Category: Vidoop

Vidoop troop #2: Portland by way of Tulsa

I can’t tell you how great it was having the first wave of Vidoop employees in Portland last week for Beer and Blog. And I have to say, the response from all the Portland tech types who showed up and people who responded to the Vidoop’rs’ questions really made Vidoop feel welcome. It was a true representation of what makes Portland great, through and through.

So you missed it? There, there, gentle reader. There’s another chance! That’s right. The second round of Vidoop visitors have made the sojourn for the tour of their new hometown. And they’re looking forward to hearing all your hyperbolic insight about our fair city.Like their predecessors, Vidoop troop #2 be at the Vidoop-sponsored Beer and Blog, this Friday. (NOTE: Location change folks. Beer and Blog will be at Plan B, this week. Plan B. Did I say “Plan B”?)

So, who’s going to be there? And what’s their deal? Let’s take a few moments to meet this collection of Vidoop’rs (Bonus points if you can figure out what all of these folks have in common—besides being employed by Vidoop and the fact that they’re moving to Portland):

Chad Blomquist, Software developer

What? I help design and implement various products. Recently, I’ve spent most of my time working on our IE and Firefox browser plug-ins, and let me just say, we have some exciting new features in the next release (coming soon).

How? Born in Missouri, raised in Oklahoma. I got a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and stuck around for a master’s in computer science at Tulsa University as a member of the ‘Cyber Corps’. Post graduation I worked for a couple of years at the computer security division at NIST in DC. Two years ago I was recruited back to Tulsa by company President and co-founder Luke Sontag (who I befriended while at TU).

Links? World of Warcraft, NIST

Questions about Portland:

  • How’s the snow skiing?
  • Where are the best places to camp/hike?
  • What is the best restaurant in Portland?

Jennifer Blomquist, Lead Program Manager

What? Product development planning, project management, and general cat herding.

How? Though I’m moving out from Oklahoma, I’ve only actually lived there for about ten months (followed my husband, Scott out after he was recruited to Vidoop). Prior to that I lived in Bellevue, WA working for Expedia and Microsoft. This is my first go ’round with a start up and it’s been quite an adventure! Having spent much of my life in Washington, I’m looking forward to being back in the Pacific Northwest but now exploring a new city! When not working, I dig viewing and participating in theater, dance, puzzling, crafting, and flying (and if you promise to keep a secret, I’m a reality tv and celeb gossip junkie too).

Links? Um… http://twitter.com/nightimp, guess that’s it for now 🙂

Questions about Portland:

  • What’s the best way to get involved in local theater (performing/crew)?
  • Any good teriyaki joints in downtown?
  • Any awesome spots for some pinball madness?
  • Do The Shins play locally very often? (very cool to hear they are from Portland)

Scott Blomquist, CTO

What? Figure out how to ship Vidoop’s crazy ideas and other feats of magic that, to sufficiently advanced civilizations, appear indistinguishable from useless overhead.

How? Born in Missouri; grew up in Oklahoma; studied electrical engineering in Missouri; learned the art of software development at some software company in Seattle’s East Side suburbs; fell in love with the Pacific Northwest; was recruited by my brother Chad (see above) to Vidoop in Tulsa; thrilled to be moving to Portland, although Seattle still feels like home to me; love my wife, my 3 cats, technology, puzzles, and games; I’m also an unapologetic Microsoft advocate.

Links? Puzzle Hunters, Scott Blomquist, Scott Blomquist on Twitter

Questions about Portland:

  • How is Portland cooler than Seattle? [Editor: Um, Microsoft isn’t headquartered near here? Oh, I kid. I kid.]
  • Are there any puzzle fans reading this blog? (@sparckl, you should be if you’re not; any others?)
  • How about puzzle events in Portland? (In the style of Michael J. Fox’s totally-B breakout Disney Movie “Midnight Madness” or otherwise)
  • Best gathering place for a pick-up board game or two?

Now, it’s your turn

There they are! Have some Portland insight that would answer these questions? Please comment. Or, come on over to Plan B on Friday afternoon at 4:00 for Beer and Blog.

As always, I’m looking forward to seeing your bright and shining face there. As is Vidoop. Who is buying.

Oh I see. Now you’re going. I see how you are.

Why Portland? Amy Winkelman says “Hi Vidoop, welcome to Portland!”

