Category: Oregon

Calagator, the PDX tech calendar, snaps to life

Calagator, the community project designed to give Portland one tech calendar to rule them all, has quickly begun to show signs of progress. In fact, events have begun populating the calendar already.

How is this possible? Well, in addition to a bunch of hard work by a bunch of talented folks, this rapid development is thanks in no small part to the Calagator team’s choice to adopt microformats for importing event information, specifically hCal.

So let the importing (and bug reporting) begin!

For more information on importing your Portland tech events into Calagator, see the Calagator blog.

BarCamp Portland 2008 dates announced

It’s still three months off, but I’m happy to report that BarCamp Portland, our local BarCamp gathering, has announced the dates and location for the 2008 event: May 2-4 at CubeSpace.

Tech + Geek + Culture. The event for the Portland tech community, produced BY the Portland tech community. Interesting topics, cool people, and great networking opportunities. Always free to attend.

BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants.

The name BarCamp was inspired as a complement to FooCamp.

BarCamp Portland is managed by the Legion of Tech (the same great folks behind Ignite Portland). For more information, visit BarCamp Portland. To RSVP, visit the BarCamp Portland on Upcoming.

Additional BarCamp Portland coverage can be found on Dawn Foster’s Fast Wonder blog.

Portland Startup Weekend, May 23 – 25, 2008

I am happy to report that details on Portland Startup Weekend have just been announced. The event will be held May 23-25, 2008, at SMtvMusic.

Portland Startup WeekendNow, that’s not only Memorial Day weekend, it’s also pretty darn close to WebVisions 2008, which runs May 22-23, 2008, in Portland.

Oregon-native and Startup Weekend organizer, Andrew Hyde, has promised that he has a few surprises up his sleeve for this one.

I, for one, am looking forward to doing whatever I can to make this event a success for Startup Weekend—and Portland. And I hope you’ll join the fun.

(To help promote this event, feel free to use the Startup Weekend badge above.)

Just as Portland has made Ignite Portland an overwhelming success and promises to make Lunch 2.0 a Portland-flavored affair, I’m sure we can show the Startup Weekend folks how Portland puts its own unique spin on these types of events.

Tickets for Startup Weekend Portland will be sold here for $40. This is really a RSVP cost, and you will receive your fair share of food, swag and memories. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring a meal, shirts or massive amounts of caffeine, email sponsor@startupweekend.com.

For more information, see Portland Startup Weekend. To reserve your spot at Portland Startup Weekend, buy a ticket.

Grabb.it releases API, documentation

Portland-based Grabb.it, the music service that helps users share and rate MP3s, has announced the release of a rich RESTful API for accessing its data.

The primary resource type Grabb.it makes available is the playlist. We make playlists available in many formats, at many endpoints. We also have a few methods to manipulate and generate playlists. This document details the formats, endpoints (access urls) and uses of Grabb.it playlists.

Documentation on the API is available on a new Grabb.it API Google Group. For more information, visit Grabb.it.

SplashCast reports metrics, hits the 200 million views mark

Portland-based SplashCast, makers of the media widget that allows anyone to create their own channels of content, has just crossed the 200 million views mark, rapidly eclipsing the 100 million views mark they hit just nine weeks ago.

Another impressive metric, SplashCast is reporting that they have more than 8.5 million unique users.

“That likely puts SplashCast in the top 20 of widget providers on comScore’s widget metrix chart,” said Mike Berkley, CEO of SplashCast.

For more information, visit SplashCast.

Ignite Portland hits the mainstream press

We’ve been waiting for this to hit, and now it has.

I couldn’t be happier to announce that Ignite Portland has gotten real ink (as opposed to the pixels I dedicate to the subject [Full disclosure: Silicon Florist is a sponsor of Ignite Portland 2.]) in The Oregonian. Not only that, it’s front page news. Well, front page of the Living section. But that’s a front page. And front page is front page in my book.

Ignite — a Seattle invention that spread worldwide — came to Portland last fall courtesy of several self-described geeks in their 20s and 30s. They knew each other through the social networking site Twitter and techie workshops called BarCamp. If they thought Ignite was cool, the group figured, so would some other Portlanders.

Boy, did they. Response was so overwhelming, the Ignite crew plans to host quarterly events — starting now.

As always, news quickly percolated throughout the Portland Twitter crowd. And Dawn Foster has announced the article in Fast Wonder, with pictures by Scott Kveton:

w00t! We made the front page of the living section in the Oregonian with a really nice write-up about Ignite Portland. You have to buy the Saturday paper edition to get the full write-up. I’m curious what this will do for RSVPs?

The Q&A style article has many members of the Legion of Tech—the force behind the event—chiming in to round out the picture of Ignite Portland and its purpose. Quoted are Josh Bancroft, Audrey Eschright, Dawn Foster, Todd Kenefsky and Raven Zachary.

Raven Zachary has covered the coverage on the Ignite Portland blog, including additional folks who also deserved recognition:

[T]he print version is worth the trip to the store to buy a copy for $0.50. There are a few people whose names were not mentioned in The Oregonian article who have been a big help with Ignite Portland planning – Scott Kveton, Adam Duvander, Aaron Hockley, Ann Marcus, the rest of the board of Legion of Tech, Renny Gleeson, and a whole host of volunteers who help from crowd control to cleanup and everything else that needs to be done to make Ignite Portland operate smoothly. Thank you!

And, Banana Lee Fishbones sums up the appeal of Ignite Portland very nicely in her coverage on Metroblogging Portland:

Specifically in Portland this event has a great story: Some geeks from here were in Seattle for a conference that happened to coincide with the Seattle Ignite event. They went and loved it. When they got home they thought, “Why don’t we do something like that here?” and they went out and did it. And it was good. And it is stuff like this that makes me love living here. “Hey that would be cool, let’s do that!” and then DOING IT. Not sitting around bitching that nobody else is doing it for them.

