Category: Portland

Wiki-based AboutUs edits its offerings

AboutUsPortland-based AboutUs, the wiki that has rapidly become the de facto source for company Web site information, has announced three new service offerings that promise to improve the promotional nature and the utility of AboutUs services. Not to mention, help the AboutUs bottom line.

The new services include:

  1. Monitor any page on AboutUs for free. Now, anyone (you don’t even have to have an account) can monitor any wiki page on the AboutUs site for changes. Think of it like Google Alerts for your Web site profile.
  2. Hire an AboutUs expert to design your presence. Sure, the beauty of wikis (wiki? wikia?) is that they can be edited on the fly. But, let’s be honest, that doesn’t always make for the prettiest presentation. To help solve this problem, AboutUs is now offering a premium services package that includes in-house design and personalized wiki coaching for a one-time fee of $99.
  3. Sponsor a collection of pages. AboutUs is also introducing the option of sponsoring a collection of links on a given topic—they refer to these landing pages as “portals”—that aggregate business listings and functionality like calendaring and maps for cities around the world and industry verticals. Obviously, my favorite portal page is the Portland Tech Portal. Although I must admit, I’m quite fond of the Portland Tech Blogs page, as well.

But perhaps the most interesting part of the AboutUs announcement is the level of traffic (emphasis is mine) these guys are generating. And the types of revenues to which that traffic may lead.

Though AboutUs is a collaborative project built together by people from around the world, it needs none the less to be economically viable. Advertising revenue from 5 million monthly unique visitors to the site and Portal level sponsorships are already coming in. The new products launching today should lead to a further, substantial increase in site traffic and company revenue.

No doubt, the Silicon Florist page on AboutUs has a great deal to do with those numbers.

Allen Stern of CenterNetworks has also covered the AboutUs news, highlighting:

Clearly it’s working based on the traffic they are receiving. I like the options they are offering to monetize the site past AdSense and the monitoring could help clear up sticky edits quickly. Again, this relies on a business even knowing there is an AboutUs page about them.

AboutUs is a wiki whose goal is to create a free and valuable Internet resource containing information both about websites and other community created topics/information. The site was pre-populated with information about many different websites and thousands of updates are now being made by people each day. For more information on AboutUs, see its AboutUs page.

Jive offers Clearspace X free of charge (to some of you)

Developer group? Non-commercial open source project? Need some community tools? Oh my, my friend. You are in luck.

Because Portland-based Jive Software has announced that they will provide your group with a free license for Clearspace X, their award winning community platform.

If you have an open source project or a developer group (users group, etc.) and want to take advantage of the free licenses, you can find more details and a short request form on the free license page on Jivespace.

For more on other organizations already taking advantage of the Clearspace X offer, see Dawn Foster’s JiveTalks post. For more on the platform, see Jive’s Clearspace X area.

With your help, finding Portland events may soon get a lot easier

Many of us here in the old Silicon Forest have bemoaned the overlapping of interesting events happening in town. And the lack of one single place to go for event information only exacerbates the problem. (That’s right, I said “exacerbates.” I’m not afraid.)

On any given day, we’re jumping from Upcoming to Meetup to specific sites, trying to figure out what the heck is happening where and when with tech-type folks in Portland and the surrounding areas.

Enter Audrey Eschright (@spinnerin for you Twitter types) and the Portland Tech Calendar project.

Eschright has gathered a group of folks together—currently hovering around 20 members—in hopes of building a single resource for all of the tech events happening in Portland. Using Google Groups as the foundation, the service promises to pull feeds, consolidate information, and allow for the posting of new events.

I’m in the group, and I’d love to see you in there, too.

For more information, sign up for the Portland Tech Calendar project.

Beyond the Forest: Google and Facebook join DataPortability.org

Now, granted, I try to keep my focus right here at home in the Silicon Forest. But I had the feeling that news about these two little Web companies—Google and Facebook—might, just might, have some repercussions for the local tech scene.

I’ll also defend this post by reminding you that The Goog’ has an installation in The Dalles.

