Month: July 2008

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for July 23

Chris Messina wins Google-O’Reilly Open Source Award

Via the Vidoop blog “We are very proud that Chris Messina (aka @factoryjoe), a recent addition to the Vidoop team, has recently received the award for ‘best community amplifier’. You can read about the history and see past winners at the Google-O’Reilly Open Source Awards – Hall of Fame but the general idea is…”

Legion of Talk – Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu & Space Travel: An Event Review « Link En Fuego

An exceedingly thorough play-by-play with Mark Shuttleworth during Legion of Talk.

Are Web 2.0 startups wasting their time with Web 2.0 early adopters?

Andrew Chen writes “The major point I will make here is that Techcrunch and related blogs reach an audience of early adopters, but these may not be the earlier adopters that you want. After all, what’s the point of launching a music startup on Techcrunch, for example, if your startup is primarily for the teen mass market?”

iPhoneDevCamp 2 – Portland Oregon at PCC Cascade Campus (Friday, August 1, 2008) – Upcoming

IPhoneDevCamp Portland will take place August 1st to 3rd on the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College. This will be a satellite event to the main event being held in San Francisco.

wp-openid 2.2.0 released

Will Norris of Vidoop has released version 2.2.0 of the OpenID plugin for WordPress. This version includes “support for Email Address to URL Transformation – now you can use an email address anywhere you normally use an OpenID.” EAUT!

The Community Ampflier | FactoryCity

Chris Messina writes “Inexplicably I was absent when they handed out the award, hanging out with folks at a Python/Django/jQuery drinkup down the street, but I’m humbled all the same… especially since I work on a day to day basis with such high caliber and incredible people without whom none of these projects would exist, would not have found success, and most importantly, would never have ever mattered in the first place.”

Inaugural Cre8camp Portland comes close to cap

Cre8camp is a new unconference for creative types, inspired by the popular local tech unconference, BarCamp Portland.

It’s starting in the right place. And like many fledgling BarCamp and unconferences in the offing, Cre8camp Portland shows the potential to be the first of many regional events of a similar ilk.

Now this isn’t just a BarCamp for graphic designers. There are a few differences between BarCamp and Cre8camp, the most notable being:

One difference between the Cre8Camp concept and BarCamp is that the various Cre8Camps have an annual “mothership” event called Cre8Con (the Creative Conference). Our vision is that participants of various Cre8Camps in different metro areas will consider attending this annual gathering to engage with each other and with some world-class creative keynoters for some national level networking.


So, this is an unconference for “creatives.” What—exactly—is a creative, you ask? You tell me my friend.

Today, the traditional lines dividing “creatives” and “developers” is becoming exceedingly blurry. And I, for one, welcome that blurriness.

I mean, all of those folks are creative (and always have been). Because some of these folks whom you would traditionally throw in the realm of non-creatives—aside from being brilliant and creative developers—are also amazing photographers, knitters, designers, and writers.

Likewise, there are any number of drool-worthy graphic designers who have stepped into the realm of development. To finely craft their own CSS. Or churn out application code that would make traditional “developers” swoon.

Long story short, “creatives,” in my opinion, is a nonsensical moniker. The concept of creative is completely outdated. An unnecessary silo.

We’re all creative, people. All of us. (Well, except for me. I largely just regurgitate stuff I hear.)

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t even see that soapbox. I just happened to step up there.

But, that said, we have to start somewhere. If we are to dissolve the silos and start the conversations, we have to get people together. And I think this concept is a great first step.

How do I know? Because of things like this:

Cre8Camp Portland is an unconference for creatives. It is an ad-hoc gathering for participants to learn, network and share in an open environment with discussions, demos and interaction all led by the attendees.

Cre8camp maxes out at 60 participants. And last I checked, they were very close to hitting their cap.

I’m looking forward to hearing about this inagural event. And with folks like Bram Pitoyo, Amber Case, and Aaron Hockley—all creatives in their own right—in attendance, we’re sure to read, hear, and see a great deal of the event.

Enjoy. Lunch is on me.

For more information, visit the Cre8camp Portland wiki or Upcoming.

Geek Bat signal: iPhoneDevCamp 2 Portland needs your help

iPhoneI recently posted a link to the iPhoneDevCamp 2 Portland event (and I believe there will be another one when the ma.gnolia links post fires off). This differs from the original iPhoneDevCamp, because this time around Portland will have a satellite event so that Portland folks can participate without having to spend the cash—and the carbon—to make it to the main event down in San Francisco.

Very cool idea. And a great way to keep the community involved.

Except for one thing. Doug Coleman and Dean Martindale are reporting they’ve hit a snag:

Enthusiasm is high about an iPhone DevCamp 2 satellite event being held in Portland. However, PCC Cascade informed us today that we will not be able to use their facilities to host DevCamp 2 PDX without paying almost $1000 in security and overtime fees. Disappointing news, because plans have been in the works for weeks now and we have already announced it to the world. This leaves us without a venue to host this event that is only a week and a half away.

