Month: February 2009

Ignite Portland 5: Tips and tricks or what to know before you go

Ignite Portland

Sometimes this content is so easy, it practically writes itself. Especially when I’m just repeating stuff I’ve written before.

But it bears repeating.

So, if you’re one of the lucky ticket holders for Ignite Portland 5, tonight, here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of Ignite.

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 5.

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 #ip5 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 #ip5. 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 Chris Pitzer who has been the lead organizer on the event. (I think this was still true this time.) It wasn’t! But still be nice to Adam.
  • Still DON’T be the assholes who were heckling presenters that one 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 (after he presents). I swear, that guy even makes me look good. If not him, Kveton will make you look good too. And, of course, you’ll want to get yourself in a few snaps from Mark “kram” Colman, who is the official photographer this time around.
  • 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.

Luck, luck, break a leg, and luck

Best of luck to tonight’s presenters:

NEW! Tips for presenters

No no no. I’m not writing new content, silly. It’s all thanks to Jeff Hardison, who presented during Ignite Portland 4.

Jeff Hardison tips for Ignite Portland presenters

Last but not least: Party Party Afterparty

What’s a huge event without an afterparty? Well, it’s Ignite Portland 1 and 2, I think. But now, the afterparty is part of the fun.

This time around, the party is wiki-licious thanks to the folks from RecentChangesCamp, the premier wiki conference being held in Portland, this weekend.

Like the Ignite folks, I’ll encourage you to “head over to the Eagle Lodge (4905 SE Hawthorne, near 50th Ave) whether you came to Ignite or not, and party until the cows come home.”

http://blip.tv/scripts/pokkariPlayer.js?ver=2008010901 http://blip.tv/syndication/write_player?skin=js&posts_id=1787697&source=3&autoplay=true&file_type=flv&player_width=400&player_height=266

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to play

But wait, there’s more

A late breaking bonus here. O’Reilly has launched a new feature called “Ignite Show.” A lo and behold, none other than our own beloved Jason Grigsby and Cup Noodle are leading off the new feature:

Today are launching the first episode of the Ignite Show. The Ignite Show will feature a different speaker each week. This week’s speaker is Jason Grigsby doing a talk that was originally performed at Ignite Portland. Jason takes fun look at how Cup Noodle was created and how the team had to embrace constraints and new ideas to create this new food.

This also seemed like a good time to remind you that Brady “Mr. Ignite” Forrest will be on hand, tonight, to deliver the “What is Ignite” talk. Can’t wait to see what jacket he’s wearing this time.


That’s a lot of info to digest, I realize. But hopefully, you feel all prepped now.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for February 19

Open Source Citizenship « Dyepot, Teapot

Audrey Eschright writes “When we started working on Open Source Bridge, Selena and I came up with the term “open source citizenship” to describe what we hoped to explore. We’re planning a conference that will connect developers across projects, across languages, across backgrounds to learn from each other. We want people to experience something beyond “how to use tool X” or “why databases keel over when you do Y” (even though those topics are important, making up our tools and trade, and will be a central part of the conference content). We’d like to share what open source means to us, what it offers, where we struggle, and why we do this day in and day out, even when we’re not paid for it.”

(tags: audreyeschright spinnerin opensourcebridge bridge events)

Online Community Expert Interview: Dawn Foster, Fast Wonder Consulting

Via Online Community Report “This month’s Expert Interview is with Dawn Foster, Online Community & Social Media Consultant at Fast Wonder Consulting in Portland, Oregon.”

(tags: dawnfoster geekygirldawn interview community portland oregon fastwonder)

‘Oregon Fail’ and the state’s economic outlook – Silicon Forest

Mike Rogoway writes “Writing for Forbes.com today, in an article titled ‘Oregon Fail,’ Joel Kotkin blames Oregon’s left-leaning policies for the state’s miserable economy and for the outflow of high-tech manufacturing jobs.”

(tags: oregon rogoway oregonian fail siliconforest)

REMINDER: OSU Open Source Lab and POSSE host Open Source Digital Voting Foundation tonight

While we’re still basking in the afterglow of activity surrounding the last election, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next election—and how technology can help ensure that the voters’ collective voice is heard.