Portland’s own Marshall Kirkpatrick broke the news this morning that Google and Facebook are joining the Data Portability group. And as indicated by Marshall’s own admission, this is huge news. A bombshell, as it were.

Okay, that may be gobbledy gook techie speak to some of you. So, why is this so important?

The non-participation of Google and Facebook, two companies that hold more user data and do more with it than almost any other consumer service on the market, was the biggest stumbling block to the viability of the project. These are two of the most important companies in recent history. What’s being decided now is whether they will be walled-garden, data-horders or truly open platforms tied into a larger ecosystem of innovation with respect for user rights and sensible policies about data.

For more information, read Marshall’s post on Read/Write Web. For additional coverage, follow the story on Techmeme.

Jive Clearspace X snags InfoWorld award

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Those Jive folks should be planning for a larger trophy case.

I just learned—via Dawn Foster’s Fast Wonder—that Portland-based Jive Software’s Clearspace X has been named the Best Community Platform for 2008 in InfoWorld’s annual “Technology of the Year” awards.

How are the awards selected?

Top picks of InfoWorld Test Center editors and reviewers, these Technology of the Year award winners represent the best business process management system, best enterprise service bus, best database middleware, and the best SaaS collaboration and community platforms we tested in 2007.

For more information on Clearspace X, visit Jive Software. [Update] Or visit Jive Software’s blog.

Meet: Big Idea Bash, January 30

Credit Suisse is looking to help the Portland-area entrepreneurs and investors get some ideas flowing by hosting the “Big Idea Bash,” which is being billed as an event “where big ideas are shared and business is ignited.”

Enjoy drinks and food on us while initiating conversations with some of the brightest business minds in the Northwest. Now is the time to make partnerships and grow your business. It’s set to be the business event of the year.

The Big Idea Bash will be held Wednesday, January 30, 2008, from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, in the Gerding Theater at the Armory. To RSVP, visit the Big Idea Bash page on Upcoming.

[Update] I’ve also received word that Hopworks will be there with a sampling of sustainable local breweries and wineries.

(Hat tip to Marshall Kirkpatrick)

Portland Start-up Index: Is your site there?

Given that I’m still happily digging out from an avalanche of new Twitter followers, I’m a little tardy on reporting the news.

So, a number of folks were kind enough to send me links to TechvibesPortland Start-up Index,” a list of Portland-based startups ranked by averaging their Alexa and Compete ratings.

According to the post, they chose the Rose City because:

Portland’s unique culture, combined with its proximity to Seattle and Silicon Valley make it fertile ground for start-ups.

The list features an apples and oranges combination of both companies and products (which, quite honestly, isn’t immediately obvious to people who don’t obsess over monitor this stuff as actively as I do). So, companies with multiple products—but only one Web site—like Earth Class Mail (#5) (which unfortunately moved to Seattle to attract funding) and Kryptiq (#20) are mixed in with site-specific products like Matt King‘s Knitmap (#8) and JanRain‘s Pibb (#10).

SplashCast tops the list, with I Want Sandy and MyOpenID rounding out the top three.

Values of n garnered two spots on the index with I Want Sandy and Stikkit (#6). As did JanRain, with MyOpenID and Pibb.

Some notable sites conspicuously absent from the list include Jive Software, Platial, Unthirsty, and AboutUs. But commenters are already noting some of these exclusions.

Techvibes plans to update the list on a regular basis. And, I’m looking forward to seeing a few more of you folks on it, the next time around. Please comment on the post (as a number of folks already have) to ensure that your product or site is listed.

(Hat tip to Mike Berkley, Adam DuVander, and Ben Parzybok)

SXSW field trip for Portland Web Innovators

Planning to travel down south to Austin, Texas, for South-by-Southwest (SXSW)? Join the club. For breakfast. No, I mean literally.

Adam DuVander of Portland Web Innovators has set up a breakfast meeting for Portland folks who will be in town. If you’re at SXSW, this will be a great opportunity to see some familiar faces and compare notes before heading to the second set of panels.