So, I’m throwing up a “Geek Bat signal.” If anyone has the ability to host the event or to help these smart folks find somewhere to muck around with their iPhone apps, please comment below.

Even if you can’t help, please spread the word that they need help.

For more information on the event, see iPhoneDevCamp 2 Portland on Upcoming.

[Update] Even as I compose this post, a number of folks are pitching in with possible venues, but the problem hasn’t been solved yet.

OSCON: Etelos provides a marketplace for open source apps

Every once in a great while, I cover a company that doesn’t really “live” in Portland or the Silicon Forest. And I generally don’t do that—there are plenty of other resources that do that sort of thing far better than I—unless it has to the potential to influence what we’re trying to accomplish around here.

Etelos has that potential. And I got the chance to sit down with them at OSCON yesterday.

What’s the story? Well, Etelos provides a way of marketing and distributing open source apps for those folks who don’t have any desire to deal with marketing and sales.

Sound like someone you know? I thought it might.

And I think their marketplace idea might appeal to some of you.

The Etelos MarketplaceTM gives developers an easy place to license, distribute and support applications. The Etelos Marketplace also gives businesses a wide selection of fully customizable, on-demand business applications to license and deploy to the hosting environment of their choice.

“You take care of the code,” said Ahmad Baitalmal. “And we’ll take care of the rest.”

What’s that? Yes, yes, I hear you. “Why can’t I just do that with my current host?”

Simple answer? Instead of eschewing customization, these guys seem to thrive on it. They’re built so that every app gets exactly the environment it needs.

Let’s say you need an environment running PHP 5 with the latest Zend framework and MySQL 4.2 and you need it running with a certain amount of memory at its disposal. If you’re dealing with a traditional host, you just began a very lengthy conversation. And you just became a sysadmin instead of a developer. Not exactly where you want to be.

But with these guys, start throwing those specs at them and the response is likely “Okay.”

And you don’t have to be interested in selling your app. This may just be your distribution method.

Take for instance an idea that Justin Kistner has been discussing for some time that I like to call the “RedHat of WordPress.” The concept is based on the idea that every time you install a new WordPress blog—or every time you build a new environment for a client—you have to take an arduous journey of installing and updating every plugin you liked from your last installation. So what if—thought Justin—what if there was a “build” of WordPress that came with everything you needed and only one codebase to maintain that anyone could grab when they needed?

Etelos would be a great way to support that kind of distribution.

Or maybe you’ve built something you want to sell. Like the backbone for social mapping applications or the technology to aggregate calendars online or something.

Etelos could likely help you there too. They’d do all of the marketing and deal with the buying and selling. And all they’d take is a little cut of the revenue.

It’s an interesting concept that takes me back to the days of “shareware” distribution points like download.com and Tucows.

Back in the day, these download sites were incredibly popular place to find the latest in new and interesting software. They became destinations because of the variety of applications that they offered.

Etelos seems to have this same potential. And could serve a very similar role for open source apps.

It will be interesting to see if they can achieve that sort of notoriety. For both their company and the products they promote.

If you’re a developer who just wants to code and leave the business stuff to someone else? Etelos may be just what you needed.

For more information or to try Etelos for yourself, visit Etelos. Or if you’re at OSCON, swing by the Etelos booth to get a demo of their services.

OSCON 2008: Off and running

If you’ve noticed a higher concentration of geeks in town as of late, there’s a good reason: OSCON 2008 is in full swing. The annual open source convention attracts a couple thousand open source aficionados to Portland.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time at the Oregon Convention Center, chatting with folks and watching open source rockstars walk around. And I’ve already had the opportunity to talk with a number of folks who have interesting stories to tell.

Some of those stories are Portland/Silicon Forest based. Like the EAUT story. Some of them are from outside our area—but could have direct impact on how we build and market products around here.

And now the real fun begins. Because, last night, OSCON 2008 moved from pre-conference to conference-conference.

Stay tuned for more on OSCON and the afterhours OSCON activities. I’ll try to provide some brief posts on what’s what as the conference progresses.

And, of course, I’ll be looking to do a roundup of posts on the event from local folks. So please do let me know if you’re writing stuff up.

Sorry, no word on the tattoos yet.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for July 22

Cautionary Tale – TechBoise

Via the TechBoise blog “Those of you on Twitter or at OSCON have already seen the posts from @kveton and @turoczy about the press that Vidoop is getting as they move their corporate headquarters from Oklahoma to Portland. I think there are at least three important lessons in this article I am reposting from the Oregonian…”

How ClearSpace won me back

Ariel Meilij writes “Matt is the CTO of Jive Software, and a real executive worried about customer satisfaction if he cared to read my post from swamp humid Central America (I am from Panama after all…) I am not only happy to hear from the CTO himself, but also to realize the new version is already in use by Nike, and my mark-up now makes a lot of sense. Not perfect yet, but almost there.”