[Editor: This is Portland. And this is why I love Portland. New Vidoop transplants ask a few questions, and Portland responds. And, as I read through this response, it struck me as a perfect “Why Portland?” entry. So, Portvangelist Amy Winkelman, take it away.]

I’m a friend of Rick Turoczy’s who pointed me to his Silicon Florist post about you all moving to Portland. Since I’m currently on a client work project in China, I’ll miss meeting you at Beer and Blog. However, I’m currently riding in a bus for the next three hours from Huizhou to Hong Kong and it’s a perfect opportunity to try and answer the questions you posed.

Like Rick, I’m thrilled to have another way-cool tech company come to Portland and as a native Oregonian and fanatic Portlander, I love recommending things to new folks visiting the city.

So, here goes…

Portland geographic primer

Oh, just one thing first – a quick guide to directions in town. The city is basically divided up into four quadrants (NE, SE, NW, SW) + North Portland which is sometimes referred to as NoPo. The Willamette (oh yeah, it’s pronounced “Wil-lam-it”) river is the divider between East and West, and Burnside Street is the divider between North and South. A couple of notable neighborhoods fall into the following sections:

Oh yeah, and in NW Portland the streets are alphabetical in one direction (Burnside, Couch, Davis, Everett, etc.) and numbered in the other direction so it’s super easy to get around. Since Portland is home to a couple of mapping start-ups, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. 🙂

Now, to get to the questions…

Koesmanto Bong

Is there any local friendly pick up soccer and volleyball games in Portland?

For volleyball, the schedules and availability of courts change a lot depending on time of year, so check out: http://volyplyr.brinkster.net/pv.asp and http://www.portlandvolleyball.org/

I’m not a soccer player, so I don’t know about that, sorry!

Where can I find authentic Chinese food in Portland?

In the city, you can try Fong Chong in Chinatown/Old Town. [Editor: And within walking distance of the Vidoop office, to boot!] The area is a little dicey at night, so I’d recommend going in the day. But really, most of the Chinese immigrants and families have moved out to SE 82nd (around Division St.) where it’s less expensive, so the most authentic places are up there. The biggest place and possibly the most authentic for dim sum is called Legin. It’s huge and popular (big wedding banquet spot and really busy on Sundays).

My favorite Chinese restaurant isn’t necessarily authentic, but it’s very tasty (kind of expensive though)—it’s called Sungari Pearl on NW 11th & Lovejoy in the Pearl District. [Editor: A little bit of a hike from the Vidoop offices, or a streetcar ride away.]

Is bacon the official choice of food of the city?

It is according to @verso, but I would honestly say anything that is locally farm grown, organic and/or “artisan” is generally pretty popular. Portland is also known for coffee, microbrew, and micro-distillers, wine, berries, hazelnuts and anything you can find at the farmer’s market. Oh, and you’ll see many McMenamins restaurants of different types around town, all owned by a pair of hippie brothers who renovate old spaces and put in restaurants, theaters, etc. each with its own sort of theme. They hire local artists to decorate them, McMenamins microbrew on tap and decent pub food, and the atmosphere is very Portland.

Joel Curran

Where can I find some info on some sports leagues?

Online is the best way to go here. There are tons of leagues, and most should have Web-based info, registration, etc. available. There seems to be a league or group of people who get together to play just about every sport there is (I even see croquet players and bocci ball players in my neighborhood).

Who are some of the top local bands?

[Editor: Look out. You’ve struck a chord here. Oh my. Bad pun.] Indie-rock is the most popular kind of music here. The Shins, Modest Mouse, Spoon, The Decemberists, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Quasi, The Gossip, The Dandy Warhols, Helio Sequence, Stars of Track and Field, Menomena, The Thermals and many more call Portland home. It’s a great music town.

Pink Martini is also hugely popular, but they are a totally different kind of thing… just check them out. They’re fun. Floater is also a long-time favorite local band of many.

Oh, and the jazz/blues scene is strong—Jimmy Mak’s in the Pearl District is a great place to see jazz/blues players. Curtis Salgado is sort of the king of that scene, as is Mel Brown.

What is the one place you would say is a “must-go” for my trip to Portland this weekend?

