Category: HowTo

Common sense isn’t common: Ryan Carson of Carsonified shares his startup insights

You may remember Ryan Carson from his startup DropSend—which has devolved into something much uglier than when he ran it—or maybe from Carsonified or Think Vitamin. Whatever the case, Ryan has an entrepreneurial bent. And a record for success.

Now, he’s sharing some of the things he’s learned about building and running startups. For free. That’s right. Sixty minutes of free insights on “How to Build a Startup.” Read More

Ignite Portland 6: Tips and tricks or How to get the most out of your Ignite night

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.

[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

Only you can prevent bloglessness

Smokey says Only YOU can prevent bloglessnessBlogs. Everyone has one. Or do they?

Living in the bloggy world that you do, it may come as a shock to you that—are you sitting down?—many intelligent, thoughtful, and opinionated individuals are currently without a blog of any sort today. In fact, some of them don’t even read blogs, let alone publish them.

I know! WTF?

There, there. Wipe away that tear, sunshine. We’re looking to avert this tragedy. In Portland, at least.

Thanks to the good folks at Beer and Blog, we’ve got End Bloglessness, a half-day workshop designed to get even the most neophytic luddite up-and-blogging in no time flat. And as is common in the Portland Web tech scene: it’s all free.

Bloggers and would-be bloggers of all skill sets are welcome. Just show up Saturday, January 10 at CubeSpace. From noon until 5 PM, you’ll be walking through the entire blog setup process, everything from installation through promotion.

We are focusing on launching WordPress blogs for this workshop. We’re also focusing on self-hosted blogs, so you’ll need a hosting plan and your access information with you at the workshop to get assisted help. Owning your own hosting account, and therefore your blog, is important and the reason we want to do this workshop is to expand access to blog ownership to more people.

By the time you leave the workshop, you’ll have a blog that is ready to go and some direction on how to connect with other local bloggers. We are expecting people from all skill levels, including the technically challenged. Everyone will be treated with respect and will be encouraged.

Or, if you’re interested in hearing more, swing by Beer and Blog, this Friday at the Green Dragon.

Remember, only you can prevent bloglessness.

Visit Upcoming to RSVP for End Bloglessness or this Friday’s Beer and Blog.

Creating community: Tips from the community master, Dawn Foster

Today, creating a vibrant and interactive community around your product or organization can be the difference between unheralded success and unimaginable failure. And no one knows that better than Portland’s Dawn Foster, one of the leading authorities on the subject.

Dawn has just completed a series of posts on corporate communities that is a must read for anyone attempting to work online with customers.

What’s a corporate community, you ask?

Corporate communities refer to any custom community created by an organization for the purpose of engaging with customers or other people who may be interested in the organization’s products and services. For the purpose of this post, custom corporate communities include communities created by corporations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and similar organizations. These corporate communities can take many different forms: support communities, developer communities to help developers work with your products, customer and enthusiast communities, and many others.

See? I told you. How could you not fit in there?

So grab a cup of coffee (or some bubble tea if you want to be even more like Dawn) and dive into this great series of posts:

  • Custom Corporate Communities: Planning and Getting Started
    Before jumping in to create a new community, you should think carefully about the purpose of this new community including your goals and objectives, fitting your community efforts into your organization’s overall strategy, measuring success, and committing the resources required to make your community flourish.
  • Maintaining a Successful Corporate Community
    I decided to follow up my post on Monday about Custom Corporate Communities: Planning and Getting Started with this post containing tips about what to do and what to avoid doing if you want to have a successful corporate community. While some of these tips are specific to corporate communities, most of them also apply to other types of communities as well.
  • A Structure for Your Corporate Community
    I thought that it would be a good idea to also spend a little time on the things that you should be thinking about when coming up with a structure for your community. It is important to keep in mind that every community software package is likely to have unique strengths and limitations when it comes to configuring your community. From a design and architecture perspective, I strongly recommend looking at this strengths and limitations of the platform and taking them into account before starting any design or architecture work.
  • Promoting Your Community Efforts the Right Way
    In this final post for the corporate community series, we will spend some time on the right and wrong ways to promote your community efforts. Some of this advice also applies more broadly to promotion of other social media efforts as well.

For more from Dawn, head on over to Fast Wonder Blog.

OSCON 2008: Prepping for Portland, Oregon

Portland skyline at night

We here in Portland, Oregon, like to think of our town as the de facto hub of open source and open web technologies. I mean, Linus Torvalds lives around here, so does Ward Cunningham.

And, that’s not all. We’ve got the OpenID contingent with Vidoop and JanRain, too. What’s more, Portland is home to a bunch of cool open source shops and developers. Oh, and don’t forget, we used to host RailsConf, too.

But there’s one little get-together that causes our collective open source head to swell ever so slightly. And that event is just around the corner.

OSCON 2008, the premiere open source conference, will be again gracing Portland with its presence, beginning July 21. And with it, thousands of open source types will be descending upon town. No doubt, many of them will be wondering, “What the heck am I supposed to do when I’m not in sessions?”

Have no fear, open source aficionado! There are a few activities with which you can keep yourself entertained, a handful of establishments where you can slake your thirst, and a joint or two where you can get your fill of vittles.

As you’re planning your trip to Portland, here are some links that might help:

  • Hacking PDX: A geek’s guide to Portland International Airport
    “We have a great airport with plenty of features that just about any traveler could need. But, despite all its ease-of-use, there are always a few tips-and-tricks that make the experience that much better.”
  • Falling in love with Portland, again and again
    “This is the beginning of a fantastic renaissance period for Portland. It’s such a vibrant, eclectic, talented and diverse city with so many things going on, that it inspires the mind and spirit around every corner you turn.”
  • Amy Winkelman says “Hi Vidoop, Welcome to Portland!” (An extensive primer on the Rose City)
    “As a native Oregonian and fanatic Portlander, I love recommending things to new folks visiting the city.”
  • What to do in Portland while you’re at RailsConf (or OSCON)
    “If you’re attending RailsConf this year and are from out of town, you might be like me when you’re in another city: I don’t really find much outside of the touristy areas, or what’s immediately around where I’m staying. But you’re in luck! I live here in Portland, Oregon and I have a list of places to go and things to do that I think are quintessential Portland.”
  • Portland’s top 30 tech Twitter-ers
    “And that got me thinking. I began to wonder: Who is at the top of the Twitter heap when it comes to Portland startup and tech types? Who has the most ‘influence’? Who is the holder of the mythical ‘Twitter juice’?”

Still feel like you need some help? Drop a comment here, or feel free to ping me on Twitter. Or look for me at OSCON. I’d be happy to answer any Portland questions for you.

Whatever your question, rest assured that Portvangelists are standing by.

Photo courtesy Matt McGee used under Creative Commons.

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