Month: October 2008

Prolifiq gets blue—in a good way—with IBM Bluehouse

ProlifiqBeaverton-based Prolifiq may be one of the most successful companies in the Silicon Forest of which you’ve never heard.

And I have to admit that part of that is entirely my fault. I had the pleasure of speaking with the folks over at Prolifiq quite a while ago, and I have a half-composed post about what they’re doing. But it never seemed to make it out of drafts.

Well, I’m happy to say that Prolifiq has some big news, today, that forces my hand. And it involves another company that you may know. One with one of those “acronym names,” IBM.

So what does Prolifiq do? They actually help sales teams and marketing teams work together. That bears repeating: they have come up with a solution that actually helps sales teams and marketing teams work together. And if this doesn’t sound like boiling-the-Willamette-River magic to you, you’ve obviously managed to dodge one of those roles in your professional life.

Prolifiq’s solution is the love child of customer relationship management (CRM) and content management (CMS) with some collaboration and social recommendation features, as well. In short, Prolifiq helps marketing types arm sales teams with immediate access to the information their potential customers need. And it allows them to crate it up and send it to anyone, lickety split. From a mobile device. Or from the desktop.

CEO Jeff Gaus calls it “the digital equivalent of a FedEx envelope.” I’d agree. Only it’s faster. And you don’t have to deal with the goofy guy in the purple shorts.

So where does Big Blue come in? IBM recently launched Bluehouse, which is basically Lotus Notes “up in the cloud,” as the cool kids like to say.

To hear IBM tell it:

“Bluehouse” is the place where businesses come to get work done. Whether you need to prepare for tomorrow’s meeting, are ready to host one today or want to collect feedback from yesterday’s call – “Bluehouse” can help.

So where does Prolifiq fit into the mix?

“’Bluehouse’ integrates key tools that enable teams to work more effectively,” said Sean Poulley, IBM Vice President of Online Collaboration Services. “Prolifiq for ‘Bluehouse’ provides sales organizations with the content they need at their fingertips that is branded, formatted and ready for use. Sales teams that use Prolifiq for ‘Bluehouse’ will have more time to do what they do best—close deals.”

Something tells me that a lot of other folks are going to be telling people about Prolifiq, now. Especially given the stage on which they find themselves, today.

But I still need to finish that draft.

Prolifiq revolutionizes personal email between sellers and their customers or prospects. The company’s smart email solution enables sellers, such ad Cisco Systems, General Electric, and Getty Images to send personal email that projects the brand, uses content that works and measures 1:1 conversations with customers.

For more information, visit Prolifiq.

Where I catch up on WhereCamp PDX

Last weekend, Portland played host to all sorts of geolocation goodness at WhereCamp PDX. And proud as I was to sponsor this unique event, I was unable to attend.

What to do? Read the blog posts about the event, of course! And since I’m tracking down those posts, anyway, I thought it might be nice to share them with you, gentle reader.

Let’s get going, shall we?

  • WhereCamp PDX Roundup
    “As you can probably guess, WhereCamp focuses on geo-geeking. It began in 2007 as a way to extend and build on conversations and topics presented at O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 conference.”
  • WhereCamp PDX Takes on PacManhattan
    “On the final day of WhereCamp, it was time for location-based games. After a late night of geohacking, several WhereCampers returned early to play PacManhattan, where city streets become the game board.”
  • Oh my gosh, it’s like being immersed in the brochure online!
    “So the conversation started off all over the board: discussing whether Google was a brand-neutral service or whether or not it over-shadowed the brand; why anyone would want to push branded content to the web; the cost-benefit analysis of any custom solution (including Google or Flash); the perceived need to require Geo-spatial accuracy and so on.”
  • Wherecamp PDX | Paul Bissett on Illuminating the Dark Geoweb
    “These are notes from the WhereCamp Portland morning session on dark content and the geoweb. It was led by Paul Bissett, CEO of WeoGeo. About 15 people were at the session, and brought up some very interesting points.”
  • WhereCamp PDX Resources
    This Yahoo! Pipe for WhereCamp PDX [built by Amber Case] grabs FlickrPhotos, the Google Map Location, drop.io session note updates, and Twitter Feeds.”

For more details on the event, visit WhereCamp PDX.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for October 22

OpenID Case Studies Highlight Website Benefits from Accepting OpenID

Via the JanRain blog “What do a social news and content aggregator, a map-based real estate listing service, and a programmer collaboration and community website have in common? They are all innovators in their fields who have implemented OpenID as a single sign-on (SSO) method for their users and seen a significant increase in new registrations and improved login for repeat visitors.”

