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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

Iterasi launches at DEMO 2008

[Full disclosure: Iterasi is one of my clients which may taint my objectivity. For other reviews of the tool, see coverage in CenterNetworks, Profy, VentureBeat, Webware, and Web Worker Daily.]

Vancouver, Washington, based Iterasi has been working in stealth mode for the last six months. (So stealthy, in fact, that my friends and family have, to date, only known them as “double secret probation.”) Today, Iterasi was finally able to start talking about their offering, unveiling an early—yet highly functional—version of their product at DEMO 2008.

They will be the only Silicon-Forest-based company taking the stage at DEMO, this week.

So what does the Iterasi do? It saves Web pages.

Sounds simple. But, these days? Not so much.

Given the dynamic nature of today’s Web sites—AJAX, CSS, dynamic HTML, widgets, database-driven content—“saving a page” is a little more difficult than it seems like it should be.

But Iterasi makes it incredibly easy, enabling the user to save the exact page he or she is seeing. No matter how many little AJAX balloons may have been opened or what personal information has been provided.

When Iterasi saves the page, it’s in its native format. It’s HTML. So all of the links still work. All of the CSS is still there. So you get to see all of the content, in context, and work with it, instead of just looking at it.

In addition to saving pages, Iterasi offers a scheduler that allows you to capture the same page over time:

You can also schedule automatic capture of a page at regular intervals. We believe that capturing the same page over time will highlight the differences among notarized versions. And we think that type of comparison will be great for competitive intelligence and other online research. Some people will use it to monitor their kid’s MySpace page over time, others to take an extended look at Craigslist search results for a town they might move to.

For more information, to see a demo, or to sign up for an invitation to future BETA versions of Iterasi, visit Iterasi. To keep tabs on what the company is doing, visit the Iterasi blog.

Silicon Florist field trip: DEMO 2008

Next week, I’m in the enviable position of getting the opportunity to travel down to DEMO 2008 with one of my Silicon-Forest-based clients.

Although I’ve been tracking DEMO for years, this will be my first actual trip to the event. And, quite frankly, I’m looking forward to being a bit shellshocked by the whole affair.

What’s DEMO? DEMO is very much the grand ball of high-tech product launches. A very hush-hush, invite-only, keep-your-product-under-wraps-until-the-show kind of thing. Or, as the DEMO folks put it:

DEMO is the premier launch venue for new products, technologies and companies. For more than 16 years, DEMO has established a reputation for identifying and presenting to an elite audience the products most likely to have a significant impact on the marketplace and market trends in the coming year. Each product is carefully screened and selected by DEMO’s Executive Producer, Chris Shipley, one of the top trend spotters in the personal technology product industry.

Who’s the Silicon-Forest-based client? The embargo on DEMO product announcements lifts on Monday morning, at which point, I’ll cover the client’s product (with full disclosure of my consulting relationship with them).

Suffice it to say, they’re small, they’re out of Vancouver, Washington, this is the CEOs third trip to DEMO, and I think they’ve come up with something that will have utility for a wide-range of folks.

But for now, let’s just leave it at that. Please tune in Monday for more.

Now, I’m going to cover that client because they’re part of our community. And I hope you are okay with me doing that. I’m not doing it to push the product. I’m covering it because it’s as newsworthy as any startup I cover here. And I’ll strive to be as objective as I possibly can.

Obviously, I’m hoping to cover any of the other Silicon-Forest-based companies that come out of stealth mode down there. (If you are one of those companies, please drop me a line and let me know, so I can plan to jump on the coverage.)

What I won’t do is provide generic coverage of the event, itself. Or profile every single one of the more than 70 products that will launch at DEMO. In fact, after Monday’s post, this may be the last you ever hear of DEMO from me. Unless I uncover a story that has a specific Silicon Forest angle. (Or unless you’re following me on Twitter, as I’ll likely tweet some coverage of the event, just for my own historical reference of my babe-in-the-woods naivete.)

Just because I’m down there doesn’t mean that the blog should lose its focus.

