First, I’ll start with an apology. I apologize because these posts always wind up way longer and more babble-y than they should be. No matter how I try to rein them in.
On second thought, I should probably apologize for every Silicon Florist post. Because they’re all rambling. And disjointed. So, I’m sorry. For everything.
But I digress.
I actually started typing because I have something I wanted to share with you. It’s not much yet. But it’s got a whole lot of potential.
You may be familiar with MusicFestNW, the annual music festival held in Portland in September. It’s grown to quite a gathering, drawing international acclaim.
Well, turns out that—despite how awesome the music events are in the evening—they don’t have any event programming during the days. So the folks at Willamette Week (who run the festival) approached a bunch of people in the tech community…
I think you see where I’m going here.
What’s that? Oh. Well, if you don’t, here’s the deal.
That bunch of smart people got together and discussed the potential for an event. A tech event. A tech event they would attend. And they got pretty excited about that potential. And about the power of the Portland community to do something amazing. And worthwhile. And different.
And once they all decided it was worth pursuing, they contacted me and asked if I would help. Or more accurately they said, “Would you finally get off your ass and get around to planning that tech conference we’ve asked you to plan for years?”
So I said I would. Because it’s time. And because they were offering to help my lazy ass get it done.
And so, the Portland Digital eXperience (PDX) conference was born.
So we’re doing this. Now what?
We’ve been thinking about this for a long time. Now, it’s time to do it.
I’ve been inspired by what my friends at Silicon Prairie News have done with Big Omaha and Thinc Iowa. And what Technically Philly has done with Philly Tech Week. And what Andrew Hyde did with boco. And, of course, what Hugh and crew have done with SXSW Interactive.
But inspiration is different than just borrowing what others are doing. It’s about putting a Portland spin on it. And showcasing what Portland is all about. And that’s why I’m hoping we can put together something that complements—rather than mimics—these other events and festivals.
Just as importantly, we’ll work to regain that intimacy and accessibility that seems to fade as tech events get bigger and bigger. All with the hopes of rekindling some of that serendipity that makes attending events worthwhile.
Like any startup endeavor this is both fun and intimidating. Exuberating and exasperating. But I’m really looking forward to working on this. (And I can’t help but be reminded of the first year of Open Source Bridge, when a bunch of us worked to create a new open source conference. (Speaking of which, registration for OSB is currently open for cheap.))
Exciting right? Yes. But there’s not much here yet. Other than an idea, a vision, a few folks, and some relatively quiet social accounts. But here’s what we do know:
Our city is filled with compelling builders and thinkers. With a sense of craftsmanship and pride. It’s a place where startups are creating new ways of engaging minds, exploring the world, and enthralling people with beauty and simplicity.
We need to showcase that. Why? Well, this is an opportunity for any number of reasons but specifically:
- It will help put the Portland tech and creative scene on the map in a big—and well deserved—way
- It will give us the opportunity to compare notes and share ideas with awesome folks from other towns
- It will help us grow and strengthen the Portland tech and creative community
So here we go. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be amazing. And we’d love to have you there.
If you’re even remotely interested in attending, speaking, sponsoring, or whatever, please feel free to join the Portland Digital eXperience discussion list so we can keep you up to date on the all the goings on. You can also follow @PDXconf, like PDX on Facebook, or add PDX to your Google+ Circles.
At the very least, here’s hoping we see you in September.