Category: InnoTech

REMINDER: InnoTech and the SoMe Awards are Thursday. It’s not too late to attend… for free.

And every year, one of the first events out of the gates is InnoTech, the premier technology event for business folks in the Portland area.

It’s starting Portland. Our usual packed summer of tech events and camps that bring even more awesome people into town to share their ideas and concepts with the awesome people—like you—who call Portland home.

And every year, one of the first events out of the gates is InnoTech, the premier technology event for business folks in the Portland area. Thinking about going? Well you better get on that. It starts tomorrow, May 6. Read More

To blog or not to blog? Kirkpatrick and Bancroft answer that question (for corporations)

InnoTech 09To blog or not to blog? It’s a question with which any number of corporations wrestle. And today at the InnoTech eMarketing Summit, Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb and Josh Bancroft of Intel will answer that question—and likely many more about corporate communications, blogging, and microblogging sites like Twitter. (I’ll be on the panel as well, doing a lot of smiling and nodding.)

Here’s the basis of the discussion:

Whether out of curiosity or under pressure, you’ve likely started a company blog. Maybe you’re even letting employees blog. But making blogging a successful component of your organization’s communications and support programs? That’s another thing, entirely. Join this panel of panel of elite bloggers and microbloggers to learn how you can use blogs to increase transparency with your target market, create deeper and lasting relationships with your existing customers, and improve your company’s visibility on the Web. Attendees are sure to leave with both a renewed motivation to blog and specific steps for improving their organizations’ use of traditional blogs and new microblogging platforms.

The three of us will be providing our insight at 2 PM, today, in Portland Ballroom 256 at the Oregon Convention Center. So if you’re at InnoTech, we’d love to see you. For you Twitter types, the hashtag for the event is #emspdx.

Can’t come see us today? Well we can’t save you any… oh wait. That’s okay, but we’ll miss you. And I’d highly encourage to register to attend InnoTech on Thursday so that you can see Rahaf Harfoush talk about the Obama social media campaign.


Chatting with InnoTech keynote Rahaf Harfoush about Obama’s use of social media

Rahaf Harfoush (c) Jesse Morgan. Used with permissionThis Thursday, Rahaf Harfoush, Associate Director of the Global Cooperation Initiative at the World Economic Forum and part of the Obama campaign‘s social media team, will deliver the keynote for InnoTech, one of the Silicon Forest’s premier business and technology innovation conferences.

The keynote will be a great opportunity to hear Rahaf’s insights into how the Obama campaign embraced social media to affect political change—and will likely cause you to reassess your use of social media. No doubt, her talk will also include an early glimpse of some of the themes she’ll approach in Yes We Did: An Inside Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand, her upcoming book.

I had the opportunity to send Rahaf a few questions ahead of her arrival, and she was kind enough to take some time to answer. Here’s what we covered:

How did you get started in social media?

I have always loved technology. I guess I inherited it from my dad who is an avid science fiction junkie and technology always seems to represent unlimited potential and opportunity. I’m fascinated by how we use the web to interact and collaborate with each other. I love people and I love information and social media is the perfect combination of the two.

I don’t really remember when I got into social media, but I do remember it was before we called it social media. 😉

What brought you to the Obama campaign?

I was on the research and writing team for Don Tapscott’s book Grown Up Digital, and I was responsible for gathering research on technology, young people and the political process. My research took me to the very talented Chris Hughes, Obama’s Director of Internal Organizing who was designing a social network for the campaign.

I interviewed him and we hit it off. I was really inspired by what they were doing in Chicago and asked Chris if there was anyway that I could help. One thing led to another and I went down to Chicago for the last few months of the campaign as a full time volunteer. It was an awesome, empowering, thrilling experience.

Prior to your efforts, the strongest US online political campaign was championed by supporters of Howard Dean. What, if anything, did you learn from Dean’s efforts that informed the Obama campaign?

I think the Obama campaign heavily refined a lot of the strategies initially pioneered by Dean.

Dean was the first to use social networks (like Meetup) to organize supporters and start building the beginning of an online campaign infrastructure. He was also one of the first to experiment with online donations, particularly small amount donations.

The one main thing the campaign built on was the need for all of that online organizing to translate into offline action. This was where Dean’s campaign faltered, online enthusiasm did not turn into tangible votes or on-the-ground support.

Ultimately, everything the Obama campaign did online reinforced the need for offline organizing. Blog posts, contests, house parties, canvassing events the emphasis was always on getting supporters to get out of their house and into their communities on behalf of Barack.