Call for Recommender Start-Ups: The Fastest Path to Fund your Project

Via the Strands blog “Back in March we announced the ‘Strands $100,000 Call for Recommender Start-Ups,’ the Fastest Path to Fund your Project. Now that we are getting closer to the end of the submission period, next September 15th, we’d love to receive your proposal!”

iPhone DevCamp 2 Comes to Portland

Doug Coleman writes “Good news! iPhone developer geeks do not have to travel all the way to San Francisco for DevCamp 2. There will be a live satellite event at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus that is open to the public and is free.”

Congrats to Chris Messina

Scott Kveton writes “Tonight Chris Messina won a Google Open Source Award as ‘Best Community Amplifier’ for his tireless work spreading ‘open’ everywhere. I’ve known Chris for several years now and its been an absolute pleasure not only to be in the same space but now I get to work with him at Vidoop on a daily basis.”

OSCON 2008 – People for Geeks: Leading without being in charge

Selena Deckelmann writes “Here’s my slide deck from People for Geeks. Will be uploading to slideshare soon!”

Where will the mobile open source battle will be waged?

Jay Lyman writes “Attending the Open Mobile Exchange at OSCON today, I heard some differing perspectives on the role and impact of open source in the mobile software market. We heard from Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin how significant Linux is in the mobile and embedded spaces, some of the non-desktop Linux uses we predicted would be hot this year.”

Calagator: Your Search Terms, Direct to your Calendar

Audrey Eschright writes “As we’ve been working on Calagator, I’ve told people ‘we want you to be able to have a calendar with only the Ruby and beer events if that’s what you like’ as our goal for tagging, search, and feeds. This weekend we accomplished that goal. Now, if you enter a search term into the box in the upper right corner of the page, you’ll be offered Atom and iCalendar feeds to subscribe to. It’s a proud moment.”

Legion of Talk Event Podcast | Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu and Space Travel

Amber Case writes “This is the full 84 minute audio recording of the talk that Mark Shuttleworth gave on Monday, July 21st at McMenamins Mission Theater. The talk was sponsored by Oregon’s own Strands and Legion of Tech. Mark Shuttleworth will also be speaking tomorrow at O’Reilly’s OSCON 08, a week-long Tech Event here in Portland.”

The Change Project

Mark Shuttleworth lends a hand in helping Peat Bakke launch “The Change Project.”

The Beauty of EAUT (Email Address to URL Translation)

OpenID, as a concept, holds great promise. And Portland—with OpenID proponents like Vidoop and JanRain—is home to some of the most promising thought in the application of that concept.

But the URL thing still trips folks up.

And that’s a known issue. Not everyone wants to use a URL to identify themselves. An email address makes more sense to some folks.

But there’s a problem. An email address isn’t exactly an “endpoint.” And there’s no way to hang other stuff off of an email address, like identity information or helpful code like XFN.

Still, from a usability standpoint, “using my email address to login” is about as common a practice as any on the Web.

So there needs to be a translation. Something that lets people use the credential they want, but allows folks to have the endpoint credential they need.

Roughly a month ago, Portland-based Vidoop released something designed to solve this problem: Emailtoid, a service that allowed folks to use an email address as their OpenID.

I thought Emailtoid showed a great deal of promise. But apparently, it wasn’t good enough.

Now, Vidoop’s Will Norris and Michael Richardson have helped take the concept of Emailtoid a step further by working on the development of a new spec. It’s a spec that may simplify the issue even further.

Introducing EAUT—pronounced “yute“—a distributed email address to URL translation that allows anyone to take the conversion from email address to OpenID URL and hide it behind the scenes of the transaction. With just a little bit of code.

Or, to let Vidoop explain EAUT more clearly:

In basic terms EAUT makes it easy to take an email address and transform it into an URL, making your email work with services like OpenID. The goal with Emailtoid is to demonstrate the technology and provide a fallback solution for a larger, decentralized network based on the EAUT specification.

What’s more, it’s decentralized. Meaning any email address—any email address—now holds the potential to become an OpenID:

EAUT is designed to work in a distributed fashion, so that no one authority controls it. Every email provider can control how email addresses at their domain are resolved into URLs.

So, now that bright and shiny new Emailtoid—instead of leading the charge—becomes the fallback service should this validation fail. According to plan.

Hopefully, the release of the EAUT spec continues to chip away at the barriers that are preventing major providers—providers that serve as relying parties but don’t allow users to login via OpenID—to move into the realm of becoming full-fledged OpenID supporters.

