Month: September 2008

A Cozy Lunch 2.0 at SplashCast

Yesterday’s Lunch 2.0 at SplashCast was nice and cozy. Maybe it was my warning that space was small, the closed guestlist, the slightly incorrect address on the Upcoming event (sorry).

Or maybe people just had other things to do, like work.

Whatever it was, in contrast to the last few Lunches 2.0, only about 70 people filtered in and out of SplashCast’s semi-new offices in the old Merchant Hotel in Old Town. This worked really well for networking, since you could navigate the entire room, bouncing between conversations, and not worry about missing anyone.

As has been typical with Portland Lunch 2.0, Kim Ramage, our host, made a brief introduction to SplashCast and welcomed everyone. Then the networking and nomming began. Unfortunately, Mike Berkley, SplashCast’s CEO and the Lunch 2.0 instigator wasn’t able to attend.

Again, there’s that pesky work thing getting in the way.

Aaron hasn’t posted his photos yet, but I’m sure they will rock, as usual. Check his Lunch 2.0 collection on Flickr if you’re interested.

Mark Colman tweeted several pictures he took, including this one of AJ and Doug in the midst of what looks like an interesting conversation about the finer points of the iPhone’s keypad.

lunch.jpg

Thanks to Kim, Mike and the whole SplashCast team for opening their digs to us.

Yearning for more? No worries about space in the next few venues, the Art Institute of Portland (October 15) and the Eclipse Foundation (November 5). In fact, they’re both large, so bring your friends and colleagues.

Better yet, if you can find uninitiated Lunch 2.0 people, bring them along to spread the goodness.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for September 17

WordCamp Portland: How About a Session On (insert topic here)?

Via the WordCamp Portland blog “Do you have a WordPress topic on your mind? Have you looked at our list of speakers and sessions and thought ‘that’s great, but what about ________?’ You’re the perfect person to suggest a topic for an unconference session!”

Tracking software’s growth – Silicon Forest – The Oregonian – OregonLive.com

Mike Rogoway writes “With old-line chip companies on a seemingly intractable decline, and software on the upswing, software now represents a greater share of Oregon’s high-tech economy than at any time in the state’s history: Roughly 1 in 6 Oregon tech jobs are now in software, up from 1 in 25 in 1990.”

Maintaining a Successful Corporate Community

Dawn Foster writes “Apparently, this is corporate community week on the Fast Wonder Blog. I decided to follow up my post on Monday about Custom Corporate Communities: Planning and Getting Started with this post containing tips about what to do and what to avoid doing if you want to have a successful corporate community. While some of these tips are specific to corporate communities, most of them also apply to other types of communities as well.”

Strands Get Win At DollarDays

Via Northwest Innovation “Corvallis, Oregon-based Strands, which provides social recommendation software, said Tuesday that the firm has been selected by DollarDays International to power personalized product recommendation on its website.”

Techcraver.com | Craving tech, craving life! » Blog Archive » Nokia Legends Campaign Now Live

Jason Harris writes “Nokia Legends, the ad campaign I was involved in last month will go live today. The campaign centers around 8 stories told by actor Ron McLarty (of Sex In The City and Law and Oder fame). The urban legends, as they are called, highlight innovations that are coming out in the near future, a few years from now, or are just perhaps a very lucrative research project.”

Legion of Tech Happy Hour Meetup at Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub (Thursday September 25, 2008) – Upcoming

These are super informal meetups where we hang out, talk about geeky stuff (wikis, open source, new technologies, openid, …), and wind down with like-minded people over beverages.

Neighborhood Notes Providing News and Events in Portland

Via the TeachStreet blog “Are you in the Portland area and don’t know whats going on in your neighborhoods? Check out your one stop shop for all of your news and events needs at Neighborhood Notes. They’ve created an amazing space where communities can communicate and connect with one another about Portland events and local neighborhood news.”

Show Your Best on ORBlogs | Oregon Blogs

Via the Oregon Blogs blog “All your images are belong to us! Oregon Blogs is looking for images to feature on its front page and banner slots. We’re generating a collection of random images to show on the front page, and three banner images to show on the front, article and archive pages of the Oregon Blogs Blog (that long, narrow image at the top of the page).”

A Character Length Comparison Of Various URL Shortening Services « Link En Fuego

Bram Pitoyo writes “When you want to utilize every bit of that 140-character Tweet limit to communicate your latest find or endeavor, every character matters. So I thought I’d compile a character count of most URL shortening services out there and give you a round, hard number of just how short did the developer mean when he said ‘short’?”

