Month: January 2009

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for January 08

Watch Me Present: Beyond Beer and Blog

Aaron Hockley writes “On Saturday at 10:45am (PST) I’ll be presenting Beyond Beer and Blog: How Social Media Lit Up the Portland Tech Scene at WordCamp: Las Vegas. I’ll be speaking about the Portland tech communities and how we’re using social media to drive all sorts of good things both online and offline. The event is being streamed on Ustream, so feel free to tune and listen.”

Keep Bad Apples Away From Your Team

Josh Bancroft writes “I was listening to episode #370 of the This American Life podcast (which is one of my favorite podcasts), on the topic “Ruining It For The Rest Of Us”. At the beginning of the show, Ira was talking with a researcher who had done studies on the effect of “bad apple” behavior within teams. He looked at what effect someone who is a Jerk (insults other people, critical without offering a better option, etc.), a Slacker (doesn’t do any work, doesn’t seem to care, distracted), or Depressed (certain that ‘this will never work’, doomed to failure, etc.) has on the rest of the people on the team.”

WebVisions – Webvisionary Awards 2009

Via WebVisions “Now in its second year, the Webvisionary Awards recognizes outstanding work in categories that range from web apps to community sites. The entries are judged by leading visionaries in design, technology, advertising and business strategy.”

What do the iPhone, Wii, and Ignite Bend have in common?

Via Ignite Bend “Ignite Bend 1 has sold out! That’s right, all of our (free) advance tickets have been reserved. Now there are only two ways to try to get in the doors and enjoy Ignite Bend 1 live, and in person”

The PDX Gen-Y Project

InsYght Consulting has launched a research project called “The PDX Gen-Y Project.” The purpose of the undertaking is to catalog or capture the life styles of Portland Oregon Gen Yers in 2009. The hope is that by creating a place for Generation Y in PDX to really express themselves or to witness their innovation and creativity, that both clients and other generations may have an insight into Gen-Y.

OurPDX meetup next Tuesday, 1/13

Via OurPDX “So we compared our calendars, checked sports schedules, ruled out the Obama inauguration day, steered clear of all of those Wednesday events, and finally settled on Tuesday, January 13th.”

Help ORBlogs: Hit The Development Server! | Oregon Blogs

Via the ORBlogs Blog “Well, we’re all back to work now that the holiday madness has ended, and that means that development is heating up again on ORBlogs. This year, Santa dressed up as Bill Jackson and left a development server under our tree. The server is at http://haxx.orblogs.org.”

Only you can prevent bloglessness

Smokey says Only YOU can prevent bloglessnessBlogs. Everyone has one. Or do they?

Living in the bloggy world that you do, it may come as a shock to you that—are you sitting down?—many intelligent, thoughtful, and opinionated individuals are currently without a blog of any sort today. In fact, some of them don’t even read blogs, let alone publish them.

I know! WTF?

There, there. Wipe away that tear, sunshine. We’re looking to avert this tragedy. In Portland, at least.

Thanks to the good folks at Beer and Blog, we’ve got End Bloglessness, a half-day workshop designed to get even the most neophytic luddite up-and-blogging in no time flat. And as is common in the Portland Web tech scene: it’s all free.

Bloggers and would-be bloggers of all skill sets are welcome. Just show up Saturday, January 10 at CubeSpace. From noon until 5 PM, you’ll be walking through the entire blog setup process, everything from installation through promotion.

We are focusing on launching WordPress blogs for this workshop. We’re also focusing on self-hosted blogs, so you’ll need a hosting plan and your access information with you at the workshop to get assisted help. Owning your own hosting account, and therefore your blog, is important and the reason we want to do this workshop is to expand access to blog ownership to more people.

By the time you leave the workshop, you’ll have a blog that is ready to go and some direction on how to connect with other local bloggers. We are expecting people from all skill levels, including the technically challenged. Everyone will be treated with respect and will be encouraged.

Or, if you’re interested in hearing more, swing by Beer and Blog, this Friday at the Green Dragon.

Remember, only you can prevent bloglessness.

Visit Upcoming to RSVP for End Bloglessness or this Friday’s Beer and Blog.

Portland Web Innovators Demolicious: Everything old is new again (well, okay, two things)

PDXWI Portland Web InnovatorsLast night, Portland Web Innovators kicked off its 2009 gatherings with Demolicious, the quarterly showcase of cool new products.

Of the five demos, two were products we’ve seen before—but they’ve been retooled for the new year.


Akshay Dodeja demoed Mugasha. Originally developed during Portland Startup Weekend, the site has gone through several iterations in development—now it’s ready to launch in private beta.

If you’re into electronica, you’re going to want to check it out. What’s it do? Basically, it parses DJ set podcasts—usually one long multi-hour track with no song info—into separate song tracks, allowing user to play the songs they want to play and actually know which tunes they’re playing.


Taking a different cut on a previous iteration, Kevin Chen demoed a new version of Metroseeq, a mapping application that gives you the options to search for resources around a town, in-between two locations, or by marking your own route and allowing the service to plot resources along that route.