(Prefacing this with the fact that a bunch of Portland people were essential to the development of the Obama iPhone app… 😉 ) In your opinion, what was the most unique use of social media in the Obama campaign?

Even if I didn’t know that, I would have to say the iPhone application. It was an extremely innovative foray into the yet untapped area of mobility. It effectively turned every iPhone into a fully functional field office. It allowed the campaign to stay connected to supporters in a very intimate way and ensured that they received the most up to date information.

That is very powerful to me. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface on what we can do with mobile.

If I had to pick a favorite social network for Portland, it would be Twitter, hands down. In both your work for the World Economic Forum and your personal life, within which social media site(s) do you find yourself most comfortable/engaged?

Twitter is my favorite too! [Editor: She’s @rahafharfoush.] I love my twitter community and I always find myself going to them for their opinions and advice.

For example, some people at the Forum were interested in identifying some thought leaders in particular industries. I asked my Twitter community and within minutes and over fifteen names of experts that had come recommended by people I trust and respect. You just can’t beat the speed or quality of information.

I am weary of this sudden mainstream appeal of Twitter, particularly those people that focus only on the number of followers. For me, it’s all about meaningful conversations. I’d take that over a big crowd any day!

Finally, a softball. I know you love to travel and explore. Have you been to Portland before? What would you like to experience while you’re in town?

I have never been to Portland before! I heard you have a beautiful waterfront. If the weather cooperates I would love to sit in a nice café with my new kindle and catch up on some reading and relax.

Thanks, again, to Rahaf for taking the time to provide those responses. I’ll be looking forward to seeing her speak on Thursday. If you’d like to join me, please register to attend InnoTech, this Wednesday and Thursday.

(Photo credit: Jesse Morgan. Used with permission.)


SoMe Awards slated to recognize social-media-eratti April 23

Social Media AwardsHey! Wow! Look at him now! It’s Zuckerman’s famous….

Oh wait. Sorry all that talk of “some awards” and social media—and who knows probably bacon—got me in the wrong frame of mind.

Let’s get back on track, shall we? We shall.

I just heard that registration is now open for the SoMe Awards, the social media awards running in conjunction with InnoTech, this month.

What are the SoMe Awards, you ask?

The Social Media Club of Portland, SEMpdx, the Software Association of Oregon (SAO), and InnoTech have joined forces to launch “SoMe Awards: Your Social Media Awards,” an award designed to recognize “outstanding social media projects and the people who created them.”

Categories include Superstar, House Party, Next Big Thing, Scrappy, Sugar Daddy, Bloviater, and Wildcard.

The event will be held on the evening of April 23 at Candy at 904 NW Couch (for the life of me, I couldn’t find a Web site for this joint). What’s that mean? That’s right. No social media award for them.

Cost? Admission will run you $15. But that gets you two drink tickets and some stuff on which to nom.

Interested? Act fast. There’s only room to wedge 230 folks in there—and no doubt word of the event is going to be proliferated through that-there social media—so please register for the SoMe Awards ceremony as soon as you can.

Wait a sec. Who got nominated? That’s forthcoming. When I know, you’ll know.



InnoTech Oregon 2008, Day 1

The first day of InnoTech Oregon 2008 is officially in the books. And from what I was able to surmise, it’s been a great event. Crowded sessions. Active discussions between the audience and the speakers. Even more active discussions in the hallways.

There’s some good energy in the crowd. And that crowd is pretty diverse. Lots of suits. And lots of tweets.

If you didn’t get a chance to make it over to the Oregon Convention Center today, bear in mind that today was the “light” day. On Thursday, there’s the keynote and the exhibit floor opens, not to mention a whole new slate of sessions.

If you get the chance, head on over.

Still not convinced? Well, here’s some of what you missed, today.