GOSCON gives government good open source ideas

Via The 451 Group “As always, the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) in Portland, Oreg. provided some fascinating discussion about how governments across the country and across the globe are using open source and how they want to use more of it.”

AboutUs front page tops 20 million pageviews

Via the AboutUs blog “You may have noticed that I like to post the numbers from AboutUs. Some of them get smaller (which is good), like our Alexa ranking. Some of them get bigger (which is good), like our page count.”

Custom Searches and Mozilla Geode

Via the Shizzow blog “Since everybody was talking about Geode last week, we decided to give it a whirl. If you are using Mozilla Firefox, have Geode installed and have your wi-fi device enabled, the Shizzow dashboard will use Geode to try to auto-determine where you are at.”

GOSCON closing notes | OpenSourcery

Thomas King writes “Well, the two day core program of GOSCON comes to a close this evening, and I’m left with more ideas than I can possibly digest here. Instead of attempting to chronicle every presentation, I’ll share some high-level notes that I’ll take away from my interactions here.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for October 21

Strands Social Player wins the BlackBerry Developer Challenge as best multimedia application!

Via the Strands blog “Strands Social Player has won today the BlackBerry® Developer Challenge 2008 as the Best Multimedia Application!! The challenge is designed for BlackBerry developers from around the globe that have created their own BlackBerry applications.”

Earth Class Mail lands VC round – Silicon Forest

Mike Rogoway writes “Onetime Oregon startup Earth Class Mail, which long ago fled to Seattle, announced a $5.1 million venture capital round today…. But he left behind 80 of the company’s 100 employees at a Beaverton office, where ECM processes mail and does its technology development.”

The Big Showcase Update

Via the ExpressionEngine blog “We’ve added over a 100 new sites to the Showcase Gallery. We also took the opportunity to tweak the Showcase navigation to make exploring easier.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for October 20

The trouble with social media is, well, people.

Via ITS insider “The individual in question, Chris Kalini, along with his wife Jessa, are both what we’ve come to know as ‘Gen Y’ employees. Chris is a web designer and now happily employed at Euro RSCG as a front-end web developer/designer. The problem with Chris is, well, he blogs his life. Everything gets published– from playing pool, to helping friends move, to ordering pizza, to cooking with Jessa. Did anyone expect him not to blog losing his job?”

See These Talks at Ignite Portland 4 at Ignite Portland

Via the Ignite Portland blog “Man, that was TOUGH. We received over 50 talk ideas for Ignite Portland 4. The vast majority of them were really, really good. But we only have room for 13 talks on stage at the Bagdad (plus the traditional ‘What is Ignite?’ talk). So before I announce what those 13 talks are going to be, I just want to give a HUGE “Thank You!” to everyone who submitted a talk that wasn’t chosen.”

October is a month of many conferences

Selena Deckelmann writes “I just blogged about WhereCampPDX, and am enjoying a few days of quiet before heading out to Google for the Summer of Code Mentor’s summit this coming weekend. I was so busy I didn’t have much time to blog about the PostgreSQL Conference West. “

Announcing MIDIator

Ben Bleything writes “I was just looking at my FeedBurner statistics and noticed that my feed readership has gone up by approximately 100 in the past year. Then I looked at my blog and realized I hadn’t posted anything Ruby-related in 2008. Then I remembered that I’m a Ruby programmer and decided to release some software for the express purpose of blogging an announcement. Okay, not really. Well. The last part is mostly a lie. I guess. On to the point…”


Via Ideademic “And just like that, Elementary becomes Ideademic. Here’s to a moment of evolution among our medley of firsts, iterations and lessons that we’ve experienced over the last four months. We write to share the stories of Ideademic, past and present, and shed a little light on our up to now decidedly vague startup.”

Jama Software Wins Bend Venture Conference

Via Techvibes “Jama Software won the Bend Venture Conference on friday. They were part of the 5 companies which presented business pitches to the 250 people who went to the conference. Jama provides an webservice which facilitates collaborative software product development.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for October 18

Oregon VC investment cools modestly – Silicon Forest

Mike Rogoway writes “In a small state like Oregon, which doesn’t get much venture capital, no single quarter (or even a single year) is enough to draw any conclusions about funding trends. But it’s encouraging that each of the past two years have been strong.”

Garett Croft Stenson – a TRIBUTE to db clay.