If you are interested in more insightful coverage of DEMO, I know Portland-based blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick will be providing coverage—though not entirely product-focused—for Read/Write Web, Allen Stern of CenterNetworks has proposed a sort of blogger bullpen of writers to cover the event, and Rafe Needleman of Webware usually does a bang up job. Plus, the DEMO folks post videos of each and every one of the six-minute presentations to the DEMO site, so you can watch at your leisure.

If you are planning to be down there, as well, please let me know and let’s try to find one another. And if there is anything specific you would like me to cover from DEMO, please use the comments to let me know.

Ignite Portland hits the mainstream press

We’ve been waiting for this to hit, and now it has.

I couldn’t be happier to announce that Ignite Portland has gotten real ink (as opposed to the pixels I dedicate to the subject [Full disclosure: Silicon Florist is a sponsor of Ignite Portland 2.]) in The Oregonian. Not only that, it’s front page news. Well, front page of the Living section. But that’s a front page. And front page is front page in my book.

Ignite — a Seattle invention that spread worldwide — came to Portland last fall courtesy of several self-described geeks in their 20s and 30s. They knew each other through the social networking site Twitter and techie workshops called BarCamp. If they thought Ignite was cool, the group figured, so would some other Portlanders.

Boy, did they. Response was so overwhelming, the Ignite crew plans to host quarterly events — starting now.

As always, news quickly percolated throughout the Portland Twitter crowd. And Dawn Foster has announced the article in Fast Wonder, with pictures by Scott Kveton:

w00t! We made the front page of the living section in the Oregonian with a really nice write-up about Ignite Portland. You have to buy the Saturday paper edition to get the full write-up. I’m curious what this will do for RSVPs?

The Q&A style article has many members of the Legion of Tech—the force behind the event—chiming in to round out the picture of Ignite Portland and its purpose. Quoted are Josh Bancroft, Audrey Eschright, Dawn Foster, Todd Kenefsky and Raven Zachary.

Raven Zachary has covered the coverage on the Ignite Portland blog, including additional folks who also deserved recognition:

[T]he print version is worth the trip to the store to buy a copy for $0.50. There are a few people whose names were not mentioned in The Oregonian article who have been a big help with Ignite Portland planning – Scott Kveton, Adam Duvander, Aaron Hockley, Ann Marcus, the rest of the board of Legion of Tech, Renny Gleeson, and a whole host of volunteers who help from crowd control to cleanup and everything else that needs to be done to make Ignite Portland operate smoothly. Thank you!

And, Banana Lee Fishbones sums up the appeal of Ignite Portland very nicely in her coverage on Metroblogging Portland:

Specifically in Portland this event has a great story: Some geeks from here were in Seattle for a conference that happened to coincide with the Seattle Ignite event. They went and loved it. When they got home they thought, “Why don’t we do something like that here?” and they went out and did it. And it was good. And it is stuff like this that makes me love living here. “Hey that would be cool, let’s do that!” and then DOING IT. Not sitting around bitching that nobody else is doing it for them.

To read the print article in pixels, see “What’s on your mind? You’ve got five minutes…” from The Oregonian, Saturday, January 26, 2008.

And perhaps most importantly… Obviously this increase is exposure will have an impact on the number of attendees. Please make sure to RSVP if you’re planning to attend.

BREAKING: Portland Startup Weekend

Just a quick note to let you know that your votes for have counted. Portland now has a Startup Weekend of its own.

Thanks to all of you have taken the time to vote. I think this could be a really interesting event for Portland and our community.

Details are still slim, but the date is set for the weekend of May 23 – 25.

More as details become available.

For more information, visit Startup Weekend.

Lunch 2.0 comes to Portland

Sometimes, there are people at a cool company with whom you would really like to meet. But maybe they’re the competition. Or it’s hard to get on their schedule. Or you’re just not the kind of person to hit them up for lunch.

Lunch 2.0 was designed to solve this problem. An event started down in the Silicon Valley—where churn can be exceptionally high—Lunch 2.0 is designed to give colleagues an opportunity to stay in touch. No matter where they’re currently employed.

