Month: November 2008

Iterasi unveils bookmarklet, glimpse into potential for Web archive

[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I was briefed on these features while they were in development and I was involved in on-going consulting as they came to fruition. I recommend you read this post with that grain of salt in mind.]

IterasiPortland-based Iterasi is on a mission to save the Web from extinction. Or at least the Web page at which you’re looking right at this moment. So they keep coming up with ways for you to save Web pages—in all of their functional HTML glory—as quickly and easily as possible.

First came the toolbar, then the Firefox add-in, and now there’s the Iterasi bookmarklet, which allows users to save pages without installing anything. To try it out, click on the link below and you’ll see how it works. (And if you want to take it with you, simply drag-and-drop it to your bookmarks bar.)

Archive to iterasi

In addition to the new bookmarklet, Iterasi has done more organizing to make their archive of Web pages for accessible and digestible. Tags are more prevalent and usable. And there’s a search function.

What’s more, one of their new views of the archive could prove to be pretty interesting. It’s akin to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Kind of a people-powered version of the Internet Archive’s version.

You save a page, make it public, and it winds up on the archive page for that site. Just the push of a button and you’ve made history. Or at least saved it for everyone to see. And while there’s not much there now, this has the potential to become a valuable resource for everyone. A sort of Wikipedia-esque archive of the Web.

For more on the new features, see Iterasi’s post. To test drive the products or search the archive, visit Iterasi.



Shizzow starts shouting in the Bay Area

ShizzowPortland-based Shizzow—the service designed to help you find and meet up with friends as quickly and easily as possible—has had a good run in the Portland area. But now, they’re feeling the need to stretch their horizons a bit.

And where better for a cool Web-based and SMS-friendly app to stretch than the Bay Area? Um. Well, nowhere, really. So, starting today, Shizzow has decided to expand its “heretofore relegated to the Silicon Forest” user base to include our friends in San Francisco and the surrounding area.

Now, granted, our friends to the south get to test this kind of thing more often than most. Why should they take a look at Shizzow? According to the folks at Shizzow—arguably the best ones to respond—there are a number of reasons their service is different.

But the one that strikes me—an active Shizzow user—as the most poignant is this one:

We developed Shizzow to solve a specific need: the desire to find our friends and hang out with them. The other services had so much clutter that we weren’t able to effectively solve our need using any of the existing location-based applications.

If you’re in the Silicon Forest and haven’t had a chance to try Shizzow yet, drop a comment below and I’ll get you on board. Same goes for our Shizzow neighbors in the Silicon Valley. Or you can always go straight to the source.

Puff! The Geeky Dragon is dead (maybe)

Green Dragon FAIL WhaleBirds of a feather flock together. Startups like startups. Creatives like creatives. And that’s probably why when a startup distillery and bistro called the Green Dragon opened, the startup tech community in Portland felt a certain affinity for it.

They liked us. We liked them. They were perfect for Beer and Blog. They were centrally located for other tech events. It was a very much kismet.

But now, that’s coming to an end. I’m sad to report that, like many a startup, the Green Dragon has (possibly) been acquired by Rogue Brewing.

And, if it goes through—the lawyers have jumped in to say that “nothing is final”—then the dynamic of the joint may be changing.

OurPDX is reporting:

John Foyston of The Beer Here blog has an update that pretty much states that Rogue plans on keeping most of what the Green Dragon character is today, so that could bode well for us who love it. From how I read the article, the only change would be in ownership, but the heart of the Green Dragon would live on. You decide.

We don’t know what we don’t know. But I’m not exactly holding my breath that the Green Dragon we know and love will be around much longer.

What to do? Show up to Beer and Blog today to bid one of the best geek hangouts in town a fond farewell. Mourning attire and protest armbands optional.

Ignite Portland 4: Tips and Tricks

Well, well, well. The long wait is over. That’s right folks. It’s that time again. Time to see the best and brightest sharing their burning ideas on stage at Ignite Portland 4.

As always, I want your Ignite experience to be as fun and rewarding as possible. So whether this is your 23rd Ignite event or your first, here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of Ignite Portland 4.

First, the venue info:

Bagdad Theater
3702 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
7:00 – 9:00 PM

Ticketholders get in at 5:30 PM
General Admission at 6:15 PM
Admission is always FREE

Here are some “Do”s and “Don’t”s that will help you get the most out of your first, second, third, or fourth Ignite Portland experience:

  • DO bring your camera, your phone, your sketchpad, or any other way of capturing the event.
  • DO tag anything and everything #ip4 and/or igniteportland. That way, we can find it.
  • DON’T forget your ticket or a device that will allow you to show your ticket electronically.
  • DO get there early. Really early. I’m serious. Early. Did I say “Early”?
  • DO be prepared to give everyone and anyone your Twitter name. (Don’t use Twitter? Get on it.)
  • Now that you’re on Twitter, DO try to tweet about the event and hashtag it #ip4. That way, we can see what you’re saying.
  • DO be nice to all the Legion of Tech folks and volunteers. (They’re all volunteers, actually. And they’re doing this in their free time.)
  • DO be especially nice to the Adam DuVander who has been the lead organizer on the event.
  • DON’T be the assholes who were heckling presenters last time.
  • DON’T be a wallflower. Talk to people in line while you’re waiting to get into the venue. Talk to people while you’re waiting in the food line. The Bagdad is a great venue for presenting, but talking to folks at breaks will take some doing.
  • DO try to get in front of Aaron Hockley and his camera. I swear, that guy even makes me look good. If not him, Kveton will make you look good too.
  • DO take the chance to introduce yourself to me and tell me about the cool side projects you’re pursuing.

Need more tips? Right this way, my friend. The Legion of Tech has a list as well.

Looking forward to seeing you there. And best of luck to tonight’s presenters:

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for November 12

The VC model is broken

Via VentureBeat “These days, the more you talk to folks about Silicon Valley’s venture capital industry, the more negative the message is becoming. And for good reason. “

Important Info for Ignite Portland 4 at Ignite Portland

Via the Ignite Portland blog “It’s almost here! Ignite Portland 4 is upon us. Here’s some important information to make the night go as smoothly as possible. Read up, let us know if you have any questions, and see you [tonight]! A few things to keep in mind for the event Thursday night (11/13)”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for November 11

Madrona brings former Yahoo veep to Portland – Silicon Forest

Mike Rogoway writes “John Cook, now my corporate cousin at TechFlash in Seattle, points out that the Emerald City’s Madrona Venture Group has brought former Yahoo VP Matt Compton on board and stationed him in Portland.”

Are mobile Linux and open source finally for real?

Via The 451 Group “In looking at recent developments and findings on the fast-moving mobile device and software market, such as those referenced here, we see further indication that the renewed hopes for mobile Linux and open source software are justified.”

How-to Lunch 2.0

A comment left by Branden Johnson yesterday reminded me to do what I should have done ages ago, write a post on what it takes to host a Lunch 2.0.

Maybe I skipped this in the past because it’s really easy to do, by design, but it seems like a good idea. Plus, I can point prospective hosts to this primer in the future.

The short version is: provide some space and some free grub for lunch and people will come. What happens beyond that is purely optional. There aren’t many requirements, as you’ll see.

So, here goes the longer version. I like a good mnemonic device, so let’s think in terms of Ps.

This step is easy. Find me here, on Twitter, Facebook or IRL and tell me you’re interested. I like to keep Lunch 2.0 as a monthly event; this spaces them out pretty evenly, and so far, it’s been very scalable for me and the hosts. This isn’t a requirement, though, and I’ll work around a host’s schedule.

I also like to do Lunch 2.0 on Wednesday to break up the work week, but again, this isn’t a requirement. I also like to do Lunch 2.0 at lunch time, surprise. Usually 12-2 works, but that’s not set in stone.

Months are typically first-come, first-served, and I may have an interested host that hasn’t been officially announced. There’s no science here; I usually chat with prospective hosts about dates and work out a mutually beneficial one with ease.

Once a host picks a date, I announce the event here and create an Upcoming event for RSVPs. I usually remember to add them to Calagator too, and typically, if I forget, someone else remembers.

I like to take a look at the space in advance to get an idea of how many people it can fit. If it’s a smallish space, I can set expectations early, which will help people with the RSVP process, and if need be, I can close the Upcoming guest list to keep it under control.

Catering is entirely up to the host; the only ask is that the host provide a vegetarian/vegan option. Also, beer is fine. Some hosts have provided swag; others have raffled off swag. These are extras, entirely up to the host.

The last piece of preparation is what (if any) self-promotion the host wants to do. We’ve kept it very light so far, which I personally prefer; Lunch 2.0 in the Valley can get a bit over-produced. However, since the goal of Lunch 2.0 is to introduce or promote the host to the Portland community at large, some self-marketing is expected.

Again, it’s up to the host, e.g. Bjorn didn’t do anything official at the Lunch 2.0 hosted at the Eclipse Foundation other than walk around and chat with people.

