All posts by Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.


CNN has launched a new “unfiltered” news site for user-generated news reports. What does that have to do with Portland startups? It’s built on Portland-based Jive Software’s product, Clearspace.

OTBC Lunch & Learn (Feb 19): RSS with Marshall Kirkpatrick

Marshall Kirkpatrick is one of only two people who have written for two Top 15 most linked to blogs on the internet (TechCrunch and now ReadWriteWeb) and is a consultant specializing in bringing advanced RSS practices to businesses. These days, Marshall is both a lead writer at Read/Write Web , one of the world’s top web 2.0 news blogs, and a consultant in new online software and marketing.

Calagator: Next Code Sprint: Saturday 2/16

The Calagator team will be having its next work meeting this Saturday at CubeSpace, starting at 10AM. There’s lots of work for coders, designers, documentation writers, and calendar users. Come help them implement iCalendar imports and make sense of event venue info.

Metroblogging Portland: OLPC meetup

Dieselboi of Metroblogging Portland describes his encounter with the “One Laptop Per Child” machine: “The OLPC is a great little machine. I was able to play with one for a few minutes. It comes with two antennae – one for wireless 802.11 and the other or a radio network specific to the OLPC. It has a mapping utility that shows where other OLPCs are, wifi hotspots and other items on the network. The radio antenna can also be used as a bridge/repeater to extend the mesh network. It even had PONG!”

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Mobile Portland getting mobilized

Jason Grigsby, who authored the first Silicon Florist guest editorial on Mobile earlier this week, has some more exciting Mobile news to share: the formation of Mobile Portland, a new user group for folks working and developing in the Mobile space.

The idea for Mobile Portland came from our desire to have a place to share what we’re learning and collaborate with other mobile developers. The idea took hold when during a conversation with Jon Maroney of Free Range Communications after the recent PAF panel on mobile marketing.

In addition to Free Range, early enthusiastic collaborators for a local mobile user group include individuals from eROI, GoLife Mobile and bBoing (a.k.a., Summit Projects). We’re pleased that we’ve got a group of people interested in making this happen.

For more information, see the Cloud Four blog. Or visit Mobile Portland to add your email to their contact list.

Prerequisite Valentine’s Day post

COLOURLovers | Fight for love in the color revolutionIn case you hadn’t heard, it’s Valentine’s Day. And while other florists are generally overwhelmed on this day, this florist is searching desperately for something interesting to tell you, gentle reader.

I mean, aside from “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Thanks to Portland-based Colourlovers, I have something more interesting than that.

Started by Darius A Monsef IV, Colourlovers is well-established social network for creatives that focuses on the creation and sharing of color palettes. And today, pinks and reds are among the palettes of choice.

COLOURlovers is a welcoming, creative and supportive community and we want to hear you shout your love from the mountain tops for color. We want you to stand outside the tree in the front yard, late at night in the rain until color opens the bedroom window and tells you it loves you too. (Please don’t actually wait outside our bedrooms…)

For more, visit Colourlovers.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

Jason Grigsby on the Mobile Web: Where are we Going?

One of Grigsby’s major points was that the mobile web space is currently in a situation similar to that of the general web in the mid 90’s. Standards are absent. Most people aren’t yet on the platform, but it’s quickly growing. There are many browsers. Each browser renders content differently. Nobody is sure who will “win” the browser wars. Nobody knows the direction the mobile web will take.

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

TwitterThreads: Portland’s love affair with Twitter continues

One of the biggest drawbacks of trying to follow Twitter conversations is that Twitter tends to come at you in one stream. And if you’re following enough people, it’s a fire hose. That said, one of the biggest benefits of using Twitter is that, with the availability of the API, someone is going to figure out how to fix pretty much any Twitter “drawback” you can highlight.

Case in point: TwitterThreads from Portland-based CouldBe Studios, a one-night project that delivers Twitter conversations in—shockingly enough—threaded format. (Man, they should call this thing… oh wait, they already have.)

Developed by Matt Beck, TwitterThreads provides a more conversational view of your tweets, allowing you to see multiple tweets from the same person grouped together or to more easily follow conversations as the @s start percolating.

To see it in action, visit TwitterThreads where you can view the public timeline. Or, login and see how your conversation threads come together.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

BusinessWeek: Strategies to Build Trust Online

A new crop of personal finance Web sites is convincing users to share their private data. The Silicon Forest’s NetworthIQ is featured.

Twitter Blog: Wow, This Is Pretty

Portland-based Pixelmatrix Design gets praise from the Twitter team for the design of the Web interface on Commuter Feed, a traffic tool that relies on the Twitter api.

Metafluence: Twitter reply sniffer

Metafluence’s Justin Kistner can’t ignore us on Twitter anymore. Well, he still can, I guess. But now he has less of an excuse. His Twitter reply sniffer helps you keep track of replies from people you don’t follow. (If that last sentence made absolutely no sense, that’s a good sign that you should get on Twitter.)

Podcast: Scott Kveton on OpenID

Richard and Greg talk to Portland’s Scott Kveton, Chairman of the OpenID Foundation, about OpenID. OpenID is a single sign-on solution that could very well make the classic username and password obsolete. This is a fast half hour – you’ll find yourself wanting to listen again!

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Guest editorial: Is Portland behind when it comes to mobile?

[Editor’s Note: In a brief flash of humility, I came to the realization that there were any number of experts here at our disposal in the Silicon Forest. Experts who have important things to say. Experts who can help us place the Rose City and the Silicon Forest within the context of a larger picture. Experts who are—quite frankly—more interesting than just little ol’ me.

And with that, I decided that some other viewpoints would be valuable. So welcome to a new feature on Silicon Florist: guest editorials.