80+ WordPress designs from Portland and the Silicon Forest

[HTML1]With WordCamp Portland fast approaching, I’ve had any number of folks approaching me with questions like “What’s WordPress?”, “Why should I use WordPress?”, “What can I do with WordPress?”, and “When will you shut up with the questions already? I mean, really?”

So rather than try to recount all my WordPress love in one egotistical post, I thought it might better for a little more “show” than “tell.”

So here—in a rough semblance of alphabetical order—are what some other folks in Portland and the Silicon Forest are doing with that magical open-source blogging platform, WordPress:

AJ
Akshay Dodeja
Almost Fit
Another Blogger
Back Fence PDX
Bananaverse
Bearded Lightning
Beer and Blog
Buckman Elementary
Catherder
CDC Studios
Chris Kalani
Cloud Four
Colour Lovers
Does Not Validate
Dyepot Teapot
Elliot Swan
eROI Days
Everything I Tell You Is Hearsay
Extensis
Face of the Cookie
Fast Wonder
Fuzzy Slug
Garett Croft Stenson
Get Better At
Get Rich Slowly
Go Big Always
Grok Play
Hazelnut Tech Talk
Hockley Photography
Ignite Portland
Intel Software Blogs
Internet Astronauts
Jason Glaspey
Jason on Cars
John Anthony Hartman
Justin Kistner
Koesmanto Bong
Kveton
Kyle Meyer
Laptopia
Legion of Tech
Lizzy Caston
Lorelle on WordPress
Lyza Danger
Marshall Kirkpatrick
Mashup Awards
Matt Davis Opens HIs Mouth
Matthew Gifford
Mechanical Integrator
Metafluence
More than a living
Mr. Diggles
My Curious Life
My Whim is Law
Namita Bhasin
OpenID
Oregon Blogs
AJ
PAF Colaboratory
Pagents Progress
Pampelmoose
PDX Pipeline
Peat
Portland Metblogs
Portland is Awesome
Portland on Fire
Positively Glorious
Rabbi David Kominsky
Radio Isopod
Raven Zachary
Recovering Californian
Reid Beels
RGB Design Studio
Self-amusement park
Strands blog
Substance
Tasting and Complaining
Techcraver
Tiny Screenfuls
Today's best tools
Tyler Sticka
User First Web
Vidoop Blog
What could be
Wideshot Studios
WordCamp Portland
Yay! Monday!
Whew! That’s a lot of WordPress going on.

If I missed your site (or screwed up your URL), I apologize. Please link it up below so that everyone else see the cool things you’re doing with WordPress.

Portland startups—and other Silicon Forest startups—defy the Oregon tech slump

I was just going to link to this. And then I thought better of it.

“A link?” I thought. “This is traditional media taking notice and giving credit where credit is due. This needs more than a link.”

So, I give you this piece from my former college classmate, Mike Rogoway over at The Oregonian entitled “Oregon losing high-tech jobs—with more bad news to come.”

A steady drumbeat of cutbacks in Oregon’s high-tech sector has reduced the number of technology jobs in the state to its lowest point in nearly three years.

Wait a second. Where’s the positivity? Where’s the “credit where credit is due”?

Well, that comes at the end of the article. From which I’ll judiciously quote (passage emphasis is mine, not Mike’s):

Oregon’s tech industry has one distinct bright spot: software.

Long the weakest link in Oregon’s technology economy, software has emerged strongly over the past few years—spurred by a vibrant community of open source software developers and Web services companies that require little investment capital to get started.

Software jobs are up 12 percent during the past two years, and now number 9,500. Although still a relatively tiny part of the overall state economy—which numbers more than 1.7 million jobs altogether—software is the fastest growing part of the high-tech sector and one of a small number of industries that is defying the broader economic slowdown.

Much of the activity is concentrated in Portland’s Old Town, home to a cluster of companies that develop software for the Internet. Examples include password-protection technology from Oklahoma transplant Vidoop, and collaboration tools from Jive Software.

“We’re just this wonderful hotbed of open source, brew-your-own-softwareville,” said Harvey Mathews of the Software Association of Oregon. “It’s a tight community, so we all help each other out. Which isn’t the case in lots of other industries.”