To read the print article in pixels, see “What’s on your mind? You’ve got five minutes…” from The Oregonian, Saturday, January 26, 2008.

And perhaps most importantly… Obviously this increase is exposure will have an impact on the number of attendees. Please make sure to RSVP if you’re planning to attend.

BREAKING: Portland Startup Weekend

Just a quick note to let you know that your votes for have counted. Portland now has a Startup Weekend of its own.

Thanks to all of you have taken the time to vote. I think this could be a really interesting event for Portland and our community.

Details are still slim, but the date is set for the weekend of May 23 – 25.

More as details become available.

For more information, visit Startup Weekend.

Lunch 2.0 comes to Portland

Sometimes, there are people at a cool company with whom you would really like to meet. But maybe they’re the competition. Or it’s hard to get on their schedule. Or you’re just not the kind of person to hit them up for lunch.

Lunch 2.0 was designed to solve this problem. An event started down in the Silicon Valley—where churn can be exceptionally high—Lunch 2.0 is designed to give colleagues an opportunity to stay in touch. No matter where they’re currently employed.

We read about these companies in the blogs, and we use their products, and we’d probably all love to see how these companies and people live and work, but we don’t. Even though they’re like 5 minutes away from us, and they’re full of people just like us that would love to see how we live and work too!

And now, Portland’s Jake Kuramato of Oracle Apps Lab is working to bring Lunch 2.0 to Portland.

The inaugural Portland Lunch 2.0 will be held Wednesday, February 27 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM at the AboutUs offices, located at 107 SE Washington Street, Suite 520 in Portland.

Here’s hoping you take this opportunity to spend some time with a number of Portland bloggers, entrepreneurs, and just darned interesting folks. I’m planning to be there, if schedule permits. And I hope to see you there. RSVP for Portland Lunch 2.0 on Upcoming.

Portland Topic o’ the Day: XMPP

Seems like I couldn’t read a Portland feed today without encountering a reference to Portland-based Jive Software’s Matt Tucker and his post on XMPP, entitled “XMPP (a.k.a. Jabber) is the future for cloud services.”

It even hit the front page of Digg.

And finally it sunk in: if everyone in Portland is blogging about it, maybe, just maybe, it’s important.

First off… What is XMPP? The acronym stands for eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. To be simplistic, think of it as XML for IM and buddy lists. (You don’t read this blog for the brilliance of my technical mind—and if you do, I have a few things to say to you—so if you’re interested in more, you could read Wikipedia’s XMPP entry or you could visit the XMPP Standards Foundation.)

But the buzz, today, is all about its potential.

In his post, Matt asserts:

[C]loud services aren’t real-time, won’t scale, and often can’t clear the firewall. So, it’s time we blow up those barriers and come to Jesus about the protocol that will fuel the SaaS models of tomorrow–that solution is XMPP (also called Jabber) . Never heard of it? In just a couple of years Google, Apple, AOL, IBM, Livejournal and Jive have all jumped on board.

Dawn Foster, also of Jive Software, continues the thread in her Fast Wonder post, “How XMPP (Jabber) Can Do So Much More Than IM,” mentioning:

I think it is about time we moved beyond the old model of polling and into new, more efficient paradigms. As we come to expect real time, always available tools on the web, we should be thinking about using real time collaboration technologies (like XMPP).

Justin Kistner of Metafluence and Beer and Blog highlights the post, as well. And, word around the campfire is that Portland-based blogger, Marshall Kirkpatrick, is working on a post about it. (Which I’ll link up as soon as it hits.)

As promised, Marshall Kirkpatrick has published a very thoughtful and insightful piece on the XMPP discussion, entitled “Could Instant Messaging (XMPP) Power the Future of Online Communication?” which includes both arguments for:

Ask yourself what a decentralized, open source infrastructure for real time communication could offer. A lot. As an RSS-head, I’d love to see XMPP let my various RSS clients do more faster and get bogged down in fewer unnecessary activities. RSS is all about speed for me but clients can only do so much so often when they have to pester someone else’s server every time they want to check for new information. Those delays can be of real consequence.

And against the potential of XMPP:

First, so much of what’s already been developed is web-centric, based on http, that the options for mashup-fodder are relatively limited for XMPP….The second argument against this rosy picture of the future could be that open standards-based technology falls outside the profit model of many larger companies. If one vendor can corner their respective model with proprietary technology and charge a monopolist’s premium for superior service, then a standards based competitor will have their work cut out for them.

So, Portland—open source mecca we are—seems pretty excited about the potential here. Just a heads up for you, gentle reader, that XMPP might be in your future. Best get up to speed by reading the XMPP post that started the discussion.

Watching the Watcher watching Portland

Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher has a recent post that touches on an interview with Hideshi Hamaguchi and Toru Takasuka of Portland-based startup Lunarr. (You may also remember Hideshi for his presentation, “How to live like Japanese in Portland” at the first Ignite Portland.)

What struck me about “Portland’s High Tech Community And The Space To Think” was this little gem:

When I met with them four months ago, I asked why did they choose Portland as the home base for Lunarr, why not Silicon Valley? After all, there are many companies moving to Silicon Valley every day/week to become part of the great conversation that goes on here.

They said that Portland allowed them to think.

Yes, I know it’s in the headline, too. I get that. I’m just a little dense. Apparently, I need more time to think.

The post also touches on Portland on Fire, Raven Zachary’s side project that introduces us to one interesting Portlander a day. A side project which, coincidentally, is always looking for new folks to profile. So head on over there, and participate.

To read the post in its entirety—and to learn why Portland may be a better place for startups than the Valley—visit “Portland’s High Tech Community And The Space To Think

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