That’s what makes the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation and their TrustTheVote project so interesting.

The Open Source Digital Voting Foundation (“OSDV”) is tackling the greatest problem with today’s voting technology: the lack of truly trustworthy digital voting machines. This Silicon Valley based project is actually building next generation devices that will serve as a draft standard for how e-voting must work. This can be characterized as a digital “public works” project – producing actual voting machines the public can see, touch, and try. Success of this project can restore trust in how America votes.

TrustTheVote brings together the best and brightest in information technology into a synergistic, meritocratic community focused on developing trustworthy digital voting specifications and technology to be held in the public trust.

And now the OSU Open Source Lab and Portland Open Source Software Entrepreneurs (POSSE) are hosting an event featuring the OSDV Foundation at CubeSpace, 6PM tonight (Wednesday, February 18).

Here’s what they’ll be covering:

  • Introduce the project, its motivation, founding, and development efforts to date
  • Walk through the TrustTheVote technology road map and review major projects underway
  • Discuss development philosophies and approaches including experience-driven design and test-driven agile development
  • Review opportunities for systems architects, software developers, SDQA/test specialists, and user experience designers
  • Cover plans to expand the volunteer developer teams, future opportunities for senior members of technical staff, and opportunities for you to get involved.

For more information, visit the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation event on Upcoming or Calagator.

Tagalus: Hashing through Twitter hashtags… and testing OAuth too

It’s no secret that Portland is into Twitter in a big way.

For many of the folks in the Web and mobile tech scene, it’s the way we stay in contact, spread news, and organize events. As such, we’re always trying to convince new folks to try it.

“I realize it looks stupid, but just try it,” we say. “Trust me.”

And once we get folks to try it, one of the first questions that always comes up is “What’s with all the #whatever stuff?”

This question used to be immediately followed by a deep sigh as we gathered our strength to explain the peculiar method and science surrounding the selection of #hashtags. How those pound-sign assisted acronyms and compounds provide a semblance of a taxonomy for a largely unclassifiable stream of blob files. How arduous the careful selection of canonical tags that reduce typing complexity while enforcing a unique and traceable presence can be.

Yes, it really was that difficult.

Enter tagalus

That was then. Now, thanks to Portland-based tagalus, we have a simple answer: “Go to tagal.us and look it up.”

How? Let’s take an example, shall we? Yes, we shall.

You see the following tweet come across your tweet stream: “When I was a kid, we had to guess as to what those cryptic hashtags meant. And we liked it.

“#getoffmylawn?” you say. “I wonder what that means.”

So you head over to tagal.us and search for . Where you’ll see my definition.

Maybe it helps you. Maybe you disagree. Or maybe you want to clarify. Have at it. Tagalus was made to share those opinions and clarifications.

Or maybe you have a hashtag you’d like to define for someone else? No problem. Head over to tagal.us and submit it—or send @tagalus a tweet from Twitter to define a hashtag without leaving the comfort of your tweet stream. For example, “@tagalus define ip4 as Ignite Portland 4 – a hipster event according to KGW.” (You also have the option of using “def” instead of “define,” since I know you’re always worried about your character count.)

Long story short, it’s like a little publicly edited dictionary for Twitter hashtags that you help curate. How cool is that? It’s very cool, my friend.

But why stop there?

Tagalus is still in beta—so why not add more features? How about OAuth? Okay!

What’s OAuth you say? It’s a cousin to one of our favorite login methods, OpenID.

This is what OAuth does, it allows the you the User to grant access to your private resources on one site (which is called the Service Provider), to another site (called Consumer, not to be confused with you, the User). While OpenID is all about using a single identity to sign into many sites, OAuth is about giving access to your stuff without sharing your identity at all (or its secret parts).

In other words, it makes sure that you don’t have to share your Twitter password with the applications that you want to use in combination with Twitter. Instead, Twitter brokers the deal for you—confirming you are who you say you are.

tagalus OAuth

If that sounds interesting to you, tagalus is currently testing an OAuth login. Simply visit the tagalus OAuth page and log in. Voila! You just used OAuth.

