One of the consistent Portland themes I always mention is the concept of “accidental entrepreneurship.” By that I mean, the innumerable creative folks in town who were inspired to build something to solve a problem they had simply for the sake of solving it. And then someone or someones said, “Hey, I’d pay for that.” And suddenly, they’re a startup.
[HTML2]As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, Portland will be hosting the inaugural LinuxCon in a few weeks. Linux Plumbers Conf 2009 will be held in Portland the same week. And then there’s those Fake Linus Torvalds folks.
That’s a lot of Linux. And what’s one of our favorite things about Linux—and for that matter open source in general? That’s right, for people with knowhow, it’s a great way to adopt great technology for little to no cost. If only that same knowhow could get you into LinuxCon with little to no cost.
Well, now it can. But you have to act fast. Read More
For many Portlanders, there are few things that taste better than a cool local microbrew on a hot summer day. In fact, I can really only think of one thing that might top that: making that beer free.
[HTML2]Sometimes this content is so easy, it practically writes itself. Especially when I’m just repeating stuff I’ve written before. But it bears repeating.
So you’ve reached that special time in your life. And you’re headed to Ignite Portland 6, tonight. Exciting isn’t it? You may be experiencing some funny feelings about Ignite. That’s natural.
Rest assured, we want your Ignite experience to be as fun and rewarding as possible. So whether this is your 23rd Ignite event or your first, here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of Ignite Portland 6. Read More
[HTML2]If you’re like me, you love a good game of hide-and-seek. Or hide-n-seek. And like me, you may also be a big fan of the iPhone. Perhaps even—and this would be the trifecta—you, like me, may have spent a minute or two on Twitter. If so, you may be thinking what I’m thinking. What’s that? Well, I’m always thinking, “If only could I combine my affection for the iPhone and Twitter with the joy of hide-and-seek? If only….”
Well, thanks in part to Portland’s Nate “@xolotl” Angell, some ghost naming from Heather “@twigz” Angell, and illustrations by Brett Forman of a novel design—and of course tons of brilliant coding by John Ellis who doesn’t happen to be in the Silicon Forest… yet—that dream of Twitter and iPhone and hide-and-seek goodness has become a reality.
[HTML4]It’s always great to see Silicon Forest companies giving back to the community. Especially given our current economic conditions. And with Oregon running neck and neck with Michigan for the #1 ranking in unemployment, every little bit helps.
[HTML4]For some, the hardest part of building a business plan is simply getting started. For others, it’s like doing taxes. It seems like it should be simple, but they want to make sure they don’t miss any steps. Others don’t even know where to begin.
That’s where products like Eugene-based Palo Alto Software’s Business Plan Pro can help by providing startups with guidance and instruction on building their business plans. And now, for one day only—July 1, 2009—Palo Alto software will be giving you the opportunity to get that assistance for free. Read More
But see, here’s the thing: I’d like to see you get something for nothing. Because I like you.
Portland-based SplashCast—which has gone through any number of interesting permutations as they worked to find a revenue model for their technology—has just announced that they will no longer be supporting free user-generated channels. The decision had to be a tough one, given that it was this community groundswell that brought the service to the attention of its current customer base: media companies and advertisers.
Over the past several months, we’ve been less and less focused on our “free” product, that is, the user generated channels. While we have well over 100,000 publishers, we simply haven’t been dedicating attention and resources to this part of the business.
All successful startup companies must focus. SplashCast is no different. Therefore, we have decided to discontinue our user generated content product as of February 11. We want to give our loyal (and brilliantly creative) users a chance to find other services that meet their needs.
While I’m sad to see this free service disappear—especially when it comes to rounding up Ignite Portland presentations—I can appreciate where SplashCast is trying to go. And while it would have been great to see them offer a pay version of the user-generated content service, there were likely some legal ramifications of SplashCast making money off of people repurposing other people’s intellectual property.
Suffice it to say, while this is a painful announcement for those early users and supporters of the service, this has been—obviously—a long time coming. Better to see SplashCast gnaw off a proverbial leg to escape the trap, then go down with the ship. To completely mix metaphors.
Things are tough all over. SplashCast isn’t alone in reducing its free offerings to the benefit of the business. A couple of little companies of which you may have heard, Google and Yahoo!, are among the thousands of companies that have been going through similar slimmings to deal with the current economy, as well.
Finding focus is terribly difficult for any company—especially when it comes at the expense of faithful users. But it would be nice to see SplashCast sticking around. And if they have to forego their free services to do it? So be it.
Well, next week at OSCON here in Portland, you may be able to make that dream come true. Because it seems that the nice—or is that sadistic?—folks at Sourceforge are offering to ink you up with your favorite open source icon—for free.
That’s right. Ten lucky winners will get the opportunity to go under the needle to make their ass officially open source. Well, or their arm or leg or what have you:
We are looking for people that are willing to sign up for a tattoo and show it off at the CCA party later on in the week. Only requirements – participants have to be able to meet with Ross Turk, Sourceforge’s Community Manager, at the beginning of the week to get the gift certificate, they have to sign a couple waivers (one for the tattoo parlor and one for Sourceforge), the tattoo has to be open source themed or techy in nature, and they have to show up at the CCA party Thursday night.
I’m not sure exactly which tattoo studio is going to be doing the work, but given that it’s going to be one near the Jupiter Hotel, I’m going to assume that it’s Colorbomb Tattoo with the drawing honors.
Is your interest piqued? You willing to take the pain all for love of open source? Maybe you should contact Ross at Sourceforge and let him know: rturk at corp.sourceforge.com.
And please, oh please, if you’re crazy enough to do this—and (and!) you happen to get picked—do let me know.
What’s that? Tats not your pot of ink? That’s okay, kiddo. There are still plenty of cool things to do in Portland while you’re at OSCON.
Photo credit vonguard used under Creative Commons