We had an exceptional audience tonight at DevGroup NW for my presentation on how to speed up web pages. There were a lot of good questions and an engaged audience. Thank you to everyone who showed up.
Currently in stealth mode but scheduled to launch in the coming weeks, Portland-based Imindi promises to bring the visual aspects of traditional mind-mapping software to a broader spectrum of activities. The aggressive product vision, outlined on the Imindi blog, has the product helping with everything from collaborative writing to collaborative search to social bookmarking.
At its foundation, the company describes the Imindi product as a “thought engine”:
The Imindi Thought Engine enables you to input your Thoughts and the semantic connections between them (Why, What, Where, When, Who, How) in a naturally radiant fashion with one thought radiating outward to one or many asoociated thought that themselves radiates outwards towards other thoughts which radiate outwards towards others and so on and so forth. The interface is essentially a visual map of your mind what we call a “Journey” here at Imindi.
The concept is interesting. But it is important to note that the visual aspect of the mind-map is not especially expansive—at least at this point. Currently, the Imindi product relegates the results to the first orbit, the items within direct connection of the central thought.
Personally, I’ve always found the value of graphic representations of the nature to be the orbits that are 3 to 4 steps away from the initial thought. This is where you start seeing the really interesting stuff happening.
With Imindi’s current product, you can definitely get to that point—one a click at a time– but as far as I can tell, you cannot currently see the entire universe or the path that led you to your current thought. [Update] The Imindi folks were nice enough to swing by and comment on the exact functionality I was seeking: expanded maps.
Obviously, is that it’s incredibly easy for me to sit here and pitch stones with no idea of how much work the algorithms and relationship logic actually took. So, while I criticize, I’d encourage you to take a look for yourself by visiting Imindi.
Imindi has received seed funding from Mind Fund of Portland.
As any small company or individual developer discovers, there are a number of requirements to “running a business” that often detract or steal time from your “building cool and useful stuff” time. And while many developers currently outsource these tasks to business-service professionals, the cost and time to manage those services and contractors can be equally draining.
There are lots of independent software developers and consultants in the Portland area, and while the technologies and applications vary wildly, there are probably some very common frustrations that could be aided under a co-op structure.
Sounds like an idea whose time has come. A sort of “Really Small Business Administration” to fill the gap for the market that the local SBA isn’t really designed to serve.
Just a reminder that the Portland Open Coffee meetup will be held, bright and early, at 10 AM on September 19. The meeting spot will be the Stumptown on Division.
According to Upcoming, there are currently a bevy of watchers and only a few attendees.
The OpenCoffee Club was started to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to organise real-world informal meetups to chat, network and grow.
Portland-based Platial, one of the original social-mapping and map-mashup sites, has announced that the latest build of their mapping tool has completed BETA testing and is now available to the general public.
While the most obvious changes are to the Platial interface, the most interesting part of the release—at least from my perspective—is that it marks the first build on the new Platial API.
It’s also the first major release on our new code framework Chris and Jake developed using our new api which Chris pretty much single handedly created
Some stability issues have been addressed under the hood, as well:
The reason we’re all so excited is that both the code base and the UI are more solid than ever (also lots of back-end tweaking and turning are targeting content eve[n] more effectively!). This was a methodical build and is just the first on the new solid framework which is going to allow us to be even faster and even more responsive to our amazing users!! Now that the Platial platform is for a good part established we can finally obsess over the details.
Platial enables anyone to find, create and use meaningful maps of Places that matter to them. The goal of the site is to connect people, neighborhoods, cities and countries through a citizen-driven common context that goes beyond geopolitical boundaries.
Even in its rough form, you’ll get the gist.
It’s a resource Williams has been seeking. When he was unable to find one that met his needs, he decided to build one. And he’s being very open about the development process.
The UI/Design is still in progress, but you can get a good idea of the purpose and the content. I’d love to hear what you guys think. Is it interesting? Worthless? Is there some content this is missing?
After operating for two years in stealth mode, LUNARR stepped into the light, last night, unveiling its collaboration-oriented product offering to a crowd of bloggers and other interested parties in its hometown, Portland, Oregon.
For a week where all tech eyes seem to be on the little Arrington-Calacanis get-together down south, LUNARR is pulling down some pretty impressive coverage.