  • There was a very active Twitter contingent at InnoTech, filing 140-character reports and quotes from the event throughout the day. Read through the tweets that were tagged #inno on hashtags or search for “inno” TweetScan.
  • Dawn Foster “Why companies should have online communities
    “I’m here at Innotech this week, and this question came up on my panel about Online Communities. I wanted to share and elaborate on my answer to the question of ‘Why build an online community in the first place?'”
  • Jeff Hardison “Tech Marketing Professional Development: InnoTech
    “This morning, McBru CEO Kerry McClenahan and I participated in an InnoTech panel called Strategies for Planning and Building an Online Community as part of the conference’s eMarketing Summit. I really got a lot out of not only the insights from fellow panelists Dawn Foster and Barry Tallis of Jive Software, but also the audience questions.”
  • Mike Berkley “What the heck are Widgets? (And why I hate ‘widgets’)
    “I spoke on a panel today called ‘What the Heck are Widgets?’ I shared the stage with the VP Sales at eROI , the VP Biz Dev at KickApps (somewhat a competitor to SplashCast), and the VP Biz Dev at FlightStats.”
  • Andrew Hay “Understanding LINQ
    “Since I’m posting this in advance, I hope my session titled Understanding LINQ was a huge hit and everyone loved it. I’ve been working on the content for a while and its tough whittling it down to fit inside the specified time slots; there’s just so much cool stuff. I probably phat-fingered some keys once or twice, but hopefully I didn’t start my sentences with ‘So….’ too often or speak so fast that I made a whistling noise. I hope you enjoyed it.”
  • Peter Imbres “Thoughts from InnoTech
    “Just finished my panel at InnoTech in Portland a few hours ago and it went really well. I’m glad I got there early to gauge the audience a little because it turned out that they were much more social media savvy than I originally thought.”
  • Bill Winett “Innotech
    “Went to Innotech today. Glad I did.” (Includes session recaps)

Is your InnoTech write-up missing? Add it to the comments below and I’ll be sure to add it to the list.

And, of course, be expecting a similar round-up, from me. tomorrow.

For more information on InnoTech, Thursday’s agenda, or the speakers mentioned above, please visit InnoTech Oregon.

InnoTech Oregon 2008 is imminent

It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost time for InnoTech Oregon 2008, the first big tech event of the year for Portland. Sean Lowery, who organizes the event, is feeling the same way:

After 6 months of planning and preparation InnoTech happens this week, April 16-17 at the Oregon Convention Center. It seems like just weeks ago it was October and we had the first planning meeting for the NW CIO Summit, now after months and months of calling, emailing and planning, InnoTech Oregon is here. I won’t bore you again with how great this event is going to be, but with 100+ speakers, 2000 attendees, 90+ technology demos and must attend networking you can’t go wrong.

You can always check the InnoTech has a mobile conference guide to find sessions to attend. Me? I’m really looking forward is the Open Source track:

[Dawn Foster] will also be moderating a panel about Open Source Communities on April 17th with some amazing panelists and open source rock stars: whurley, Stormy Peters, Danese Cooper, and John Mark Walker. The session is part of an all day open source tracking being organized by Raven Zachary.

If you haven’t registered yet, the folks at InnoTech have offered a 25% discount to all of you Silicon Florist readers. So, if you’re considering attending, please take advantage of it:

Discounted InnoTech Oregon Conference & Exhibits Pass includes Breakfast Presentation with Don Tapscott, Author, WIKINOMICS, at the reduced rate of $45.00 per person ($60.00 per person standard price.) Click to select INNOTECH GENERAL REGISTRATION and enter Discount Code SIL45D to confirm your place at the breakfast.

If you’re already planning to attend and you happen to be on Twitter, I’m planning to hashtag my InnoTech related tweets as “#inno” and I would encourage you to do the same. (If you’re not already following hashtags on Twitter, you’ll need to do that in order for your tweets to be tracked by that service.) When you tag tweets , I’ll make sure to include your twittered insights in any roundup posts.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

InnoTech Oregon 2008: Too much good stuff

InnoTechI’ve been watching the InnoTech Oregon Conference grow into its own over the past five years. And while I was always close to attending (I think I may have even registered, last year), I never quite found the time to make it.

This year, I’m making time to attend.

I’ve always found InnoTech interesting because of its variety. Traditional business and cutting-edge technology. Green tech and CIOs. Non-profits and eMarketing. To me, it has the opportunity to be one of the few annual tech events that truly helps start and continue conversations among the different groups that work and live in Portland and the surrounding areas. Be those groups factions of the same business or complementary businesses working together.

In fact, there’s so much happening at the conference, I’m going to have to break it into multiple blog posts.

But I wanted to start with this. The folks at InnoTech have offered a 25% discount to all of you Silicon Florist readers. So, if you’re considering attending, please take advantage of it:

Discounted InnoTech Oregon Conference & Exhibits Pass includes Breakfast Presentation with Don Tapscott, Author, WIKINOMICS, at the reduced rate of $45.00 per person ($60.00 per person standard price.) Click to select INNOTECH GENERAL REGISTRATION and enter Discount Code SIL45D to confirm your place at the breakfast.

There is literally a busload of interesting speakers at this thing. But I wanted to highlight some of the Silicon Forest startup types, especially, like:

Look for more information from me as we get closer to the actual event. But if this post has piqued your curiosity, please take advantage of the “SIL45D” discount code at registration.

For more information, visit InnoTech Oregon.