I’m going to explore how the local blog scene and other social media have brought folks together. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be talking to all sorts of Portlandy-types about their thoughts on our social media usage. Yes, that includes the Portland Twitter scene and of course #bacon. A big focus of my talk will be about how online activities have led to offline gatherings including group events like Ignite Portland, Side Project to Startup, and the Portland edition of Lunch 2.0. In addition to the formal events, services such as Shizzow and Twitter facilitate impromptu meetups.
Congratulations to Mr. Hockley on garnering a well-deserved speaking slot. It’s definitely got me thinking about making the trip down south to see him speak. Even though I won’t be able to post on it because of the whole “What happens in Vegas…” thing.
WordCamp:Las Vegas is a conference style event covering topics related to the WordPress software. It will be held January 10-11, 2009. For more information, visit WordCamp Las Vegas.
A steady drumbeat of cutbacks in Oregon’s high-tech sector has reduced the number of technology jobs in the state to its lowest point in nearly three years.
Wait a second. Where’s the positivity? Where’s the “credit where credit is due”?
Well, that comes at the end of the article. From which I’ll judiciously quote (passage emphasis is mine, not Mike’s):
Oregon’s tech industry has one distinct bright spot: software.
Long the weakest link in Oregon’s technology economy, software has emerged strongly over the past few years—spurred by a vibrant community of open source software developers and Web services companies that require little investment capital to get started.
Software jobs are up 12 percent during the past two years, and now number 9,500. Although still a relatively tiny part of the overall state economy—which numbers more than 1.7 million jobs altogether—software is the fastest growing part of the high-tech sector and one of a small number of industries that is defying the broader economic slowdown.
Much of the activity is concentrated in Portland’s Old Town, home to a cluster of companies that develop software for the Internet. Examples include password-protection technology from Oklahoma transplant Vidoop, and collaboration tools from Jive Software.
“We’re just this wonderful hotbed of open source, brew-your-own-softwareville,” said Harvey Mathews of the Software Association of Oregon. “It’s a tight community, so we all help each other out. Which isn’t the case in lots of other industries.”
Can I get a “w00t!!!1!”? This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see. The kind of recognition you deserve. And the reason I continue to relentlessly document all the cool things you’re doing.
You’re making it happen. And you’re blowing the curve.
And for that, you need to congratulate yourselves, Portland and Silicon Forest startups. You deserve it.
Keep up the good work. Stay focused. And keep working to on that code.
I’ll be sure to let everyone else know: they ain’t seen nothing yet.
To its credit, the Strands team was open to criticism—taking its detractors head-on—and, as such, they continued to elicit tons of valuable feedback on ways to improve the service.
Now, you get the chance to see some of those improvements with the latest release of Strands.
Gone are the dark and constrained streams of information. Now, they’re open, legible, and much more inviting.
It’s definitely a marked improvement. And one that will likely draw me back into a more participatory role. As opposed to my current use: allowing Strands to churn along—ignored in the background as it works at capturing my lifestream.
This update makes me want to get back into the fray. Because, now, it seems so much more usable.
While it hasn’t yet gotten the buzz of some other social aggregators and lifestreaming projects, Strands is quietly going about making a product on par with the market leaders, letting the community find new content and people, and enabling micro-conversations.
I couldn’t be happier to see Strands getting these kinds of strokes.
If you’re a current Strands user (and I know a ton of you in Portland and Corvallis are), I’d highly recommend heading back over to Strands to give it a second look.
If you’re interested in trying Strands, comment below and I’ll be happy to get you an invite. I’ve got about 13 left. First come, first served.
Portland remains the place-to-be for this year’s sold-out Linux Plumbers Conference, a gathering of more than 300 folks who have a deep interest in the inner recesses of the popular open-source operating system created by Portland-area resident, Linus Torvalds.
Jonathan Corbet calls this the “kernel ecosystem”. We call it the “plumbing,” a collection of essential interfaces and services provided by the libraries, kernel, and utilities that make up a Linux system. Currently, when a problem exists that involves both kernel and user space, a developer must attend several different conferences to discuss the problems face-to-face with other key developers. As a result, problems crossing multiple subsystem boundaries are more difficult to solve than those within a subsystem.
There’s always a bit of miscommunication between clients and Web developers when it comes to prototyping. And that causes more stress for both parties than it should.
To compound matters, there’s usually a bunch of internal disagreements and miscommunication, too.
If only Web developers—who work day-in and day-out creating applications that solve problems for others—had a tool to help them solve their communications problem around wireframes and prototypes.
Now, they just may have that help with ProtoShare 2.0, the latest version of the interactive prototyping tool from Portland-based Site9.
What does ProtoShare do?
[ProtoShare] enables your entire team to communicate in real-time on clickable wireframes and creative designs. Team members can review work and provide timely feedback in order to keep projects moving ahead with better input. You can invite as many reviewers as you like and display comments in a wiki-like manner.
This “we built it for us and now we’re letting you play” reminds me very much of the Chicago-based 37signals guys, who built a number of apps to help them around the shop.
Turns out, those apps were so useful that now thousands of people use them everyday.
And if ProtoShare garners even a small percentage of the users that Basecamp—which is currently tracking more than 1,000,000 users—has managed to attract? That could be very interesting indeed.
In fact, ProtoShare may already be on starting its way down that path. You see, they’re getting some positive strokes from folks who might know a thing or two about online collaboration: the Wikinomics team:
“ProtoShare opens the process up to other stakeholders, such as the marketing team, allowing them to follow the project’s progress over time, and provide timely and effective feedback to developers, “ writes Wikinomics team member Will Dick. “By improving communication and collaboration within the project team, and between them and their clients, ProtoShare has the potential to revolutionize the process of web design.”
Both Team and Network versions of ProtoShare are available for a monthly subscription. Pricing runs $25 for Team and $49 for Network.
Site9 is a developer of collaborative web development software from prototyping to deployment. Founded as an interactive agency in 1999 by web designers and programmers, Site9 transitioned into a software company to address common problems and pain points in the Web development process. For more information on the company, visit Site9. Or head to the ProtoShare site to see ProtoShare in action.
This week on the Silicon Forest podcast, I’ve got the usual review and preview of all that’s happening in the Silicon Forest Web startup scene. With an added bonus. I took a few minutes to chat with Dave Howell, CEO of Vancouver-based Avatron, the company behind the uberpopular iPhone app Air Sharing.