Interested? RSVP on Upcoming.

Portland a-Twitter, an editorial opinion

While I’m not one of the old guard in terms of Twitter usage (I’m somewhere around user 1,340,521), I am a big fan of the service.

Twitter, in fact, was one of the motivating factors for starting the Silicon Florist in the first place. Because, via Twitter, I was hearing about a bunch of cool things happening in the Silicon Forest. But I wasn’t seeing anyone covering them for a wider audience.

And, hence, the seed was planted.

So, why do you care? Well, turns out that there is a very vibrant Twitter community here in Portland. I’m following more than 500 folks in the Silicon Forest on Twitter, as we speak. And it’s a great resource for staying in tune with what’s happening around here.

Now, that type of following isn’t for everyone. That’s for sure. But, nonetheless, I would encourage you to give Twitter a shot, if only to pitch me story ideas.

Getting started is easy.

  1. Register for an account at Twitter
  2. Type something in the “What are you doing?” box

Congrats! You’re on Twitter!

Now, let’s move on to some “advanced use.” Start following some people and getting into the conversation. Right off the bat, I would recommend a few of my Portland favorites Marshall Kirkpatrick, Josh Bancroft, Scott Kveton, Jason Grigsby, Raven Zachary, Aaron Hockley, Betsy Richter, Peat Bakke, Jake Kuramoto, Jason Harris, Katherine Gray, Josh Pyles, Audrey Eschright, Ignite Portland, Portland on Fire, and… honestly I could go on and on. (“And I love each and every single one of the folks I follow equally, for they are all special in their own right,” he said, hoping to deflect complaints for those he might have inadvertently missed.)

How do you follow people?

  1. Log into your shiny new Twitter account
  2. Click on the folks’ links above
  3. Click the big “Follow” button underneath each person’s picture

Voila!

You can even follow me and the Silicon Florist, if you like.

I know, I hear you. “How do I find more Portland people?” You are on the fast track, my friend. Bravo! (Or Brava! as the case may be.) There are a number of ways to find more Portland folks:

Oh, and last, but certainly not least: It’s polite etiquette to follow those who are following you on Twitter. So, if you follow me, I’ll follow you. And I encourage you to follow suit. One-way conversations are no fun.

So why the big Twitter push from the Silicon Florist?

It’s purely mercenary, I assure you.

I’m convinced that, for all the cool stuff I hear about from my current Twitter brood, there are ten times more Silicon Forest startup stories happening. I want to hear about them. And Twitter is a good way for me to stay in touch. Nuff said.

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Twitter.

Silicon Florist adds ma.gnolia to the arrangement

Based on advice from Portland-based social-media guru Marshall Kirkpatrick, I’ve been spending some quality time with ma.gnolia, this year. I’ve had a personal account for some time, but I never really grasped the power of the the tool until Marshall opened my eyes.

You’d think a florist would have been more into ma.gnolia. But so it goes.

So now, I’m in the midst of weaving some of those tools into the Silicon Florist. Like Baby’s Breath in a wedding bouquet, if you will. Or I guess, more accurately, like a magnolia, since that’s a flower.

So far there are two additions to the site, based on ma.gnolia’s offerings:

  1. Weekly link arrangement. Each week, I’ll be publishing a list of Silicon-Forest-oriented links that I’ve found compelling, but for whatever reason (likely lack of time or sheer volume of information) haven’t written up in the traditional fashion. Look for those arrangements to arrive on Thursday.
  2. Pitching the Florist using ma.gnolia (or del.icio.us). I’ve set up a Silicon Florist group on ma.gnolia and I think you should join (I was subsequently asked to setup a del.icio.us one, as well) . When you find something that you think everyone else should know about, save the link to ma.gnolia and share it with the Silicon Florist group (or send it to siliconflorist on del.icio.us). I’ll keep track of the incoming links and write them up (or add them to the weekly link arrangement).

Look for more features and insights as I work to make the Silicon Florist a more valuable resource for everyone. If you have any suggestions, please comment or drop me a line.

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