First up, please welcome Jason Grigsby of Portland-based Cloud Four.

Knowing full well that one of Jason’s areas of expertise was mobile, I asked him “What’s up with mobile? And how is it going to play in Portland?” And he has graciously replied.

If you find his take interesting (and I know you will) make sure to peruse the mobile series he’s writing for his company’s blog. Or, you might seriously consider attending his presentation at Portland Web Innovators on Wednesday, February 13.

Ack. Looks like my intro is rivaling the length of the content. So, with that, I’ll hand you off to the honorable Mr. Grigsby. Grigs?]

Is Portland behind when it comes to mobile?

People keep asking me whether Portland is behind when it comes to mobile?

I would have never thought to ask this question. If we were behind, what would we do with this information?

Better yet, who would we be behind? San Francisco? Austin? Poughkeepsie?

We might be behind Chicago if Katherine Gray’s out-of-town guests are correct. She wrote to me on Twitter to tell me that her friends wondered why they hadn’t seen many Blackberries in Portland.

Apparently, we specialize in the kind of blackberries that grow on the side of roads and not the ones you carry in your pocket. (Actually, this isn’t true. Oregon’s largest employer, Intel, provides Blackberries as standard issue, and I’ve seen many other business people with them as well.)

If we are behind, what would be the proper measure? The percentage of mobile phone users per capita? The number of smart phone users?

Perhaps these metrics would tell the story. Unfortunately, city-specific data isn’t available.

In the absence of data, I have to fall back to my original, knee-jerk reaction: Of course Portland is behind. The whole country is behind.

In Europe and Asia, both consumers and businesses are more savvy when it comes to utilizing their phones.

  • In Japan, South Korea and China, more people access the web via mobile phones than via PCs.
  • Finland-based Nokia claims 40% of the worldwide market for phones—by far the leading phone manufacturer.

Portland is no more behind than the rest of America. This is one technology surge that we’re late to the game on. And with 3.3 billion mobile devices and growing, it represents the most widespread technology in the world—far surpassing PC, credit cards, and televisions.

Fortunately, there’s still time to catch up before things really take off. Things are lining up for 2008 and 2009 to be big years for mobile. Portland has the perfect combination of technical and creative communities to explore what is possible in this new medium.

I’m excited to see what Portland produces for the Mobile Web.

Jason Grigsby is a founder, Vice President, and Web Strategist at Cloud Four, a Portland-based Web consulting firm focused on Web, Mobile and emerging technology. For more information on Grigsby and Cloud Four, visit Cloud Four. To RSVP for his Portland Web Innovators talk, visit Upcoming.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

WebMD’s Acquisition By Parent May Not Occur; Outlook Lower on Yahoo Fears | paidContent.org

Granted, WebMD is not a startup. But its behavior affects the startup community. With a substantial presence in the Portland tech community, WebMD has a number of former employees starting and joining startups in the Portland area.

WebMD (NSDQ: WBMD), the online health information service, may not be sold back to its parent firm HLTH Corp, due to a “negotiation stalemate”, according to the companies. HLTH owns about 84 percent of WebMD. The two companies indicated in November last year that this transaction would occur, to give its shareholders more say in the WebMD business.

Ignite Seattle Talks

Ignite Seattle will be taking place next Tuesday. And here’s the final listing of Ignite topics from our neighbor to the north.

SEMpdx President Kent Lewis & Board Member Todd Mintz Are (Portland) On Fire

For Portlanders, this is a great way to get other Portlanders to know you better and we encourage all Portlanders reading this blog post (including our other board members) to participate.

Community: NI Developer Zone Community

National Instruments has launched a community powered by Clearspace X from Portland-based Jive Software. The community allows users to discover and collaborate on the latest example code, tutorials, textbooks, and more with a worldwide community of engineers and scientists. Share development techniques, learn about cutting-edge technologies, and connect with LabVIEW and other NI product experts working on similar applications.

Central Oregon Blogger Meet-up

Central Oregon Web Professionals Usergroup, aside from having the most memorable acronym ever with “COWPU,” is hosting a blogger meetup, February 21 in Bend.

Twitter Blog: Do You Want Sandy?

I Want Sandy, the service from Portland-based Values of n that I continually mention in a not-so-discrete effort to gain a stranglehold on the search term “anthropomorphic digital assistant” the way Marshall Kirkpatrick owns “internet brain implants,” gets a mention on the Twitter blog for Sandy’s integration with the ever popular microblogging tool.

Local Portland Tech Start-up Coverage

A little egosurfing here. As part of my effort to spread the word about all you Portland-area startups that I love so dearly, I’ve been lucky enough to pick up a writing gig for another Portland-focused pub. I’m honored to be the first U.S. writer for this Canadian blog.

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Toonlet releases embed code

Portland-based Toonlet, the tool that will not only have you writing your own comic strips in a matter of seconds but will also have you using ‘toons as a social networking function, has released an embed code for Toonlets you create.

Okay, geek-talk, what exactly does that “embed code” mumbo jumbo mean?

It means that you can now create strips and then easily insert them into Web pages and blog posts.

This will definitely help folks spread the word about the Toonlet service and will likely increase the adoption. Not to mention increase the value of the social networking features built into the tool.

I’m so excited about it, I’m thinking about making Toonlet a regular part of the Silicon Florist. (It’s a little wide, but this is the first release. Relax.)


For more, visit Toonlet.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

iCal, gCal, we-all-Cal with iCal

I Want Sandy is getting her Cal on. Do you Gcal? Think inside the 30 Boxes? Outlook (Windows) or iCal (Mac) more your speed? Take your I want Sandy calendar (and to-dos too) with you to any calendar capable of subscribing to remote calendars using the iCalendar standard.

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia