Category: Oregon

OpenID ID Selector promises to make OpenID less geeky

This week, Portland-based JanRain will be unveiling their latest contribution to the OpenID community: a compelling means of simplifying OpenID logins for the everyday user called ID Selector. With ID Selector, JanRain has managed to reduce the complexity—and, well, geekiness—of the OpenID login process in the same way that products like AddThis have simplified the social-media-submission process.

JanRain OpenID ID Selector

Long story short, the ID Selector reduces your OpenID login to clicking an icon and providing a username. It’s a shrewd move, given that every OpenID provider has a standard structure for its URLs, a structure that allows JanRain to reduce the amount of user input to a traditional “username.”

JanRain has always done a great deal of the heavy lifting when it comes to working on OpenID and being open with the libraries they’ve developed. So they understand how to work for the greater good when implementing OpenID solutions.

Their take on the OpenID ID Selector is no different. It allows the folks who implement it to customize the providers that show and the order in which they are listed—even if that means JanRain’s MyOpenID doesn’t make the list.

This is yet another step forward for OpenID and its burgeoning user base. And, truly, one of the first ways I’ve seen that highlights to everyday Web users—millions of people who use services like AOL, Yahoo!, and Blogger—that they already have live OpenIDs which they could be using to manage services.

It’s great for users, but it could also mean some exciting developments for the companies who choose to become OpenID providers. Rafe Needleman of WebWare, for example, sees a simplified OpenID moving into the realm of loyalty programs:

Major sites, like portals, could still do a much better job pushing the OpenID concept. That would be good for them, not just because it’d make OpenID more accessible to users, but because there’s a lot of brand affinity that sites can win by having users authenticate against their sites even when they’re using some other company’s service. Think of OpenID branding as the affinity credit card of the Web: Every time a user logs on to a service they’d get the authenticator’s brand popped up in front of them — just like Harley-Davidson does when its Visa affinity card users make purchases.

JanRain, not surprisingly, gets this, and will provide a complete white-label OpenID technology infrastructure for companies or brands that want to become authenticators. So if you want to log on to Web sites with an ID from your alma mater or local Rotary club, JanRain will make that possible.

But we still have a ways to go, before we get there. Allen Stern of CenterNetworks is wondering if part of the problem might be the marketing of the “OpenID” name itself:

From my side, I am starting to believe that we don’t need to market the term ‘OpenID’ to consumers. No one cares about the technology, they only want to login to their favorite service using their AOL or Google id. It’s like TCP/IP, no one cares how it works, just that our email shows up in the inbox and Twitter loads when we want to tell our friends we just saw Britney at CVS.

Clearly, we’re not out of the geek forest yet. But JanRain is making significant strides to see that we’re on our way.

For more information, visit JanRain.

Interesting gigs from the Silicon Florist Gig board

Okay, okay. These are the only gigs on the Gig board, but that makes them interesting, doesn’t it? Sure it does.

Remember, if you’ve got a gig or 12 you’d like to post, feel free. Literally. Use the discount code freebie to post job openings, contract gigs, gigs you wish you had, internships, or whatever else.

Reminder: Meet OpenID developer David Recordon

If you’re like me, you’re a huge fan of the potential of OpenID. (Even though my current implementation continues to malfunction here on Silicon Florist. And that’s my fault, not OpenID.)

And while we get to chat with Scott Kveton, the Vidoop (and now ConfIdent) guys, and the JanRain folks on a regular basis, sometimes it’s nice to get to hear from some of the other leading voices in OpenID development.

That’s why I’m really excited for lunch on Monday with one of the original OpenID developers, David Recordon.

David currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the OpenID Foundation and works as the Open Platforms Tech Lead at SixApart. You may also remember him as a collaborator and editor of Brad Fitzpatrick’s “Thoughts on the Social Graph.”

And to keep this all on the up-and-up as far as Silicon Florist goes, Recordon has Portland ties, as well, having graduated from Catlin Gabel.

If you’ve got time on Monday, come on down to Huber’s for lunch to meet David, Kveton, and a number of other OpenID-o-philes. RSVPs are appreciated so that Huber’s has an idea of how many to expect.

For more information or to RSVP, see A Great Portland Geek Lunch on Upcoming.

Beer and Blog: Michael Sigler will make you pretty

[Editor: Due to a slight hiccup with ma.gnolia‘s autopublisher last night, some of the links meant for the “daily arrangement” didn’t quite make it through to you. This one was time sensitive, so I’m posting it manually.]

Just a reminder that today’s Beer and Blog will feature Michael Sigler, lead designer for Jive Software.

Everyone knows that a blog with no images is hell to read. We also know that many times a picture is worth a 1,000 words. As nice as all of that is, most of us are not designers. Well, Michael Sigler is going to show you some tips from the pros about how they make kick-ass images to make posts more inviting.

Rest assured, the irony is not lost on me that there is no image associated with this blog post. So I’ll be trying to make it.

As an added bonus, word is that Justin Kistner, Beer and Blog’s creator, and Sigler will be unveiling the new look and feel for Beer and Blog.

Beer and Blog begins around 4 PM at the Green Dragon. If you’re planning to attend, please RSVP for Beer and Blog on Upcoming.

Vidoop is ConfIdent, Portland gets two for one

I’ll have to admit that this one completely slid past me. But luckily I took the opportunity to swing by the Vidoop booth at InnoTech. At which point Kevin Fox and Michael Richardson brought me up to speed.

I blame myself.

When Scott Kveton announced he was joining Vidoop and opening a Portland office, I was pretty excited. Exciting young company. Cool technology. OpenID focus. All good things.

But I never imagined that Portland would be getting two companies out of the deal.

Meet one of Portland’s newest startups: ConfIdent Technologies, the Athena bursting from the head of Zeus spinoff, from Vidoop.

ConfIdent Technologies, a Portland, Oregon-based software technology company, has unveiled a revolutionary secure login authentication technology. RecognitionAUTH™ promises to change the face of Internet security with a new secure login solution that eliminates passwords, adding a layer of security that is more secure yet intuitive for users to understand, without requiring additional hardware.

But, just so you don’t completely hate me for missing the breaking news, I’ve got something else. I found it buried at the bottom of the Vidoop post, announcing the launch:

Both Vidoop and ConfIdent Technologies LLC will be based in Portland, Oregon.

Obviously, given my myopic view, this could easily be the most exciting part of the announcement. Portland getting a Vidoop office was great news. Portland getting to be Vidoop and ConfIdent Technologies headquarters? That’s a huge step forward for the town and the Portland startup community.

I’ll continue to track and report on this development as more information becomes available.

For more information on Vidoop’s spinoff and the technologies that fall under its purview, visit ConfIdent Technologies. For more on the parent company, visit Vidoop.

Now on tap: Portland Startup Drinks

Portland Startup Drinks: Not that they are going to be drinking beer out of a can mind youJust saw that Portland has launched its own chapter of Startup Drinks.

What’s Startup Drinks, you ask? Well, it’s another startup idea from the same folks who brought us—or more accurately will be bringing usStartup Weekend.

A simple concept: startup culture in cities around the world gathers around a bar to have a pint and discuss what they are working on, what they need help with and what they can do for each other.

Pints and startups? I, honestly, can’t think of anything more Portland than that. Well, okay, maybe Beer and Blog.

Here’s hoping that Portland Startup Drinks will add their get-togethers to Upcoming so we can track them in the Silicon Florist Upcoming group.

Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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.

Portland Start-up Index for April 2008: COLOURlovers debuts at #4

I’m happy to report that, once again, it’s time to take a look at my favorite apples-to-oranges comparison of the Portland startup scene, the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index. For me, it’s like having birthday every single month.

The biggest surprise this month? Two-time Webby nominee COLOURlovers has debuted on the Portland Start-up Index at #4, cracking open an otherwise static Top 5. The only other new addition is the Collaborative Software Initiative at #46.

Second biggest surprise? Pheedo jumped up 25 slots. Now that’s a “mover.”

But what’s happening with the other folks? Who’s moving up? Who’s moving down? Where do we stand?

Well, let’s take a look.

  1. AboutUs
  2. Discogs
  3. Kongregate
  4. COLOURlovers
  5. MyOpenID
  6. Earth Class Mail
  7. Splashcast
  8. Jive Software
  9. Sandy
  10. Pheedo
  11. Gone Raw
  12. eROI
  13. NetworthIQ
  14. Stikkit
  15. GadgetTrak
  16. Walker Tracker
  17. Attensa
  18. ChoiceA
  19. Art Face Off
  20. Active Reload
  21. Grabbit
  22. Pibb
  23. iovation
  24. UrbanDrinks
  25. Lunarr
  26. Rocketbook
  27. Iterasi
  28. WeoGeo
  29. FreeRange
  30. KnitMap
  31. GoLife Mobile
  32. fmyi
  33. Imindi
  34. Goboz
  35. VocalNation
  36. MomHub
  37. GoSeeTell
  38. Workplace2go
  39. Picktastic
  40. Jama Software
  41. Avnera
  42. Kryptiq
  43. Cendix
  44. Lightfleet
  45. Box Populi
  46. Collaborative Software Initiative
  47. Worldwide Nest
  48. Techchex
  49. Kumquat
  50. IDP Solutions
  51. YourList

For a details on the movement of each startup-list entity or to get more details on how the rankings are tabulated, visit the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index.

Scoble is right: Portland deserves more geek cred

Wow. Two Scoble mentions in one week. Who’d of thunk? (For those curious types, the other Scoble mention.)