The new version of Metroseeq relies on the Google API and returns to the four closest resource for any search.

The other three demos showed off some new development.


Michael Kelly showed us Foodisms, an early version of a restaurant and food searching site with a twist: rather than searching by cuisine, you search by ingredient. Foodisms then looks for that ingredient and suggests a variety of dishes at any number of restaurants.

The current dataset is currently limited to 100 Portland restaurants (which, for Portland, is a narrow subset) but the foundational structure for the product has been established. If they can scale the data entry—dish by dish, ingredient by ingredient—this is going to be very cool indeed.


Scott Andreas shared Sunago, community management software for nonprofits—especially advocacy groups. Its mission is simple:

“We’re tired of companies charging exorbitant amounts of money for apps that, well, suck. We’d rather you to spend your money on your vision, not software. That’s why Sunago is free for small organizations, and affordable for larger ones.”

Sunago has already been deployed with several nonprofits and Scott is constantly adding new features.


Finally, Dave Miller demonstrated OpenLaszlo, an ECMAScript tool for building “rich internet applications” that will let the developer script structured content that can be compiled and deployed as either HTML or Flash—from the same code. Dave showed off some of the capabilities and demoed an app he had built.

Based on the beginning of his demo, I’d also offer that Dave is available to perform as a mime for your kids’ birthday parties or your next corporate function. Or not.

Demolicious was streamed live via UStream, but I’m not seeing an archived copy available yet. [Update] In the meantime, here’s some additional analysis and insight from David Abramowski.

If you missed the event, the next Demolicious will be April 1. What a fortuitous date for demoing.

Well worth the read: The Oregonian’s coverage of the Winter Coders’ Social

It’s not often I get the chance to sing the praises of The Oregonian, but the coverage of the Winter Coders’ Social is exactly the kind of mainstream coverage this whole Portland open source community deserves.

Because much of the programming work in Portland is of the freelance or consulting nature, gatherings such as these are good for getting job leads or for simply taking a break from staring at a computer screen. But competitive Silicon Valley this isn’t. Here at CubeSpace, partygoers never get more aggressive than wearing shirts to advertise their preferred programming language — “Perl Mongers” or “Ruby Brigade.” And once the party ends at 10 p.m., plans are made to head up the street to Aztec Willies for another beer.

Silicon Florist favorites Calagator, Ward Cunningham, Selena Deckelmann, Audrey Eschright, Igal Koshevoy, and Bart Massey are all mentioned.

“The rate of change can drown you,” Eschright says. “You have to stay on top of things and get involved. Be a co-producer. Technology needs to represent who you are.”

As I’ve mentioned before, this is exactly the kind of coverage people have been asking me to pursue—shedding more light on the activities of the open source development community and user groups in the area. I’m glad to see The O beating me to the punch.

Grab a cup of coffee—or beverage of your choice—and take few minutes to read “Geekathon potlucks unite computer herd.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for January 07

Oregonian’s Top 100 Picks on the Web

Via Cooking Up A Story “We received a nice mention in the print edition of the Oregonian newspaper Food Day section yesterday. Thank you Kathleen Bauer, and the Oregonian! Below is an image from their online edition.”

Helping Announce: Ignite Bend is Coming » Techcraver.com | Craving tech, craving life!

Jason Harris writes “Ignite Portland has been a huge success and I’ve been very happy to watch the Ignite community really watch their program turn in to a success. This is why I was so happy to see that Bend, Oregon is going to start their own. That’s right: Announcing Ignite Bend!”

Fieldrunners 1.2 Announced

Via MacApper “Of all the game genres that have found their home on the iPhone, few have stood out as remarkably as tower defense. SubAtomic Studios, the developers behind one of the platforms leading tower defense games Fieldrunners, have just announced their second expansion-style for the award-winning title.”

You Must Fail if You Don’t Want to FAIL | Internet Astronauts

Darius Monsef writes “Somewhere along the way we forget that failing is OK. We attach a negative association with failure and stop looking at it as a building block or a lesson. We only see it is a final result and lose perspective on the overall success of our ideas. The lost perspective is that failure acknowledges a flaw and gives you the opportunity to correct that flaw. If you’ve given yourself no room to correct it or have simply not allowed yourself to have any flaws… then you can never succeed.”

SXSW Interactive 2009: Portland Meetup, January 19

SXSW InteractiveIn a little over two months, a good chunk of the Portland tech scene will begin its annual pilgrimage down to Austin, Texas, for SXSW Interactive.

Maybe you’re going. Or maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of going. Either way, Dawn Foster highlights an upcoming meetup that you should seriously consider: SXSW Interactive Portland Meetup.

This will give you an opportunity to learn more about SXSW from the people who organize it. If you’ve never attended or were on the fence about attending, it’s a great opportunity to learn more. For those of us who already love SXSW, it gives us an opportunity to get to know some other Portland people who plan to attend.

The event will be held Monday, January 19, beginning at 6 PM at the Fez Ballroom.