And in so doing, here’s hoping that EAUT helps accelerate the adoption of OpenID, a concept that today may only save headaches for a handful of geeks with innumerable logins, but which may one day serve as an open foundation for credentials and security on the open Web of the future.

Combining the power of OpenID with the ease of email addresses. And making it open and distributed.

This could be a thing of beauty.

To test drive it, try out the EAUT examples. For more information on the spec, see the Vidoop post or the EAUT site.

Platial finds Apple iPhone App Store with Nearby

Platial iPhone iconPortland-based Platial, the mapping site that helps folks tell the backstories about locations that deepen the meaning of “where you are,” just got a lot more mobile, now that Platial Nearby is part of the Apple iPhone App Store.

I got the chance to see a demo version of Nearby at Platial’s iPhone App launch party a few weeks back. And it’s a pretty slick little application. Nearby takes advantage of the location-aware features of the newest iPhone, allowing users to dig into Platial content that is pertinent to both where they are—and where they might like to be.

Like most mapping applications, users can find the typical “publicly available” information about locations. But with Nearby, they also gain the advantage of tapping into Platial user data—the stories about the spot you’re standing. That means litterally thousands of notes, images, tags, and reviews for some areas. Stories of personal experience. And insight. Stories that you don’t usually get, unless you have an actual person or two to guide you.

Long story short, Nearby is a virtual tour guide, providing the backstory for the world around you. And with the iPhone app, you’re getting that story as you walk through that location.

Platial Nearby on the iPod Touch

“This reinforces our mission to create the Peoples Atlas,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, CEO of Platial. “For two years we’ve been collecting information about all kinds of places that are meaningful to people; user-generated content that goes beyond commercial listings and into architecture, activism, street art, playgrounds, local history–things you can’t find anywhere else. We still have a long way to go, but we’re closer now with Platial for iPhone.”

Nearby is currently available for download from the Apple iPhone App Store. No registration is required, so users can begin using the app right away.

Well, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch with the 2.0 version of the firmware.

Have you tried the Platial Nearby app? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Platial is a free online mapping resource where people around the world every day share and discover all kinds of places. Anyone can map just about anything including their towns, lives, travels, feeds, files, photos, video, and stories in one simple interface.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for July 21

FOSCON Live Coding competition

Selena Deckelmann writes “The Portland Ruby Brigade is cooking up a great FOSCON this year, hosted at Cubespace. It’s all happening on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 from 6pm-9pm.”

It’s OSCON week!

Raven Zachary writes “Another year has passed by in a flash and OSCON, O’Reilly’s annual open source convention, is upon us. Fellow 451 open source analyst and Portlander, Jay Lyman, will be with me all week at the Oregon Convention Center to check the pulse of the open source development community, meet with vendors and clients, reconnect with old friends, and count utilikilts (among many other things). It was my first trip to OSCON in 2005 that got me hooked on both the conference and the city. Now, heading into my fourth year at OSCON and my third year as a Portland resident, I’ll take the short commute tomorrow morning.”

Beer And Blog – The Secrets Session: An Event Review

Bram Pitoyo provides another one of his inimitable event recaps. This time it’s on the last Beer and Blog, “the Secrets Session.”

Who Wants a Faster Ruby?: OSCON 2008

Brian Ford writes “If you’re headed to OSCON 2008, I hope I’ll have a chance to meet you. I’ll be speaking on Thursday afternoon, something about Ruby performance. Come and heckle me if you wish.”

PDX GeekChix Lunches: OSCON edition

Meet outside the convention center Starbucks at 11:55 to walk to lunch
or Meet us at Pho Green Papaya at 12:10. RSVP here.

Liveblogging OSCON

Great blow-by-blow OSCON coverage from “Musings of an Anonymous Geek”

Vidoop will be lifting your spirits during OSCON 2008

Via the Vidoop blog “OSCON 2008 by itself is enough to geek out about, but don’t forget about the parties!”

Vidoop execs to be profiled in The Oregonian

VidoopIt’s no secret that I started Silicon Florist as a way to shine a spotlight on the Web startups in town who—for whatever reason—don’t get the proper attention from the local or national media.

There’s cool stuff happening here. And stories that need to be told.

And when the traditional media starts taking notice—like when Oregon Business Magazine covering local Web 2.0 startups—that makes me happy. Because, quite frankly, these folks deserve the recognition.

And now, I have some more good news of the traditional media taking notice. I think. At least I hope.

For in a recent post on OpenID, Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian and Silicon Forest blog mentions:

Meet Vidoop‘s bosses in tomorrow’s Oregonian.

Just a passing mention. But, hopefully, the precursor to some real coverage for one of the most forward thinking companies in town.

I’ll be sure to hit the newsstand tomorrow, in hopes of seeing some decent ink on Vidoop.

[Update] And here’s the article from The Oregonian, “Coffee Break: Vidoop’s bosses.”