Aaron Hockley shook me from my travel stupor, highlighting Scoble’s recent post “Israel: A country too far from Mike Arrington’s house” and advising me that the post was “perfect fodder for a Silicon Florist post. ”

He’s right. It is.

Scoble’s post is mostly about Israel. And, honestly, I have to agree with him. I had the opportunity to work with a Portland startup whose development team was in Israel. And I also got to work with some Israeli developers at another not-so-startup gig in Portland.

Scoble nails it. It’s an amazing tech scene over there.

But that’s not why I’m posting.

I’m posting because he also says this:

I’ve started noticing a trend: that the further away a tech area is from Silicon Valley the less respect that area will get…. Do you agree or disagree that people, companies, countries can get the respect and/or tech industry PR they deserve if they are far away from Silicon Valley?

And I can’t even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. How thrilled I am to hear this kind of thinking. You mean, there might actually be something interesting happening in technology outside of Silicon Valley? Do you think?

But, as to his question, that’s a bit more difficult. Because I honestly don’t know. It’s really, really hard to get folks in the Valley to pay attention to folks outside of the Valley.

There is a ton of noise down there. And what’s more, there’s always the potential for face-to-face meetings. There’s real, honest-to-goodness networking. Like the stuff we do around here with Portland Lunch 2.0, Ignite Portland, and BarCamp Portland.

But the access points are entirely different.

Down there, you have access to a bunch of people like Arrington, Scoble, Om Malik, Jerimiah Owyang, Jason Calacanis, Scott Beale… the list goes on and on. Up here? You can only bug Marshall Kirkpatrick for coverage about five to six times a week before he starts getting upset. (Trust me, I’ve tested this limit, time and time again.)

Now, Scoble’s been to Portland before, so I know he’s aware of some of the stuff happening up here. But he’s not here enough. We’re not connected enough.

Down there, there’s more potential:

I’ve noticed this when I visited MySpace: they were so excited when I visited because they say that tech bloggers never visit. I was thinking back to my own experiences. Yes, that’s true. Facebook employees regularly meet up with us at parties and dinners and conferences. We run into MySpace employees far less often. These personal connections turn into stories on blogs.

And yes, while it’s nice and quaint that I try to make sure your projects are getting coverage here on the little ol’ Silicon Florist blog, that’s only going to get us part of the way. And a small part of the way, at that.

Ideally, I’d really like to see Portland getting the credit it deserves—on a regular basis—in more well-read publications, like TechCrunch, Scobelizer, GigaOm, and ReadWriteWeb. And The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the San Jose Merc.

We’re on the right path. And the tide is starting to turn. But there’s still a long ways to go.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on how we can continue to grease the skids. What more can I be doing to help you? What more can we be doing as a community to get the startups here in Portland more of the attention they deserve?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Portland Lunch 2.0: Five reasons to host

Well, the second Portland Lunch 2.0 at eROI sounds like it was a rousing success. And I know the inaugural Portland Lunch 2.0 at AboutUs was a great gathering, as well.

So where are we going next? Word is that we might be headed over to Wieden + Kennedy. But, who else is going to host Portland Lunch 2.0?

Will we stay in Old Town? Or go back to the East side of the river? Will it be one of the companies founded in Portland? Or will it be one of the interesting new transplants here in town? Maybe one of the organizations supporting entrepreneurs and Portland development will want to get in on the act? Or maybe one of the coworking spaces will want to show off their illustrious digs? Or maybe—just maybe—it’s time for Silicon Florist to step up to the (lunch) plate?

So many questions I have. And so few answers.

Personally, just between you and me, I’m thinking that your company should be one of the next ones to host. I mean, don’t tell anyone I told you, but honestly, your company is one of my favorites here in town. And if you want to keep it that way, then maybe you should consider hosting. If you catch my drift.

Not enough to convince you? Fine.

Here are some reasons from Jake Kuramoto, the driving force behind Portland Lunch 2.0, as to why you should think about hosting sign up to host Portland Lunch 2.0:

  1. You have a kickass company, tech or otherwise.
  2. You want to promote your company to potential customers, partners, and employees.
  3. You attended a Lunch 2.0 in Portland or elsewhere and thought “that would rock at my company.”
  4. You really want to re/introduce your kickass company to Portland’s geeks and others, maybe in a sweet new office space.
  5. You read all the reasons why you should attend Lunch 2.0 and want to, but you’re chained to your desk during working hours.
  6. Bonus, you’re into karma and want to reciprocate the free lunches you got from AboutUs and eROI.

Ah ha. See? That’s more like it. Now that you’re interested in hosting Portland Lunch 2.0, please comment below, letting us know when it would be convenient for a throng of creative, intelligent, interesting, and, well, hungry Portlanders to descend upon your workspace.

I’m looking forward to seeing your office and hearing your pitch.

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