Category: Features

Positive changes for Iterasi PositivePress

Well, Portland-based Iterasi just raised its head again, this week, with some updates to its PositivePress product that should make it easier for non-techy types to use.

[Dear FTC, et al., In the interest of full disclosure and whatnot, Iterasi has been a client of mine in the past. I was not involved in this product enhancement in any way, shape, or form.]

One of the many things I love about the Portland startup scene is the whole “prairie dog” thing. No, not that prairie dog silly. No, not that one either. I mean how startups will pop up their proverbial heads with something cool and then immediately head underground to get to work on the next product or feature. Then, they’ll suddenly resurface again.

Well, Portland-based Iterasi just raised its head again, this week, with some updates to its PositivePress product that should make it easier for non-techy types to use. Read More

When you absolutely, positively need to push millions of iPhone messages in milliseconds: Urban Airship Priority Push

not only the small shops that appreciate their service. Some big folks are taking notice of what Urban Airship is doing, too. And as such, they’ve developed some new functionality to support messaging on a massive scale. Introducing Urban Airship Priority Push Service.

Now I know I go on and on and on about all of the cool iPhone app development that happens around these parts. At times, I even go so far as claiming we’re the de facto hub of that kind of stuff. But that’s not the only iPhone work that’s talking place around here. I mean, someone has to provide the underlying infrastructure that makes all of this cool stuff work, right?

Right. And that’s what the folks at Portland-based Urban Airship are doing. Providing the plumbing that makes those little iPhone apps as cool as they can be. Read More

Clicky releases new look for Spy real-time Web-traffic analytics

I want to know. And that’s why, real-time Web-traffic analysis like Portland-based Clicky’s Spy feature are especially addicting for me, as well. So imagine my surprise when the interface suddenly changed on me today—for the better.

[HTML3]Like many bloggers, I’m wee bit addicted to tracking and stats and whatnot. Who’s reading what? When are they reading it? What’s popular? What’s not? Does anyone really care?

I want to know. And that’s why, real-time Web-traffic analysis like Portland-based Clicky‘s Spy feature are especially addicting for me, as well.

So imagine my surprise when the interface suddenly changed on me today—for the better. Read More

Iterasi hints at fee-based product

So today, Iterasi hinted at something to satisfy that request: a fee-based version of the Iterasi service.

[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine. As such, I have been privy to discussions about this topic. While I have acted as a sounding board on the concept, I have not directly participated in the development or marketing of this product.]

Times are tough for everyone. Especially startups. So tough, that people are starting with the crazy talk. Crazy talk like “Gee I don’t know. Maybe we should actually pay to use that functionality?” This time, those crazy people are users of Portland-based Iterasi‘s currently free product who are interested in seeing the service sticking around.

Iterasi’s response? The customer—or would be customer in this case—is always right. Read More

Ignite Portland and Open Source Bridge lead to impressive OpenConferenceWare

Side project beget side projects. At least that’s the case with OpenConferenceWare, an impressive proposal and scheduling system developed Igal Koshevoy and Reid Beels.

While the name may of the system—affectionately dubbed OCW—may not be familiar to you, it’s pretty likely you’ve come into contact with it.

Why? Because It’s the system that Igal and Reid developed to help them manage a couple of other side projects with which they’ve been critical components: Ignite Portland and Open Source Bridge. Read More

BarCamp Portland: Proposed Adopt a Blogger/Adopt a Journalist session

Ooh. We’re getting close now. Just a few short days and we’ll be in the thick of the planning for BarCamp Portland—the unplanned unequaled unconference for discussing all things, tech or otherwise.

Even though the conference structure is deliberately unscheduled, it’s no secret that a lot of folks spend some time thinking up cool sessions that they can propose.

Which brings us to today’s post…

Read More

Why I spent $4000 to attend free events last year

Remember that other rant at which I was hinting in my last rant? No? Well whether your remember it or not, here we go.

I’ve been concerned lately. Bad economy. Tightening budgets. Volunteer run events relying on sponsors. Not exactly a proven recipe for success.

There’s the bigger volunteer-run events like the Legion of Tech events, Open Source Bridge, WordCamp Portland, and Beer and Blog—and then there are any number of smaller events like Portland Web Innovators, PDX Critique, Refresh Portland, PDX Wiki Wednesday, user groups, yadda yadda yadda. Read More

Dear Web startups: Buying local isn’t just for food

Every once in a while, I get something stuck in my craw that causes me to get up on my high horse. Sometimes I then convince that high horse to climb up on a soapbox. And then I take on a holier-than-thou stance and pontificate on something which has been irking me.

This would be one such occasion. (And, fair warning, there’s another one coming soon. [UPDATE] And here that rant is.)

Something has been bugging me. And if you’ve got a sec, I’d like to lay it all out there.

And to be candid, remember I’m only taking the time to bitch about it because I think we could be fixing something that would help the Web and mobile startups in the Silicon Forest get the recognition they so richly deserve.

And it’s really easy to fix. Read More

Strands continues to improve by listening to its users

When Corvallis-based Strands released their new lifestreaming service a few months back, I found it friendlier than FriendFeed, but not without its share of faults.

To its credit, the Strands team was open to criticism—taking its detractors head-on—and, as such, they continued to elicit tons of valuable feedback on ways to improve the service.

Now, you get the chance to see some of those improvements with the latest release of Strands.

Gone are the dark and constrained streams of information. Now, they’re open, legible, and much more inviting.

Strands new interface

It’s definitely a marked improvement. And one that will likely draw me back into a more participatory role. As opposed to my current use: allowing Strands to churn along—ignored in the background as it works at capturing my lifestream.

This update makes me want to get back into the fray. Because, now, it seems so much more usable.

And I’m not the only one.

Prominent blogger and FriendFeed proponent Louis Gray highlights the progress Strands has made, too:

While it hasn’t yet gotten the buzz of some other social aggregators and lifestreaming projects, Strands is quietly going about making a product on par with the market leaders, letting the community find new content and people, and enabling micro-conversations.

I couldn’t be happier to see Strands getting these kinds of strokes.

If you’re a current Strands user (and I know a ton of you in Portland and Corvallis are), I’d highly recommend heading back over to Strands to give it a second look.

If you’re interested in trying Strands, comment below and I’ll be happy to get you an invite. I’ve got about 13 left. First come, first served.

Urban Drinks adds happy hours within stumbling distance

[Insert prerequisite “more bars per capita” comment here], so it comes as no surprise that the happy-hour-location-service market is quite competitive here in PDX. To keep raising the—ahem—bar,  Portland-based Urban Drinks has just announced the addition of proximity intelligence to its service.

With Urban Drinks new feature, not only can you zero-in on a happy hour, but should it be too crowded—or worse yet, completely dead—you can now see the five happy hours within stumbling distance of your chosen locale.

For example, if you visit the soon to be Deschutes Brewpub at UrbanDrinks, you will see a list of five happy hours that are currently going on in the area. If no happy hours are currently happening at the time of your visit, then five happy hours that are going on later in the day will be provided. UrbanDrinks also plans on introducing an address field that will allow you to enter or bookmark your address to which a list of the closest happy hours will be displayed.

For more information or to try the service, visit Urban Drinks.

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