Can I get a “w00t!!!1!”? This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see. The kind of recognition you deserve. And the reason I continue to relentlessly document all the cool things you’re doing.

You’re making it happen. And you’re blowing the curve.

And for that, you need to congratulate yourselves, Portland and Silicon Forest startups. You deserve it.

Keep up the good work. Stay focused. And keep working to on that code.

I’ll be sure to let everyone else know: they ain’t seen nothing yet.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for September 16

ORBlogs 2.0: The State of the State

John Metta writes “Seems like half the state is clamoring for an update on the ORBlogs progress (well, four or five people were asking about it, anyway). Here it is, a line-item review of our progress so far- living proof that the lazy bastids at ORBlogs would rather sleep away their nights than give you satisfaction!”

Central Oregon Web Professionals Usergroup: October Meeting

Via the COWPU blog “Everything boils down to three things when you are building a successful web site. We’ll review the meat behind the brand, search and content balance to help position your site for ultimate visibility and conversions. Once you have these tools in hand, you’ll have some helpful tips to determining which company and which system to work with. From choosing a CMS to working with a design firm/agency, the balance is the key.”

Mamapreneur Conference in Portland next week

Via the TeachStreet blog “I was just poking around on Portland-based site, MomHub. Even though I don’t have kids, it’s a great site. (Oh, they’re also building a DadHub, too.) It’s similar in mission and functionality to what our friends at ParentMap (Seattle-based) are doing. They’ve got all sorts of great local listings for family-friendly activities in Portland and lots of groups you can join to connect with similar parents in your very own neighborhood.”

Seven Social Media Consultants That Deliver Tangible Value – ReadWriteWeb

Marshall Kirkpatrick writes “Dawn Foster is a relatively new entrant into the consulting world but her blog Fast Wonder is already pumping out the usable information and tools.”

Lighthouse upgrade delays

Via ENTP “After bringing Lighthouse back online, we immediately noticed two crucial bugs in the system, which affected user invites and email notifications. Fixes for those bugs were promptly deployed to Lighthouse before traffic picked back up.”

wp-openid – faster, stronger, better

Will Norris (creator of wp-openid, the WordPress plugin many folks use to manage OpenID logins on their blogs) writes “One of the primary focuses for this next major release of wp-openid is stability. While most people have had great success with the plugin, there are a fair number that seem to have all kinds of strange problems, ranging from conflicts with other plugins, data corruption, library issues, etc. In order to reach the level of adoption I’d love to see, we have to make this plugin as easy to install and run as WordPress itself. This is certainly no easy task, but we’ve come a very long way.”

Strands continues to improve by listening to its users

When Corvallis-based Strands released their new lifestreaming service a few months back, I found it friendlier than FriendFeed, but not without its share of faults.

To its credit, the Strands team was open to criticism—taking its detractors head-on—and, as such, they continued to elicit tons of valuable feedback on ways to improve the service.

Now, you get the chance to see some of those improvements with the latest release of Strands.

Gone are the dark and constrained streams of information. Now, they’re open, legible, and much more inviting.

Strands new interface

It’s definitely a marked improvement. And one that will likely draw me back into a more participatory role. As opposed to my current use: allowing Strands to churn along—ignored in the background as it works at capturing my lifestream.

This update makes me want to get back into the fray. Because, now, it seems so much more usable.

And I’m not the only one.

Prominent blogger and FriendFeed proponent Louis Gray highlights the progress Strands has made, too:

While it hasn’t yet gotten the buzz of some other social aggregators and lifestreaming projects, Strands is quietly going about making a product on par with the market leaders, letting the community find new content and people, and enabling micro-conversations.

I couldn’t be happier to see Strands getting these kinds of strokes.

If you’re a current Strands user (and I know a ton of you in Portland and Corvallis are), I’d highly recommend heading back over to Strands to give it a second look.

If you’re interested in trying Strands, comment below and I’ll be happy to get you an invite. I’ve got about 13 left. First come, first served.

Lunch 2.0 at SplashCast in Old Town is Tomorrow

splashcast.jpgSeems like ages since it was announced, so in case you’ve forgotten, the kind people at SplashCast will be opening their doors to the seventh iteration of Portland Lunch 2.0 tomorrow from 12 to 2 PM.

Ideally, you’ve already RSVP’ed on Upcoming, and you know where you’re going. The space isn’t huge, so we closed the guestlist a few weeks ago to avoid a crushing overflow of hungry Portlanders.

