If I had to describe 2009 thus far, I would dub it the “Year of the User Group.” And that would also make Audrey Eschright’s prediction right—already.
What is it with you people? I mean, it’s a totally good thing. But man, there are new user groups springing up left and right. First Portland Data Plumbing, then Portland WordPress, and now Portland Concrete5. And since I promised Igal Koshevoy that I would do a better job of highlighting what’s happening in the user groups and development groups in town, I’m simply trying to keep up.
What’s Concrete5? It’s an elegant open source content management system developed right here in Portland, Oregon, that rivals some other more popular content management systems out there in terms of functionality—and downright crushes them in terms of ease-of-use.
Well, something as good as C5 is sure to develop a legion of fans. And now, those fans and users have the opportunity to meet one another with the newly launched Concrete5 Portland User Group:
Earlier this summer we released our previously commercial CMS as fully “Free Beer” under the MIT open source license. The second half of 2008 was a whirlwind for us as we were named project of the month on SourceForge and saw traffic go through the roof.
As part of running what promises to be the next Drupal, local user groups are going to be a huge component to our success. We have several starting around the states and Europe this month, with the Portland one obviously being super keen as this is our home turf.
Time for a bunch of startups to begin vying for funding via Angel Oregon, the annual competition from the OEN that pits startup against startup during stumping sessions at PubTalks. Why? Hopes of securing some much needed funding for their companies.
OEN’s Angel Oregon is the nation’s premier investor/entrepreneur matchmaking event. Angel Oregon brings together Oregon and SW Washington’s brightest entrepreneurial talent with qualified angel investors. The top six companies who apply, including the OEN Seed Oregon PubTalk winner, will present at the OEN Angel Oregon conference on March 12th at the Governor Hotel. Two investment prizes will be awarded by a final vote of the OEN Investment Committee.
So much WordPress love from the community. It seems a shame to keep it pent up all year.
Enter Portland WordPress User Group, a new event designed to help newbies get the help they need, to ensure power users get more powerful, and to generally forge a stronger community among the WordPress types here in town. And an event—most importantly—designed to occur much more often than once a year.
Apart from the assurances of “I know Beer and Blog. I’ve been to Beer and Blog. This is not Beer and Blog,” the format is still pretty open. The first gathering will be designed to help form that, um, format.
Michael Richardson writes “Look, I love OAuth. It’s amazing. You should be using it if you aren’t. But it doesn’t really help against phishing attacks. The attack against an OAuth-enabled service is the same as an attack against an OpenID provider is the same as a normal phishing attack.”
Mike Rogoway writes “While reporting Sunday’s article on Clearwire, I spent more time trying out the company’s Portland mobile WiMAX service at the end of this week from eight locations around the metro area.”
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes “Will 2009 be the big year for corporate transparency, for a global conversation – perhaps for bargain basement online marketing tactics instead of old-school huge commercial campaigns?”
Dawn Foster writes “While many people use Yahoo Pipes to filter RSS feeds, Pipes can also be used to modify RSS feeds to work better for your purposes. In this example, we will add the author name to the beginning of the title to make it easier to see the author without opening the item in your rss reader. I recommend watching the Introduction to Yahoo Pipes: 2 minute Yahoo Pipes Video Demo if you haven’t already, since we’re going use the basic pipe developed in that demo using fetch feed and sort modules, but without the filter module.”
Looking to provide a little more content than you can wedge into a tweet? Portland-based CitySpeek—a microblogging platform with a number of features beyond typing 140 characters—may be what you’re seeking.
Founded by members of the team that launched Goboz in 2007, CitySpeek was designed to fill some gaps in functionality that larger microblogging (oxymoron intended) platforms don’t offer—or aren’t interested in offering.
What sort of things? I’m glad you asked.
First, on a grand scale the only similarity that CitySpeek shares with Twitter is the 140 character limit for messages (what we call ‘speeks’). CitySpeek offers many features that Twitter does not, including:
Groups, both open and private
Integrated pics and video, no leaving the site to view
Speek by category like “Overheard”, “Question”, “For Sale”, etc.
Communicate with CitySpeek via IM
Seamless integration with Flickr
The service is also offering Twitter crossposting—if you’re comfortable giving them your Twitter username and password.
Long story short, with its group functionality, categories, and attachments, CitySpeek brings some interesting features to the social microblogging table. We’ll just have to wait and see if these additions—added to an otherwise simple format—attract users.
If you’d like to try the service for yourself, swing on by CitySpeek and register for an account. If you’d like to “speek” to me, I’m turoczy on CitySpeek.
Want to share the ways you consolidate different data streams to make your life better? Interested in learning more about RSS wizardry? Are your Yahoo! Pipes clogged?
Well, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s a new (or at least, resurrected) user group in Portland that will allow you to compare notes with other plumbers of your ilk: Portland Data Plumbing User Group.
Mike Rogoway writes “Portland’s culture of socially networked startups: With a social calendar any undergrad would envy, a host of Portland Web startups knitted a vibrant tech culture concentrated in Old Town. Jive, Vidoop, Splashcast and many, many others made this a good year to be young (or a young company, anyway). And while many have cut jobs, these microbusinesses are holding up better to this point than many tech titans.”
Dawn Foster writes “Instead of music, I fill my iPod with audio podcasts. I don’t watch the news on TV or listen to the radio, so I rely on podcasts as my primary way to consume some types of news (blogs and feeds are also a big part of how I consume information). I use iTunes subscriptions, which allow my podcasts to automagically appear on my computer every day, and I sync my iPod first thing in the morning so that it is ready at all times.”