And now here’s where it gets a bit weird. If you would like to attend, you should RSVP by emailing interpress@sxsw.com with “Portland” in the subject line. Because nothing says “cutting-edge interactive conference” quite like email.


Okay, here. I created a Calagator entry for the event. While you can’t RSVP there, that definitely makes it a little more cutting-edge—and Portland-y to boot.

All kidding aside, SXSW is an amazing conference. A place where you’ll find yourself talking to the best and the brightest in the industry and feeling like you’re definitely among people who “get it.” What’s more, the Portland contingent promises to be even bigger this year, so we’ll be able to take that shared experience back here—and we’ll continue to benefit from it all year long.

You should go. It’s well worth the time. And I’d love to see you in Austin in March.

Masterbacon: More techie bacon love than you can shake a strip of bacon at

Bacon!There are some things that just go well together. Chocolate & peanut butter. Beer & Blog. And, of course, technology & bacon.

What’s that? You’re not aware of the kismet-like connection of cured meats and coding?

Well, then Masterbacon is for you, my friend.

It’s all about techies doing what they do best: geeking. Only this time, rather than geeking about some obscure algorithm or arcane coding language, they’re geeking about bacon.

Have you ever wanted to get together with a bunch of other bacon geeks and just geek out about bacon? What if there was an event specifically catered to bacon geeks to be able to share their favorite bacon treats with the world? Wouldn’t it make sense to make it a competition complete with trophy and prizes? Of course it would.

Masterbacon is just such an event.

So much bacon love, even the most vegan of geeks is sure to appreciate it. Maybe.

Masterbacon will be held on Saturday, January 17, at the newly opened Davis Street Tavern in Old Town. Participation is mandatory. That means you’re cooking, judging… something.

For more information, see Masterbacon on Bacon Geek. To RSVP, visit Upcoming.

I can’t wait to see how you get your bacon on. That is, just so long as this isn’t how you get your bacon on.

Photo courtesy the bacon geek, himself, Scott Kveton. Used under Creative Commons.

REMINDER: First Portland Web Innovators of 2009 (tonight!) will be Demolicious

Flirting with its third year, Portland Web Innovators is one of the old guard when it comes to the new Web tech scene in Portland. For many developers, it’s the best place to get together on a regular basis to share ideas.

As such, there’s no better way to get an early glimpse of the next big thing here in the Silicon Forest than with Demolicious, PDXwi’s quarterly demo round-up of new products.

And you’re in luck. It’s tonight.

Currently scheduled to appear:

  • Dave Miller, An Open Laszlo Project
  • Michael Kelly, Foodisms
  • Akshay Dodeja, Mugasha
  • Scott Andreas, Sunago

So come on out and see your peers demonstrate the cool stuff they’ve been building, tonight at 7 PM, hosted by NEMO design. To RSVP or for more info, see Demolicious on Upcoming.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for January 06

Checking Out Earth Class Mail

David Recordon writes “I’ve been up in Portland the past two weeks for the holidays which coincidentally is where Earth Class Mail is headquartered. A few days, ago their community manager @UncleNate shot me a message asking if I’d be interested in checking out their facility. So yesterday – yes they work on Saturdays too – I drove over to Beaverton to get a tour of their warehouse.”

VC funding for open source: mixed messages from 2008

Via The 451 Group “The figures for publicly disclosed venture capital funding in open source vendors during Q4 and FY08 are in and while the numbers themselves provide a mixed picture, the statistics don’t necessarily tell the full story.”

OPB News · People Fine Tuning Social Networks To Meet Their Needs

Via OPB “Social networks on the Internet like Facebook and Myspace have been around for years. But more recently, a new trend has emerged in the social networking world. People are creating smaller, theme-specific, and geographically defined social networks. From Portland, Elliot Ward reports.”

The Beer and Blog family expands to include two more people and two more chapters at Beer and Blog

Via the Beer and Blog mothership “Last week we announced the addition of Michelle to the Portland Chapter as the Chapter Provost. This week we’re proud to announce the addition of two more people to Beer and Blog: Kelly Guimont as Mistress of Organizer Affairs, and Christine Kistner in charge of Development. Please also welcome our two newest chapters: St. Louis and Eugene.”

Clearwire streams from MAX trains, mayor’s office at WiMAX launch – Silicon Forest

Mike Rogoway writes “I attended Clearwire’s formal WiMAX launch this morning at a South Waterfront hotel. They pulled out all the stops, with elaborate demos (on the Portland Streetcar, in pedicabs, in Smart cars, etc.) and a fancy A/V presentation more suited for Moscone Center.”

People are people; users aren’t what they used to be

Via the AboutUs blog “Yesterday wiki enthusiast Stewart Mader commented on his weblog about a guest editorial on zdnet.com by SocialText’s Scott Schnaars which highlights an idea gaining groundswell in online communities as well as the AboutUs office – referring to those utilizing social networking tools (including wikis, blogs, etc) as people instead of users. The idea is more than a shift in terminology, but reflects the ever-changing nature of the web, from single “users” to vast communities sharing and building things together.”