As an aside, people often ask me how they can follow the Portland Lunch 2.0 announcements. There are several ways:

  • Read here regularly (you should anyway). If you follow the tag “lunch2.0“, you’ll get all the Lunch 2.0 content.
  • Use Upcoming and add me as a friend. You’ll see the Lunches 2.0 as they’re added.
  • Check Calagator, which you should also do anyway, to keep up with Portland tech events.
  • Follow lunch20 on Twitter. This account is maintained by the originators of Lunch 2.0, and they usually announce lunches in other cities.
  • Follow Rick and any of the other heavy-duty Portland tweeters.
  • Find me IRL and ask me. This isn’t as dependable, but it works pretty well.

I don’t do any promotion aside from blogging here (an announcement, a reminder and a recap) and tweeting. The host does the heavy lifting, so any additional promotion is optional.

We tend to attract pretty large crowds, so unlike other tech events, you can usually bank on drawing the number listed as attending on Upcoming plus 10% or so. This is due to the lunch time effect, e.g. when people leave for lunch, they often bring along coworkers who haven’t RSVP’ed. Even when the weather is bad (like it was for the Eclipse Lunch 2.0), we still can draw 70 people easily. Rick’s Lunch 2.0 at CubeSpace still holds the attendance record with more than 200 attendees.

That sounds like a lot of people, and 200 really is. However, 70-100 is very manageable, since people tend to mill in and out over the course of two hours.

The last bit is to have some fun. Portland Lunch 2.0 is a networking event, and we like it that way. Because it’s during the day and not as tech-focused as other Portland events, you’ll see new faces. But never fear, you’ll also see the familiar faces you also see at the myriad of evening and weekend events.

That covers it. Drop a comment if you’re interested in hosting or have questions, or maybe you can chat me up IRL.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for November 10

BlogHer’s not coming to PDX in 2009 | Our PDX Network

Via OurPDX “BlogHer, a online community for women who blog, will not be coming to Portland…or any of the other finalists selected for the 2009 conference.”

Cyborg Camp 2008

Via the AboutUs blog “Just when you thought concepts for fun new BarCamp-style unconferences had been exhausted, Portland tech wunderkinds Amber Case, Nate Angell, Chris Pitzer, and Mike Kaos have brought you CyborgCamp, ‘a conversation about the future of technology and how humans fit in.'”

Are More Companies Turning to Social Media in this Economy? at Fast Wonder Blog: Consulting, Online Communities, and Social Media

Dawn Foster writes “Yesterday, I came up with this hypothesis: Companies are pulling back and reassessing their strategies and spending in light of the economic situation. During this reassessment, some companies are deciding to increase their social media presence as a way to stretch already thin budgets. Even with consulting fees to help them get started, they are still spending a lot less than they would for even a single, small, traditional marketing campaign.”

OTBC Open House

Steve Morris writes “Now that our move is complete, it’s time for an open house to invite everyone in to check out the new office. Please join us for some refreshments and snacks, and a tour of the new place.”

Thrive PDX: Making the Portland tech scene stronger

We’ve been lucky enough to develop a tightly knit community with the “Web oriented” folks here in town—those startups that focus on Web technologies, Twitter types, bloggers—all of us brought together by a common interest in technology and the potential it holds for Portland.

As lucky as I feel to be a part of that community, there are times when that community starts asking questions that the participants are unable to answer. Questions about business or funding or more established technology companies.

But here’s the thing: there’s a wealth of information like that in other tech communities here in town. And there are organizations that have those groups of people talking.

So why not get everyone talking together?

That’s the idea behind Thrive PDX, an attempt to get more people talking and sharing ideas about how we can all work together to ensure Portland continues to shine throughout any economic condition.

Dawn Foster describes the idea behind Thrive PDX far better than I could:

For some reason, it seems to me like there is this wall between these two groups of people, and it doesn’t feel healthy to me. I’ve been working with the SAO for months (way before we even suspected that we were heading into times of economic uncertainty) to find ways to break down this wall and get these two groups of people together. With the economy taking a hit, we decided that now was the time to do something about it. We felt a real need to get these two groups of people together to find ways to help each other through tough times. Our ultimate goal is to have Portland emerge out of the downturn with a technology industry that is stronger than ever.

If you’re feeling the same way, I’d highly encourage you to join us on Tuesday, November 11, at Kells. Maybe bring someone along who’s never been to one of the tech events in town? Maybe you could tell some friends in more traditional tech pursuits? Or maybe you could just show up and talk to some people to whom you don’t usually talk?

To get an idea of who’s coming—and a visual example of the divide we’re attempting to bridge—take a look at the Upcoming RSVP and the SAO RSVP. It looks like we’re going to have a good cross-section of folks there. And it would be great to have you as part of that mix.