As always, I’ll work to roundup all of the posts that I can. Here’s what I’ve found, so far:
- Lunarr Launches Thought Provoking Collaboration Tool – With Issues
“Cofounder Hideshi Hamaguchi, who probably has a career as a poet in his future if this doesn’t work out, says that Lunarr leverages the creative tension between structure and chaos. In that mental place, Hamaguchi says, we just may find more time for creativity in our work. I buy that.”
- Lunarr: A different philosophy for collaboration
“Lunarr is based on a simple idea, but not quite ready for prime time for a few reasons, which I believe could be fixed before the product goes into beta.”
- Lunarr’s Online Document Collaboration: Write on the Back of Papers
“One of the most helpful tools for Lunarr is the automated organization tools that are included with this service. All documents that you attach to a message are automatically stored in a section dedicated to related files. A complete revision history is also maintained, which is rather pertinent for a document collaboration site.”
- Lunarr: A Once in a Blue Moon Company with a Unique Collaborative App
“The Lunarr concept is a hybrid model of the different way Japanese and US workers share their work space. In Japan, offices have communal areas where shared resources such as manuals are kept. In US offices, cubicles with their private areas are the norm.”
- Lunarr eclipse
“Instead of attaching the document to an email, you attach the email to the document. That is to say, you click the document tab and it flips over, providing a simple mail form. You specify a recipient, include a short note, and send it on. They then can open the document, make some changes, and do the same in return.”
- LUNARR Launches Online Collaboration Service
“LUNARR’s online collaboration service provides web-based access to a collaborative document which is linked into an email system and version tracking, along with commenting and message features. “
- LUNARR Launch
“The answer to the question on everyone’s mind: ‘Do they compete with Jive Software’ is No. We have a large, open collaboration platform, while LUNARR is laser focused on document collaboration, but with a different spin.”
- For those of you who like the video, Scoble has promised coverage on LUNARR. I’ll work to get it posted it as soon as it’s available. [Update] Scoble has posted the video—LUNARR brings a new “backward” way to collaborate—so I’ve embedded it below.
If you’ve written about LUNARR, and I’ve (inadvertently) missed your post, link it up in the comments below. I’ll make sure to add it to this list.For more on LUNARR, see the product descriptions on the LUNARR site.
The most-notable feature in the new release? Customizable spaces.
This allows space owners to decide what’s important in their space and customize the layout of the “Overview” section. We’ve found that a lot of our customers are using the main space page as their department’s front door and they wanted a lot of flexibility around the content and layout.
In related news, Jive appears to have pushed some Web site updates that both refresh the look and feel of the Jive site and give Clearspace a bit more prominence.
Clearspace 1.6 was introduced to the Portland blogging community on September 11. Video highlights of that blogger-focused show-and-tell are available below.http://blip.tv/scripts/pokkariPlayer.js?ver=2007082501http://blip.tv/syndication/write_player?skin=js&posts_id=381434&source=3&autoplay=true&file_type=flv&player_width=&player_height=
Building cool Web tools is one thing. Optimizing Web sites so that your potential users can get to them is another—entirely.
To shed some light on the subject of optimizing Web site performance, DevGroup NW has invited Jason Grigsby of User First Web to present “Speed Matters: Simple steps to make your site faster” on September 19.
Optimizing a site can also have major business implications. ESPN’s optimization efforts saved 2 terabytes per day in bandwidth and thousands of dollars in network costs.
Since 1994, the DevGroup has provided a forum for developers to network, share knowledge and find out what’s happening in the Web, Multimedia and Interactive worlds.
Bringing two years of stealth to a close, LUNARR, the Portland-based company founded on the premise that every knowledge worker in an organization has the potential to be a creative contributor, will unveil its Web-based collaboration product, this evening, at CubeSpace. The event starts at 6:00 PM.
What should you expect to see?
LUNARR is a service that allows people to create and share documents in an efficient and convenient way. As a member, once you login you can create or access a document, and then revise or simply share the document with whomever you like. Share a report with a colleague. Change a contract with your attorney. LUNARR makes it fast and simple.
For more information on the event or to RSVP, please visit the Upcoming page.