We read about these companies in the blogs, and we use their products, and we’d probably all love to see how these companies and people live and work, but we don’t. Even though they’re like 5 minutes away from us, and they’re full of people just like us that would love to see how we live and work too!

And now, Portland’s Jake Kuramato of Oracle Apps Lab is working to bring Lunch 2.0 to Portland.

The inaugural Portland Lunch 2.0 will be held Wednesday, February 27 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM at the AboutUs offices, located at 107 SE Washington Street, Suite 520 in Portland.

Here’s hoping you take this opportunity to spend some time with a number of Portland bloggers, entrepreneurs, and just darned interesting folks. I’m planning to be there, if schedule permits. And I hope to see you there. RSVP for Portland Lunch 2.0 on 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.

Software Association of Oregon Social Network

The Software Association of Oregon is clearly going through some changes. And this is just one example: a social network built on Ning. Looking forward to seeing more from them.

IT Conversations: Scott Kveton

OpenIDDevCamp was a gathering to develop web-based applications that use OpenID. Scott joined Phil to discus the event as well as the OpenID concept. He talked about the structure of the camp as well as the background of OpenID, including such topics as OpenID usability and best practices, data portability, and the OpenID 2.0 specification.

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Portland Topic o’ the Day: XMPP

Seems like I couldn’t read a Portland feed today without encountering a reference to Portland-based Jive Software’s Matt Tucker and his post on XMPP, entitled “XMPP (a.k.a. Jabber) is the future for cloud services.”

It even hit the front page of Digg.

And finally it sunk in: if everyone in Portland is blogging about it, maybe, just maybe, it’s important.

First off… What is XMPP? The acronym stands for eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. To be simplistic, think of it as XML for IM and buddy lists. (You don’t read this blog for the brilliance of my technical mind—and if you do, I have a few things to say to you—so if you’re interested in more, you could read Wikipedia’s XMPP entry or you could visit the XMPP Standards Foundation.)

But the buzz, today, is all about its potential.

In his post, Matt asserts:

[C]loud services aren’t real-time, won’t scale, and often can’t clear the firewall. So, it’s time we blow up those barriers and come to Jesus about the protocol that will fuel the SaaS models of tomorrow–that solution is XMPP (also called Jabber) . Never heard of it? In just a couple of years Google, Apple, AOL, IBM, Livejournal and Jive have all jumped on board.

Dawn Foster, also of Jive Software, continues the thread in her Fast Wonder post, “How XMPP (Jabber) Can Do So Much More Than IM,” mentioning:

I think it is about time we moved beyond the old model of polling and into new, more efficient paradigms. As we come to expect real time, always available tools on the web, we should be thinking about using real time collaboration technologies (like XMPP).

Justin Kistner of Metafluence and Beer and Blog highlights the post, as well. And, word around the campfire is that Portland-based blogger, Marshall Kirkpatrick, is working on a post about it. (Which I’ll link up as soon as it hits.)

As promised, Marshall Kirkpatrick has published a very thoughtful and insightful piece on the XMPP discussion, entitled “Could Instant Messaging (XMPP) Power the Future of Online Communication?” which includes both arguments for:

Ask yourself what a decentralized, open source infrastructure for real time communication could offer. A lot. As an RSS-head, I’d love to see XMPP let my various RSS clients do more faster and get bogged down in fewer unnecessary activities. RSS is all about speed for me but clients can only do so much so often when they have to pester someone else’s server every time they want to check for new information. Those delays can be of real consequence.

And against the potential of XMPP:

First, so much of what’s already been developed is web-centric, based on http, that the options for mashup-fodder are relatively limited for XMPP….The second argument against this rosy picture of the future could be that open standards-based technology falls outside the profit model of many larger companies. If one vendor can corner their respective model with proprietary technology and charge a monopolist’s premium for superior service, then a standards based competitor will have their work cut out for them.

So, Portland—open source mecca we are—seems pretty excited about the potential here. Just a heads up for you, gentle reader, that XMPP might be in your future. Best get up to speed by reading the XMPP post that started the discussion.