That’s a really hard question since I don’t know what you’re into. Best thing to do is to pick up a Willamette Week (best alternative paper in Portland) and check out what’s going on this weekend. Here are some other ideas:

  • If you like books (no, if you enjoy life!), you must go to Powell’s. Best bookstore on the planet. NW 10th & Burnside.
  • Saturday morning, check out the Saturday Portland Farmers’ Market in the South Park blocks (downtown by Portland State University) as that’s a good slice of Portland life, and has great food.
  • Go down to the Willamette River waterfront (Tom McCall waterfront park) and walk along the promenade.
  • Take a ride on the Portland Streetcar to the South Waterfront area and take the Portland Aerial Tram up to OHSU (hospital at the top of the hill) for a great view of the city.
  • Check out who’s playing at the Crystal Ballroom, the Doug Fir Lounge, Roseland, Wonder Ballroom, Berbati’s Pan or Jimmy Mak’s and go there for some live music and a drink. [Editor: More of Amy’s insights on venues below.]
  • Try Stumptown Coffee (various spots around the city) for amazing coffee and hipster viewing.
  • If you like to hike or just want a walk in the woods, go to Forest Park—the largest city park in the US. It’s not really a park, but a forest that has amazing trails for short, long or really long hikes. You will totally forget you’re still in the city. A good way to access it is from Washington Park and the Hoyt Arboretum which is also by the Oregon Zoo (accessible by MAX light rail).
  • If you’re a movie buff, there are tons of great theaters, from high-end fancy to down-to-earth funky. I like the pub theaters where you can order food and a beer while watching a second-run flick for only a couple of bucks—try the Mission (in NW), Laurelhurst Theater (NE) or the Bagdad (SE) [Editor: Home of Ignite Portland 3]. On the nicer side, try Fox Tower theaters (downtown) or for strictly independent or foreign flicks, check out the Living Room Theaters (downtown/NW) and Cinema 21 (NW).
  • I’d also recommend checking out Jackpot Records (downtown & SE) and Music Millennium (NE), two of the best independent music stores.
  • For art galleries, restaurants and window shopping, go to the Pearl District (if the weather is good, Jamison Square on NW 10th/11th & Johnson is filled with kids and families playing in the fountain which is fun to watch). I love walking around Northwest Portland along NW 21st & NW 23rd which has some great stores, restaurants and people watching opportunities—both neighborhoods are accessible using the Streetcar.
  • Oh, and it’s definitely a good idea to grab a donut at Voodoo Doughnut at some point—a true Portland experience (downtown, just off Burnside on SW 3rd).

And most importantly, what is the best place for some Mexican food?

Portland is not really known for its Mexican food (sad, but true), but I really really like Nuestra Cocina (SE Division St). Also try Por Que No (NoPo on Mississippi), Cha Cha Cha (NE), or for funky Tex-Mex you can go to Esparza’s just off E Burnside and 28th.

Jason Grlicky

Where is the best local place to get music gear?

Portland Music Co. is the most well-known (several stores around town).

What are your favorite venues?

My favorite is a little (smoke-free) spot called the Doug Fir Lounge that mostly features indie-rock bands (it’s on East Burnside, just over the Burnside bridge from downtown). It has a great bar and restaurant with a cool design, and is located in an up-and-coming area of town with some hip restaurants and shops.

I also really like the Crystal Ballroom, also on Burnside, but in NW/downtown Portland. It’s a lot bigger, brings in all sorts of musical acts and since it’s a McMenamins, the art/design is very Portland. It also has this awesome old-time dancefloor with springs underneath it so you bounce when you dance or pogo or sway, whatever you do. The Wonder Ballroom is another good spot for music (in North/NE).

Who wants to get together and play some board games?

I’ve seen people get together the Lucky Lab pub in SE Portland (on Hawthorne just over the Hawthorne Bridge) for board games. I’m not positive about which night—like Wednesdays maybe?—so check online. It’s a great pub, and I’ve seen all kinds of board games set up that I think you can just join in and play if there’s a seat open.

Robert Nelson aka Rob

Where should I live?

Well, are you single? Have kids? Want to buy a house or rent an apartment? Do you want to bike/walk to work? Want to spend a lot of money on rent/mortgage or only a little? All those things are pretty key (you know that, duh), but let me know what you’re looking for and I can recommend some neighborhoods for you to check out.

I’ve lived in several different kinds of places in NE, SE and NW Portland and each area has its own distinct neighborhoods with their own individual personality. I don’t know where Vidoop’s offices are going to be, but that’s definitely something to consider as well since Portland has excellent public transportation and bike routes so you may want to factor that into where you decide to live.

Where are some great places close to down/mid town to hike?