Get to defining those hashtags

So now you’re ready to join in the fun. Create a new hashtag and define it, clarify the definition of an existing hashtag, or be the first to define an “oldie but a goodie” hashtag. (I was surprised to be the first to define .) I can’t wait to have a better understanding about all those cryptic tweets you’re sending.

For more information or to define your favorite hashtags, visit tagalus.

Mugasha selected for SXSW Accelerator

MugashaMugasha—the DJ-set splitting startup founded during Portland Startup Weekend—has been selected to participate in the Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW. They are the only Northwest company to make the cut.

SXSW is a big stage for the young company. With the event’s mix of music and technology, it’s sure to give Mugasha access to some noted movers and shakers who will no doubt appreciate the service and its capabilities.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Mugasha has stepped into the limelight. (Akshay Dodeja of Mugasha took the chance to speak with Robert Scoble, last year, and I got the chance to profile them on ReadWriteWeb.) But SXSW marks Mugasha’s first chance to demo their private beta to a large group of people outside the immediate Portland tech scene:

Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator is the newest addition to the SXSW Interactive schedule of activities. Scheduled Monday, March 16 at the Downtown Austin Hilton, the event spotlights some of the web’s most exciting new innovations, enabling the entrepreneurial visionaries behind these new products to demo their creations in front of a live audience of industry professionals and technology trend-setters.

It’s great to see Mugasha—and by association, Portland—getting this sort of recognition.

Even if you’re not going to SXSW, you should give Mugasha a spin—especially if you like electronica. What’s Mugasha 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.

For more information or to get an invite to the private beta, visit Mugasha.

Portland one of the top 10 places to start a small business. No, the other one. We’re #11.

Portland has been named the 10th best place in the United States to start a small business. Unfortunately for us, that Business Journal ranking is for Portland, Maine. We here in Portland, Oregon, just missed the top 10, landing at #11.

The survey and resulting list is compiled by American City Business Journals—the parent company of all of the regional Business Journals. To arrive at the ranking, the survey compared the number of small businesses in the area to metropolitan population and job growth.

Of course, you can’t read the article, unless you’re a paid subscriber. But here’s a snippet:

Portland [Ore.] had 61,244 businesses with 99 or fewer employees, or 28.7 per 1,000 residents in 2006, according to Census data used in the formulation. The 11th place showing is the best by Portland since the first list arrived in 2005. Back then, with the economy in full swing, Portland ranked 39th.

So what were the top 10?

  1. Raleigh
  2. Charlotte
  3. Seattle
  4. Austin
  5. Boise
  6. Salt Lake City
  7. Orlando
  8. Oklahoma City
  9. Denver
  10. Portland, Maine

All in all, garnering the 11th spot is good news for Portland, Oregon, especially when it comes to those outside of the Silicon Forest looking in. From a “closer to home” perspective, the metrics are likely too broad to provide much insight into the comparisons between the Web and Mobile startups here in town and their peers in other metropolitan areas.

Happy 150th Birthday, Oregon! OSU and Flickr got you a gift

Today, February 14, 2009, marks the 150th birthday of Oregon, the sesquicentennial of the fair state that the Silicon Forest calls home.

I didn’t really get you anything, Oregon. But OSU and Flickr did.

Like this photo of Beer and Blog, circa 1933.

Beer and Blog circa 1933

Well, okay. Maybe that’s more of a codefest. And it’s taking place in Virginia. But let’s not quibble.

In honor of Oregon’s birthday, Oregon State University has become the first university to contribute to the Flickr Commons.

This initial offering focuses on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program, focused on the conservation of natural resources, that targeted unemployed young men, veterans and American Indians who were hard hit by the Great Depression. The Oregon State University Archives’s photostream shows various CCC projects, which included firefighting, farm land improvements, infrastructure projects and even the building of ski areas on Mt. Hood.

The photos are just a peek into OSU’s photographic collections pertaining to the history of forestry and natural resources in the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on Oregon. Expect more uploads from the OSU Archives illustrating culture, natural resources, and history in the coming months. In the meantime, enjoy the collection!

What is the Flickr Commons? It’s a huge collection of photography shared by the world’s photography archives designed to give the public a glimpse into these valuable resources—as well as stimulate discussion among the Flickr community.

I don’t know about you, but I just added the OSU Commons as a friend on Flickr.

