This evening, I had the honor to take a little walk down memory lane with the folks at Portland Web Innovators as we took a little time to reflect of the cool accomplishments of the Portland Web and Open Source startup community over the last 12 months.
It was kind of like signing yearbooks. A lot of nostalgia and a lot of kind words. And—of course—a lot of tweets.
I wanted to thank everyone who took time out of their schedules to come hang out and chat about our past and our future. And to those who took the opportunity to hang out online.
Here’s a quick round-up of what I’ve got at this point. I’ll add more as it rolls in, and as always, your comments are welcome.
Thanks so much to Bram Pitoyo for streaming this video and moderating the chat room. (NOTE: There’s a bit of a hiccup at about 90 seconds into the presentation. If you wait, it comes back. Or you can click into the timeline to kickstart the video again.)
I’m holding a contest. Count how many times I say “amazing” during this presentation and post it in the comments. You could win… um… I don’t know. Something.
We managed to accumulate quite a few tweets. You’ll be happy to hear that I managed to resist the urge to tweet during the presentation.
In reverse chronological order: #pdxwi 1, #pdxwi 2, #pdxwi 3, #pdxwi 4, #pdxwi 5, #pdxwi 6, #pdxwi 7, #pdxwi 8, #pdxwi 9, and #pdxwi 10.
Sites I mentioned
And some folks have already taken the time to post about the event:
- State of Portland Tech – Web Innovators Live Stream and Event Recap
“Rick Turoczy (Silicon Florist) lead a discussion about the Portland tech scene heading into 2009. Where are we now, how did we get here and where do we want to go?”
- Portland Tech Community
“Over the last year, I’ve written several emails to people moving here describing different events to attend and at those events introduced people new to the area to others in the Portland Tech Community. Despite the fact that I had found myself doing that multiple times, I never really thought about it as a need. I just considered it some ways part of being a good host for the town I grew up in…. But there is a clear need. If someone doesn’t know to ask or whom to ask, they may never find their connection.”
- The Year in Retrospect, the Year to Come
“One of the things Rick declined to do was talk much about the ‘why’ – what’s the secret sauce that makes the Portland tech community a community and not some loose aggregation of companies and coders? Why is there such a drive to connect here, while other communities with equal opportunities just don’t work as hard? And most importantly, why is community so important to Portlanders, and what are local companies of all types and from all industries doing to connect and generate a sustainable economics through close attention to community members, the locality, the exigent needs of the people? What does innovation look like in tough circumstances?”
Last week marked the debut of Portland Web Innovators “Demolicious,” an opportunity for folks to provide a quick demo of some of the new apps and side projects on which they’ve been working.
The event was well attended and has been extremely well covered by Amber Case, Doug Coleman, organizer Adam DuVander, Dawn Foster, and Bram Pitoyo.
So I’m going to do what I do best and
steal round-up their content:
Matt King demoed the Interface Content Management Framework (Pre-release)
- Matt King: “It’s a content management system for content management systems.”
- Amber Case: “Watching King make a website is like watching a chef make something, put it in the oven, pause the camera, and take it out again, completely finished. Except there’s no baking time.”
- Doug Coleman: “For someone like myself that is interested in building content managed sites, this is cool. It should make my life easier. I will look for it when it is released.”
- Dawn Foster: “It’s a pretty slick DIY, highly customizable CMS.”
Don Park demoed Do-it-yourself Friendfeed: An XFN spider. (Early release)
- Amber Case: “He’s working on solving the problem that everyone faces when they join social networks and have to re-enter all of their social connections.”
- Adam DuVander: “Try your Twitter page and see where it takes you.”
- Dawn Foster: “The spider is pretty cool, and I’m going to have to take a closer look at this. It also reminded me to finish adding my rel=”me” tags; I added a couple a while ago, but was distracted by something shiny and never finished adding them.”
I’ve had the opportunity to cover Green Renter before. It’s a service that helps people find green housing options in the Portland area.
- Amber Case: “The founders also own greenowner.com and are looking into develop that, but feel it is more important to really nail down a niche before going on to develop other things.”
- Doug Coleman: “Once again, Portlanders are leading the way in the whole ‘green’ movement.”
- Dawn Foster: “The goal is to be the resource for sustainable buildings starting in Portland, but expanding out to other areas.”
Metroseeq automatically find deals and coupons from local restaurants. The Wheel of Meals alone makes it worth a visit. And the recalibrating search algorithm makes is pretty cool, too.
- Amber Case: “The ability for users to be able to find information from both offline and online sources effectively is the difference between Citysearch and Yelp.”
- Doug Coleman: “Any product that grew from a college student’s free food association is alright in my book.”
GoLife Mobile allows developers to build apps for use on any Java-enabled mobile handset using GoLife’s framework.
- Amber Case: “It’s as semantic as a roving a meeting maker that negotiates meetups across dynamic time and space, as if the entire geography were a mobile, roaming office.”
- Doug Coleman: “Their built-in advertising generator automatically generates revenue for your applications and objects and shares it with you.”
- Dawn Foster: “It’s an object-oriented development framework with a revenue share built in to give developers a way to monetize their applications.”
And the most important part?
“As always, I am blown away by the things that are happening in the Portland Web Community,” wrote Amber Case. “Something amazing is happening in Portland. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everyone I meet is always working on something so interesting, and has an positive and innovative mindset on their shoulders. I’m eager to see what’s next.”
Doug Coleman echoes her response. “There are so many exciting things happening in Portland,” he writes. “I am happy to be part of such a thriving, creative and nurturing scene. I am looking forward to the next event put on by PDX Web Innovators.”
It’s like I always say. Everyone here has at least one side project; a side project that—anywhere else—would be a fully funded full-time job.
Cool stuff happening, to be sure. And that’s why I eagerly await the next Demolicious.
[Editor: Given the wealth of cool events happening in Portland on any given night, I thought it might be beneficial to have the people who drive these get-togethers give you their take on the events. “Why should you attend [whatever]?” So, with that, I introduce a new Silicon Florist series: Five Reasons]
Adam DuVander gives us five reasons we should all consider attending Portland Web Innovators.
- You enjoy topics that are a mixture of tech, design, and business.
- You like to learn about new projects and find collaborators
- You love building on the web, no matter what your job title is or what technology you use.
- You think about what can happen tomorrow, not what can’t happen today
- You want to learn from a live collaborative discussion between passionate people.
Sound like you? Well you’re in luck. Because the next Portland Web Innovators get-together is this week,
Tuesday (April Fools’!) Wednesday, April 2 at ISITE Design beginning at 7 PM. Entitled “Publishing Platform Wars!” the gathering will provide the opportunity to join the pdxwi types—the real users of these publishing systems—as they compare site publishing tools like Drupal, Bend-based ExpressionEngine, and WordPress.
To RSVP, visit Portland Web Innovators on Upcoming. For more information, visit (the spiffy new!) Portland Web Innovators.