Forest Park! You will grow to love and adore it—it’s right in town, huge, gorgeous and has great, well-maintained trails. And of course right outside of the city, there are many amazing hiking, mountain biking and walking trails through forests, up/down mountains, along rivers, etc.

Sushi?

Oh, are you going to love Portland! My favorite (traditional) sushi place is in the Pearl District and called Hiroshi (after the chef). It’s a little expensive, but has the best quality fish I think. Other hot spots are Saburos (in SE/Sellwood – go early, it’s crowded), Yakuza (NE), and Masu (downtown & SE). For cheaper but still decent sushi, there are many Mio Sushi’s around town also.

Live music?

Depends on what kind of music you like, but check out who’s playing at the Crystal Ballroom, the Doug Fir Lounge, Roseland, Wonder Ballroom, Berbati’s Pan or Jimmy Mak’s which are the places I’ve gone to most often.

Places to train MMA (jiu jitsu and kickboxing)?

Sorry, no idea… [Editor: I’m hoping that Jake Kuramoto will jump in here. He may even offer to beat you up!]

Joel D. Siedenburg

Looking for a good gym…?

24 Hour Fitness is in just about every neighborhood (downtown, Pearl District, NE, etc.) which is where I go (well, sometimes…). I have some friends who really like the YMCA downtown by Portland State University. There is a Nautilus gym downtown, and some boutique gyms in NW Portland. Oh, and there are tons of yoga and Pilates studios if you’re into that sort of thing (located all over the city).

Where are some close fly-fishing spots?

Not sure, sorry about that. I know people who head down to the McKenzie River near Eugene (about 2 hours away) and I know there is awesome fly fishing on the Rogue River in southern Oregon (about 5 hours away), but I’m sure there are places closer by. A friend of mine is a fly-fishing fanatic (and local software engineering guy) so I’d be happy to do an email invitation for you and he could fill you in.

And definitely need to start looking more into housing… recommendations?

I don’t know what price range you’re looking for, but Portland’s housing prices may be a bit high in comparison to what you’re used to. Every neighborhood in Portland has its own personality and price range, and the closer-in you go toward downtown, the more expensive it is generally. Let me know what you’re looking for and I can do my best to recommend some cool neighborhoods. I also have a really good realtor I’ve used a couple of times if you need that.

Benjamin Stover

What kind of bike should I buy? A hybrid? Where’s the best place to buy one?

Since I bike around on an old busted up mountain bike on the occasions when I do bike, I’m the worst person to ask. But, there are amazing bike resources in town, including some excellent bike shops (Bike Gallery, River City Bicycles, even REI) that have super nice people who can help you. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is a non-profit to check out—they should be a good jumping off point for bike-related questions. They’re actually a really strong force in the city to promote better bike lanes, bike safety and to make Portland even more bike-friendly.

Is there a good capoeira group in Portland? Muay thai?

I so had to look up capoeira on wikipedia. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t practitioners in Portland… [Editor: Again, recommending Jake Kuramoto—who should be at Beer and Blog—to help in this regard.]

What are the geeky niches in Portland? e.g., retro video game hobbyists? Chiptunes scene?

Portland has lots of geeky subcultures, including retro video game hobbyists (check out Ground Kontrol in Old Town [Editor: Conveniently located just below the current Vidoop office])… The city’s unofficial motto is “Keep Portland Weird” so I guarantee you that you’ll find “your people” whoever they may be.

Again, the Web is your best friend when it comes to finding them.

More questions?

I hope this helps, that you have great weather during your stay and that you enjoy Portland as much as we do. 🙂

Please feel free to drop me a note over email amywinkelman at gmail dot com or Twitter if you have any questions.

Have fun!

Amy Winkelman

Vidoop Troop #1: Portland by way of Tulsa

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that originally-Tulsa-based Vidoop is now well on its way to becoming Portland-based Vidoop. If not, let me tell you this little secret: Vidoop is moving its headquarters to Portland.

Now, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a far cry from Portland, Oregon, on any number of fronts. Therefore, a little friendly immersion is both recommended and necessary for this burgeoning crop of soon-to-be Portvangelists.

So, Scott Kveton, the original Portvangelist, has arranged to bring members of the Vidoop team up here in waves, introducing them to Portland and the whole Portland tech scene. There are a group of them in town as we speak. And they’ll be in attendance at the Vidoop sponsored Beer & Blog, this Friday.

Hold that thought. And let’s talk about Twitter for a second.