Whatever happened to the daily “Silicon Florist’s links arrangement”?

I could hear you asking. I could. And I was just sitting here. Biding my time. Holding out hope as long as I could. But now, even I must admit defeat.

If you’re asking “What the…?” allow me to bring you up to speed.

There used to be a regular feature here—Silicon Florist’s links arrangement—that came out on an almost daily basis. It featured links to interesting things that were happening in the Silicon Forest that I either a) didn’t have time to cover as I would have liked or b) did a better job of describing a topic than I ever could have.

Suddenly, around the beginning of February, the feature up and wilted.


Well, the links arrangement was an automated feature of a social bookmarking service I was using called ma.gnolia. I know. Appropriate for a florist, hunh?

Anyway, I saved the bookmarks there and it automagically published posts full of linky goodness.

And all was right with the world.

Until January 30.

ma.gnolia FAIL

On that day, ma.gnolia crashed. Not just a “we need to reboot” crash. A “catastrophic data loss” crash. What’s more? The whole “backup” thing is a little murky, but it seems to be inaccessible, as well.

It’s unfortunate. I really like the folks who run ma.gnolia and I really appreciated the service—for any number of reasons. And honestly, I was quite lucky. Probably 95% of the 2000+ bookmarks I lost were published in the link arrangements. So I still have the bulk of my data. Thousands of other ma.gnolia users weren’t so lucky.

But it’s time for me to face the facts. I don’t think ma.gnolia is ever coming back. So I’ve started to research new solutions for the links arrangement.

I just wanted to give you fair warning, because there may be a hiccup or two, here and there, as I work to find a new solution for handling this feature.

But, rest assured, the Silicon Florist’s links arrangement will be back. And better than ev… Well, actually, it will likely be exactly the same as it was before.

Thank you in advance for your patience during this transition. And, as always, feel free to throw advice my way. It’s greatly appreciated.

Bored? The Portland tech scene might have something for you to do tonight. Maybe.

So, you don’t have anything planned for tonight? Well thanks to our good friends over at Calagator, you do now.

Yes, it’s just another boring night. If only there were something to do. Oh well. Maybe next week will be a bit more eventful.

AboutUs Lunch 2.0 V2 Recap

Yesterday, we ended the first year of Portland Lunch 2.0 at the place it all began in February 2008, AboutUs.

I didn’t get a very official count at either event, but I think we went from about 50 at the first Lunch 2.0 to well over a 100 yesterday. I saw a lot of familiar faces, along with new ones.

Aside from opening up their sweet renovated warehouse office space to us, AboutUs provided chotchkies (cell phone charms featuring the universal edit button and AboutUs buttons), grub and cupcakes as big as a fist. They had a projector broadcasting a stream of their pageviews, which attracted a lot of attention; Lunch 2.0 still is a pretty geeky crowd after all.


Case in point, someone suggested that we watch the list to see if there were repeat IPs, but this quickly made me dizzy and disoriented.

Another nice touch was the arrangement of cinema displays (color me jealous) along the western wall of the office that read “HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUNCH 2.0”.


We skipped the talkie-talkie this time. Everyone was happily chatting around the office, which is kinda the point. No need to interrupt everyone to listen to me mumble, and AboutUs had all their people mingling and answering questions about what they do.

Big thanks to the whole AboutUs crew for hosting, especially to Steven for organizing.

Likewise, thanks to Aaron Hockley who provided excellent photos of the event. All photos in the post are by Aaron and used under Creative Commons. Incidentally, check out Aaron’s Lunch 2.0 – Portland set on Flickr; it provides a great history of the event. Aaron has been to nearly all the Lunch 2.0s, and he usually has his camera to document the festivities. His photos also pop up on Flickr widget on lunch20.com, the home of the original Bay Area chapter because of how awesome they are. OK, it’s also because they’re tagged “lunch2.0”.

Anyway, let’s peer into the future of Portland Lunch 2.0’s second year.

Upcoming Portland Lunch 2.0s

Save these Dates

These haven’t been officially announced yet, but they are happening. Stay tuned for details.

Big thanks to all the hosts who have hosted or plan to host Lunch 2.0. Drop a comment (or tweet @jkuramot) if you want information about hosting one. It’s easy.