoop happens to chair of the OpenID Foundation, often says, “My mom doesn’t says she’s going to go establish an SMTP connection. She says she’s going to go check her email.” Or to put it another way, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak—or Gardenburger, as the case may be.”

Make no mistake, this is progress for OpenID and its potential. And progress very much in the right direction for a very fledgling technology with a number of benefits.

I, for one, feel that—with Email to ID—one of the major gripes against OpenID is now a thing of the past.

And that means, it’s time to attack the next one. What’s next?

For more information or to set up your own email-based OpenID, visit Email to ID. Interested in implementing this service? See the Email to ID developers area and follow Email to ID on Get Satisfaction. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to be in Portland, today, swing on by Beer and Blog to talk to Email to ID developer Michael Richardson about this new service.

Gary Vaynerchuk named inaugural speaker for Legion of Talk

Gary VaynerchukMan oh man. Those crazy kids at Legion of Tech are at it again.

If you happened to make it to Ignite Portland 3, you heard the first hints of Legion of Talk, a new series of more intimate Legion of Tech events designed to replicate the thought-provoking presentations of TED.

Well, you know those Legion of Tech types can’t do anything small. So it’s no surprise that they’re starting off with the big guns. Or perhaps more appropriately, by “Bringing the Thunder.”

Legion of Talk will kick off with Gary Vanynerchuk of Wine Library TV. Gary is a phenomenal online success story, by any measure.

Yes, shrewd business guy. Yes, creative thinker. Yes, driven entrepreneur. Yes, talented with the video. But you know what really got him there? Being a nice guy. And a decent human being.

Got him where exactly?

With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary rebranded the family business as Wine Library. Within a five year time period, Wine Library grew from a $4 million dollar business to a $45 million business.

Gary will be in town as part of his book tour, and a few lucky folks will get the chance to hear him speak at Legion of Talk. The event will be held at Wieden + Kennedy on July 1 at 7 PM. Tickets will be available June 24.

Like all Legion of Tech events, there is no charge for the event. But there will be a limited number of participants.

Interested? Of course you are. Get more information at Legion of Tech or Wine Library TV. Please RSVP on Upcoming.