Garett Croft Stenson writes “I began hand making wallets back in the sticky summer of 1998. I simply made them as a hobby at first and gave them out as novelty gifts to those close to me. I then moved back to Portland, they soon caught on fire, and I immediately found myself asking the question, ‘How do I make these things better and faster?'”

451 CAOS Theory » VC funding for open source down 12% in Q3

Via The 451 Group “The decline is not exactly unexpected. The overall market was down nearly 6% according to figures from The National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters, while there was bound to be some hangover for open source following the most successful quarter ever in Q1 and solid growth in Q2.”

Get your text on: Shizzow adds SMS

ShizzowOur favorite local location-based social networking service, Portland-based Shizzow, has had great uptake around the local area. And with good reason. It’s a really simple and effective way to keep tabs on who is where when.

But one thing has been holding it back for some folks: the fact that you’ve had to use a mobile Web browser to update your Shizzow location.

Well, not for much longer, my friend. Because Shizzow just announced a beta release that enables you to shout updates via SMS:

We’ve tested it as much as we can, but we need for you to try it out and let us know if you find any issues or have suggestions for how we can make it better. Until I perfect that mind reading device I’ve been working on in my garage, we can’t fix the bugs that you forget to tell us about! Log all of your suggestions on our Get Satisfaction page.

Want to try to out SMS for yourself? You’re going to have to configure your profile, add some nicknames, and learn some new lingo:

Available Commands and Abbreviations

#message (#m) – Add a message to a shout.

#shout (#s) – Shout from a favorite place.

Shout from a Place

shzow #s {place nickname}

shzow #s happyplace

Shout from a Place with a Message

shzow #s {place nickname} {message}

Example 1 (explicit)
shzow #s happyplace #m here til noon

Example 2 (implicit)
shzow #s happyplace here til noon

Send (re-shout) a new Message from your Current Location

shzow #m {message}

shzow #m here til noon

So get to trying it. And give Shizzow your feedback.

What’s that? You’re in the Portland area and you don’t have a Shizzow account? Comment below and I’ll send you an invite.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for October 17

Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy

Paul Graham writes “The economic situation is apparently so grim that some experts fear we may be in for a stretch as bad as the mid seventies. When Microsoft and Apple were founded.”

Downtown Portland Restaurant, West Cafe, Offers Dinner Twitter Promotion

West Cafe offers “Portland Twitterati are invited to spend some quality time at the West Cafe, a fine downtown Portland dining and drinking establishment. Because we’ve begun to experience such a positive response to our involvement with the Twitter community, we wanted to ‘Thank You’ by offering Twitters a special dinner deal.”

Apply to the Knight News Challenge

Andrew Hyde writes “$5,000,000 is being given away to fund innovative ideas that address the following points: Use or create digital, open-source technology as the code base, use news and information to serve the public interest, benefit one or more specific geographic communities, and be innovative.” Um, hello? I can’t swing a piece of bacon without hitting 20 Portland startups that qualify for this.
(The hardest of the 4. A map mashup

Would You Like a Job as an Online Community Manager?

Marshall Kirkpatrick writes “One of the services that I provide for consulting clients is assistance in recruiting bloggers and social media experts for hire. In the past 2 months I’ve helped 3 companies find company bloggers or community managers. Right now I’m working on a list of 3 to 5 high-quality candidates for a community management position for a very innovative and cool startup.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for October 16

The Power of Making People Look Good | Positively Glorious!

Skip to the bottom where John Metta reveals the formation of a new blog covering the Gorge tech scene: “[O]ver the next couple weeks, I’m slowly building up the infrastructure for a way to Engage The Gorge (Site launch scheduled for November 1st). It’ll start small, because that’s all I can do. It’ll just be an article here and there thanking someone for what they’re doing. Just some quick write-ups and podcasts helping to make people look good.”

5 Early Recommendation Technologies That Could Shake Up Their Niches – ReadWriteWeb

Marshall Kirkpatrick writes “International recommendation technology provider Strands has announced the five finalists in the Strands $100K Call for Recommender Start-Ups. From music to video to pharmaceutical drug development recommendations, these plucky startups from all around the world will now present at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Recommender Systems 2008 conference in Switzerland and one will be offered a $100k investment from Strands.”

Break-in at Free Geek – Silicon Forest

Mike Rogoway writes “Free Geek’s Kevin Berg tells me this morning that someone broke in to the group’s Southeast Portland thrift shop early yesterday morning and stole a Mac.”