Watching the Watcher watching Portland

Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher has a recent post that touches on an interview with Hideshi Hamaguchi and Toru Takasuka of Portland-based startup Lunarr. (You may also remember Hideshi for his presentation, “How to live like Japanese in Portland” at the first Ignite Portland.)

What struck me about “Portland’s High Tech Community And The Space To Think” was this little gem:

When I met with them four months ago, I asked why did they choose Portland as the home base for Lunarr, why not Silicon Valley? After all, there are many companies moving to Silicon Valley every day/week to become part of the great conversation that goes on here.

They said that Portland allowed them to think.

Yes, I know it’s in the headline, too. I get that. I’m just a little dense. Apparently, I need more time to think.

The post also touches on Portland on Fire, Raven Zachary’s side project that introduces us to one interesting Portlander a day. A side project which, coincidentally, is always looking for new folks to profile. So head on over there, and participate.

To read the post in its entirety—and to learn why Portland may be a better place for startups than the Valley—visit “Portland’s High Tech Community And The Space To Think

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.

Oregon Public Broadcasting shows you how to talk down to your community

The guidance from OPB on how to participate in their online community is exceptionally effective at controlling the comments—by being so condescending that it stifles any conversation whatsoever. Hey OPB! If you don’t want to manage a Web community, don’t manage a community. That will give you more time to concentrate on “making radio” or annoying me with your fund-driving requests.

SEMpdx Searchfest 08 Mini-Interview: Janet Johnson (O’Johnson Partners)

Janet will be speaking on the “Marketing 2.0 Issues: Online Reputation Management, the dark side of SMM” panel at Searchfest which will take place on March 10th, 2008 at the Portland Zoo.

Scott Kveton · High-bandwidth Twitter Tools

I follow 702 people and its a lot of information to process. Raven Zachary asked me the criteria I use to follow people. It’s pretty simple; if you’re interesting and I’ve found you, I let serendipity reign and follow. I’ve also very recently taken to following every person I can find in Portland, OR (more on that in a moment).

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

MyStrands joins Data Portability Working Group

Corvallis-based MyStrands, the service that—among other things—lets you share and compare your musical tastes, has announced that they have decided to join the Data Portability Working Group.

A number of folks are putting their hopes in the Data Portability concept. And, to be sure, their recent “skyrocketing into the tech-public consciousness” momentum may have given them the best chance of solving the problems at hand.

As Scott Kveton highlights in the MyStrands post:

We’re really excited about the work that the Data Portability (DP) group is chartered to do. The goal of the group is to build a set of technical and policy blueprints based on existing technologies and concepts that will allow for the free-flow and control of data by users among sites on the web. Taking advantage of the building blocks like OpenID, OAuth and microformats allows the effort to move that much faster….

MyStrands is committed to the Data Portability group because we believe we can really help make things happen and be an integral part of its success.

Coincidentally, another little company you may have heard of—named Microsoft—just announced that they were going to join the Data Portability Working Group, as well. But, I’m not interested in covering that, because a) Last time I checked, they were a bit north of the Silicon Forest, and b) They may have gotten a little bit of press about it already.

In fact, Portland-based blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick has an insightful write-up on the Microsoft news:

Microsoft’s joining the group is an event of sufficiently complex historical meaning that I’m hesitant to try and interpret it here. Microsoft has both been the ultimate example of lock-in and also an important force behind other open standards efforts on the web, including OpenID. Though no fan of Microsoft, I am consistently excited about what the Live team in particular does. I’ll look for analysis of this and future news about implementation at Live from my favorite source on the topic, LiveSide.

Deep breath. Okay, I realize I’ve just thrown around a whole bunch of jibber jabber at you, which probably makes absolutely no sense.

Just what is this “data portability” and why would we want it? Here’s a simple explanation. (Apparently, Vimeo’s embed code doesn’t like WordPress, so I’m linking now instead. Apologies for the extra click.)

For more on MyStrands reasoning behind joining, read Why MyStrands is joining the Data Portability Workgroup. For more on the Data Portability Working Group, visit dataportability.org.