Portland on Fire: Lighting it up again

Remember Portland on Fire? That site dedicated to “slow social networking”? It’s okay if you don’t. It’s been awhile.

Let me give you a little refresher. In a day and age where we add friends on social networks willy nilly and engage in any number of online conversations, Raven Zachary saw an opportunity to provide a service that helped you really get to know someone. No following or high scores or anything. And yet, something more than an online profile. Without being overwhelming. One Portland person, per day. That’s Portland on Fire.

Unfortunately, that great idea has been on hiatus. For far too long. So now it’s time to light a fire under, um, Portland on Fire and get this thing going again.

The delay? Entirely my fault. You see, Raven was getting more and more busy with his iPhone consulting and founding Small Society and whatnot. And I seemed to think that Portland on Fire fit in nicely with the whole Silicon Florist vibe. So I convinced Raven to hand me the reins. Which he did. A long long time ago.

And there it sat. Without me stoking the fire as it were. Until now. Now as we all get ready to mosey into fall, it seems like the perfect time to get Portland on Fire going again. Yes, the site is a little rusty and I’ve got some work to do. But I’d rather get started sooner than later.

And guess what? I’ve devised some ways to make it even easier for you to participate. Sound good? I thought so. Let’s get to it.

So what are the requirements to participate? There’s only one. You have to be a current resident of the greater Portland metropolitan area. That’s it. You don’t have to be from some insular group of the startup scene, you don’t have to be a tech type, you don’t even have to understand all this social Web hooey.

You just have to consider yourself a Portlander.

Are you? Good.

Why would you want to do this? There are any number of reasons. Maybe you’re looking for a new gig. Maybe you’d like to meet some new people. Maybe you think you’re pretty damn interesting and more people should know about you. Maybe you just want to associate yourself with Portland. Maybe you’re just looking for a stage to present your awesomeness.

Whatever the reason, it’s a valid reason for submitting a profile. So here’s what you do: pick one of these three ways to introduce yourself to Portland.

1) The good old fashioned Portland on Fire way: writing

Like to write? You’re going to love the Portland on Fire submission form which gives you plenty of room to tell us about yourself. Just get ready to start responding to questions. Tell us about who you are, how you got to where you are today, and what you’re thinking about doing next. And, of course, tell us where we can find you, URL wise. Take as much time as you like. And feel free to weave all sorts of interesting stories together with flowery prose.

Cut and paste your response into the submission form and attach a photo. And soon, you’ll be gracing the pages of Portland on Fire.

2) Record a short video

Not the writing type? That’s okay. Just grab your camera or stare into that little camera on your laptop and record the answers to the following questions: Who are you? What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What else would you like to tell Portland? Where can we find you?

For timeframe, please try to keep it to 3-5 minutes. Something short and easy to digest. Not a hard line, but a guideline. Take a couple of shots at it or do it all in one take. Whatever makes you happy. And interesting.

Once you’re done, upload the video to your favorite video sharing site. Maybe tag it “portlandonfire” or “siliconflorist” or something. And then send me the link. You can fire it over to me on Twitter or send it to siliconflorist at gmail dot com.

Don’t have a video camera or not interested in the whole video uploading thing? Ping Steven Walling. He’ll be more than happy to come interview you and make you sound as interesting as you truly are. Then, he’ll crate up your video onto the interwebs for Portland on Fire.

3) Leave me a voice mail

Not a big fan of the video? I hear you, brother and/or sister. Me neither. But I do like to talk. That’s what makes voice mail perfect. You see, I’ve got this Google Voice account just sitting there doing nothing. So why don’t we put it to good use?

Just pick up your mobile or Skype or land line or whatever and call (503) 662-2564. Or use the handy dandy widget below. After you hear my nasally voice and the beep, answer the following questions: Who are you? What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What else would you like to tell Portland? Where can we find you? You’ve got about three minutes so talk fast. Or call back. I don’t mind.

Concerned about your voice? Don’t be. You see, Google Voice transcribes voice mail messages. so unless you direct me otherwise, I’ll just be posting the text version of your voice mail. Want the mp3 posted? Just say the word. Literally.

Once you’ve left your voice mail, we’re almost done. If you’re not doing video and not filling out the form, what’s missing? That’s right, your smiling face. So email a photo—or better yet a link to an online photo—to siliconflorist at gmail dot com.

And you’re done.

We’re looking forward to meeting you

I know, I know. I’ve been putting this off too long. And there are all kinds of interesting people in Portland to meet. Like you, for instance.

So why don’t we get to it? Pick you favorite method of providing your bio: written, video, or audio and let’s get going with this.

Need more inspiration? Check out some these awesome Portland people who have submitted to Portland on Fire in the past. (Sure, sure. The info is a little dusty. But just imagine how much more interesting these people have become since they submitted that info?)

I’m looking forward to meeting you. And I’m sure the other Portland folks are too.

For more information or to get to work on your submission, visit Portland on Fire.

  1. I really like looking through a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!|

  2. I had submitted a profile just as the last one was posted on the previous dying flame. It didn’t get published, but I can say that it was a fantastic exercise.

    I hate writing about myself as but I needed to promote myself at that time. I pushed through the experience and got it done, as I said, just when it would be useless for it’s initial intent. Even though it wasn’t published, it was very worth every minute of effort. I used what I wrote in interviews and cover letters.

    Now, I have a lot less need to promote myself, but know that it’ll be worth it to give it another go once I have an opportunity.

    I encourage everyone, especially those who hate doing this sort of thing, to give it a whirl. I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. @jmartens I hear you. I don’t like writing about myself either. So yes, I definitely thought about it. But I just couldn’t come up with a way to make all the pieces fit. After we get this up and rolling again, there may be a way to work that into the mix. Until that point, choice 2 “chatting with Steven” may be a good option.

  4. Have you considered doing something similar to the gpie model where one person interviews another.

    I love the idea behind portland on fire, but am not a fan of writing about myself.

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