WhereCamp PDX Arrivals

Via the WhereCamp PDX blog “On Friday evening, WhereCampPDX kicks-off with an art opening at Olympic Mills! The exhibition is called Equilibrium, the Human Mashup and presents artworks that explore the ways art and technology deal with Momentum, Maintenance, Multiplicity, and Mobility.”

Tweaks of the Week: Sorting messages, favorites, and more

Via the Shizzow blog “We made a few enhancements and some bug fixes this week as proof that we really do read all of that stuff that you post for us on Get Satisfaction.”

Portland Java Users Group joins ORBlogs Effort

Via the Oregon Blogs blog “For a little while, things were starting to seem disappointing in the ORBlogs effort. I origionally shot for Oct. 1st to get the BigBark code running, giving us a near immediate availability of the aggregator and Digg ranking. However, the time I’ve spent away from Java has made that nearly impossible. So we started talking about what the best options are, and if we should step back from the BigBark code at all.”

CyborgCamp PDX will be on Saturday, Dec 6th, 2008 | Hazelnut Tech Talk

Amber Case writes “The date’s been set. Due to scheduling conflicts (including the event being really close to Thanksgiving) CyborgCamp Portland will be held on December 6th, 2008, at Portland’s CubeSpace.”

Coffee with an expert

Via the LaunchPad Coworking blog “For this installment, a virtual chat with Carolynnn Duncan, founder of CoffeeWithAnExpert, an online/offline way for entrepreneurs to find the right person with a skill that can solve a micro-problem in their business. Duncan has been partnering with coworking spaces [like Portland’s CubeSpace] to offer her program.”

Entrepreneurs and…Hey, There’s A Shiny New Thing!

Via OnStartups “If you’re one of those rare entrepreneurs that has the discipline to stay reasonably focused on what you should be working on, feel free to skip the rest of this article with the comforting knowledge that you have my admiration and envy.”

10 Reasons Every Entrepreneur Should Have A Gym Membership… And Use It. | Internet Astronauts :: Bootstrap Startup Blog

Darius Monsef writes “As an internet entrepreneur you never have enough time complete all the things you have on your list get done. Often working out is not high up on that list, but I’m going to encourage you to put it up there at the top… Membership fees cost around $20-50 a month and I promise you you’ll get a great return on your investment of cash and time. Have more energy, feel better, be happy, sleep better, be more successful…”

Eclipse DemoCamps November 2008/Portland – Eclipsepedia

Via the Eclipse Foundation “During November 2008, we are inviting individuals to organize and attend Eclipse DemoCamps around the world. The Eclipse DemoCamps are an opportunity to showcase all of the cool interesting technology being built by the Eclipse community. They are also an opportunity for you to meet Eclipse enthusiasts in your city. You don’t need to be a software developer to attend!”

Lunch and Unexpected Careers at the Art Institute

Yesterday, the Art Institute of Portland graciously hosted what looked like about 175 people in their aptly titled “open space”.

We came for the lunch, but got an unexpected bonus, a career fair. Turns out the “open space” is so ginormous it can house two events at the same time, very nicely.

Some explanation: the AI was holding a career fair for their students in the same space as Lunch 2.0, overlapping us by about an hour or so. Aside from a little confusion, sharing the space, separated by portable wall-boards worked really well. It may have been fortuitous for at least a few people attending Lunch 2.0, since I heard one group mention they were looking for design interns.

The format was a bit different this time, mostly by accident. This was the first lunch table style setting, which seemed to work well for conversations, even though it crimped the milling around time we usually get.

Also, since the career fair was in full swing when we started the lunch, it was too noisy to do my usual five second, stumbing intro and the host’s welcome. So, we did them later, after people had eaten and the noise had died down a bit. I actually think this is a better format, not that there’s a playbook or anything, just an observation.

This Lunch 2.0 featured a swag drawing for Art Institute gear, won by Bill Jackson and Manuel Espino.

Thanks to Allena Baker, Lulu Hoeller and the Art Institute for hosting a highly successful and enjoyable Lunch 2.0, and to Bram for connecting the dots for us.

And finally, thanks to Don Park for providing some shots (and a video), in the absence of the unofficial Lunch 2.0 photographer, Aaron Hockley, who apparently is on vacation. If you liked the food, the event was catered by Kam & Kam Catering.

Upcoming Portland Lunches 2.0

  • November 5 at the Eclipse Foundation
  • January 14 in the ‘burbs at the new OTBC offices in the Beaverton Round

Looks like we may be unintentionally taking December off, unless someone out there wants to host a Lunch 2.0 in December. Interested? Let me know in comments.

Of course, other comments and inquires should also be directed to the comments.