If you don’t feel like taking a chance and fighting a crowd, never fear, there’s always the October Lunch 2.0 at the Art Institute of Portland. That’s an enormous space, so bring your coworkers and friends. It’s still good to RSVP so they can plan the catering.

Anyway, I hope to see or meet you tomorrow.

Upcoming Portland Lunch 2.0s

  • October 15 at the Art Institute of Portland: This space is huge, plenty of room for everyone, so bring friends and colleagues.
  • November 5 at the Eclipse Foundation

In addition, I have soft commitments from hosts in the works for December, January and February. Looks like Portland Lunch 2.0 will see its first anniversary. Thanks to all the hosts and people who’ve made this a success.

If you want details about hosting, let me know in comments.

REMINDER: Sold-out Linux Plumbers Conference on tap

Portland remains the place-to-be for this year’s sold-out Linux Plumbers Conference, a gathering of more than 300 folks who have a deep interest in the inner recesses of the popular open-source operating system created by Portland-area resident, Linus Torvalds.

Linux Plumbers Conference

Why “plumbers”?

Jonathan Corbet calls this the “kernel ecosystem”. We call it the “plumbing,” a collection of essential interfaces and services provided by the libraries, kernel, and utilities that make up a Linux system. Currently, when a problem exists that involves both kernel and user space, a developer must attend several different conferences to discuss the problems face-to-face with other key developers. As a result, problems crossing multiple subsystem boundaries are more difficult to solve than those within a subsystem.

Opening sessions begin today, with the bulk of the event happening September 17 – 19 at PSU’s Smith Memorial Center.

The Linux Plumbers Conference is underwritten by The Linux Foundation and organized in partnership with The Linux Foundation, Portland State University and community volunteers. For more information, visit Linux Plumbers Conference.

ProtoShare promises collaborative prototyping for Web designers

ProtoShareThere’s always a bit of miscommunication between clients and Web developers when it comes to prototyping. And that causes more stress for both parties than it should.

To compound matters, there’s usually a bunch of internal disagreements and miscommunication, too.

If only Web developers—who work day-in and day-out creating applications that solve problems for others—had a tool to help them solve their communications problem around wireframes and prototypes.

Now, they just may have that help with ProtoShare 2.0, the latest version of the interactive prototyping tool from Portland-based Site9.

What does ProtoShare do?

[ProtoShare] enables your entire team to communicate in real-time on clickable wireframes and creative designs. Team members can review work and provide timely feedback in order to keep projects moving ahead with better input. You can invite as many reviewers as you like and display comments in a wiki-like manner.

This “we built it for us and now we’re letting you play” reminds me very much of the Chicago-based 37signals guys, who built a number of apps to help them around the shop.

Turns out, those apps were so useful that now thousands of people use them everyday.

And if ProtoShare garners even a small percentage of the users that Basecamp—which is currently tracking more than 1,000,000 users—has managed to attract? That could be very interesting indeed.

In fact, ProtoShare may already be on starting its way down that path. You see, they’re getting some positive strokes from folks who might know a thing or two about online collaboration: the Wikinomics team:

“ProtoShare opens the process up to other stakeholders, such as the marketing team, allowing them to follow the project’s progress over time, and provide timely and effective feedback to developers, “ writes Wikinomics team member Will Dick. “By improving communication and collaboration within the project team, and between them and their clients, ProtoShare has the potential to revolutionize the process of web design.”

Both Team and Network versions of ProtoShare are available for a monthly subscription. Pricing runs $25 for Team and $49 for Network.

Site9 is a developer of collaborative web development software from prototyping to deployment. Founded as an interactive agency in 1999 by web designers and programmers, Site9 transitioned into a software company to address common problems and pain points in the Web development process. For more information on the company, visit Site9. Or head to the ProtoShare site to see ProtoShare in action.

Silicon Florist 04: OEN Pubtalk, Silicon Forest Forum, Air Sharing, Portland Lunch 2.0

This week on the Silicon Forest podcast, I’ve got the usual review and preview of all that’s happening in the Silicon Forest Web startup scene. With an added bonus. I took a few minutes to chat with Dave Howell, CEO of Vancouver-based Avatron, the company behind the uberpopular iPhone app Air Sharing.

Click the Play button above to start streaming or feel free to download the Silicon Florist podcast.

Links from this episode include:

Oopie: I meant 501 c 3. I’m as bad as KGW’s iPhone G3.

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