Like many of you, I’ve been known to use Twitter from time to time. And, one of the things I’ve always appreciated most about Twitter is that I gradually get to gain some sort of insight into a person’s life before I run into them in person.

In essence, I get to meet them before I meet them.

Now, I’m excited to meet all the new talent that Vidoop is bringing into Portland. And I’m following as many of the Vidoop folks on Twitter as I can. But we’re a little short on time. So my little “getting to know you” Twitter trick won’t work.

Long story short, I’m feeling a bit behind.

And, here’s where you come in. Disguising my “self interest” as “community interest,” I asked the Vidoop troop if they would be up for answering a few questions. So I we could meet them—as it were—before meeting them.

Being good sports, a number of them obliged. (I like them already!)

And now, I present those folks to you, to meet them before you meet them. Breaking the ice, as it were.

Koesmanto Bong, Web Developer

What? I am one of the web developers at Vidoop who is in charge of the development of myVidoop. I also work on maintaining vidoop.com, confidenttechnologies.com, and blog.vidoop.com

How? I was born in Indonesia in 1982. Came to the US in 2000 and graduated with a degree in MIS in 2004. I worked for a non-profit organization for 2 years before joining Vidoop in June 2006. I have a huge crush on photography and soccer. My dad is a photographer so it runs in the family. My favorite soccer team is Manchester United. I am glad to be a part of Vidoop and what it believes in as far as the way things should go in the identity space, and definitely look forward to seeing where things are going in the near future.

Links? SoccerNet, Digg, Koesbong on Twitter

Questions about Portland?

  • Is there any local friendly pick up soccer and volleyball games in Portland?
  • Where can I find authentic Chinese food in Portland?
  • Is bacon the official choice of food of the city?

Joel Curran, Researcher – Business Development

What? My day is filled with reading tech blogs and different news sources to find info on competitors, potential partners/clients and what’s happening out in the tech community. I also do some market research and help provide information and statistics to contribute to our marketing department.

How? I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Public Relations in 2007. At OSU I helped manage a student-run advertising agency, worked on some non-profit PR campaigns, and worked for the athletic department/football team. I have been working at Vidoop since January. Some things that make my day are: listening to Ray Lamontagne, any sport (but college basketball is number one), Chuck Palahniuk books, meeting new people, being outdoors, a little rain, some time at the gym, an episode or two of The Office, and a good dinner and night out with friends.

Links of interest? The Office Quotes, ESPN, and Go Pokes.

Questions about Portland?

  • Where can I find some info on some sports leagues?
  • Who are some of the top local bands?
  • What is the one place you would say is a “must-go” for my trip to Portland this weekend?
  • And most importantly, what is the best place for some Mexican food?

Jason Grlicky, Web Developer

What? Web work of all sorts. Mostly keeping up with myVidoop.com and working with the plugin team. I am frequently seen grazing in areas populated by CSS & JavaScript and have been known to create little icons at the slightest provocation.

How? Raised in Oklahoma, I graduated from the University of Tulsa in ’07 with computer science and psych degrees. I joined Vidoop as an intern last August and became full-time as soon as I could. I take great joy in good design and am obsessed with games (video or otherwise) and music.

Links? Maxheadwound on MyVidoop, Maxheadwound on Twitter, Jason Grlicky

Questions about Portland?

  • Where is the best local place to get music gear?
  • What are your favorite venues?
  • Who wants to get together and play some board games?

Robert Nelson aka Rob, Business Development aka BizDev; specifically: Prospector (I like saying aka)

What? I am part of the Business Development Team, working specifically for Confident Technologies which focuses solely on bringing stronger authentication to enterprise. I support my BizDev brothers by finding new leads and building relationships with contacts/companies that we want to partner with to provide the web with stronger authentication.

How? I have a problem (or so my boss say’s, “whatever Mitch, you shut your mouth”) I tend to speak, then realize that I immediately regret what I just said, there is supposedly this thing called a “filter” that most people have and apparently I don’t have it. I am very active, if it is day light I want to be outside, I enjoy combat sports, watching and training, I train Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai kick boxing along with some wrestling and boxing as well. I like to cheat the system (for the record there is no sign that says you have to leave the theater once your movie is over, so the way I see it I am just smarter than everyone else 🙂 ..I am known to go to a movie and then whenever my movie is over sneak into another movie, then another, then another, then another, my record is 6 movies in one day, 5 soda’s 3 popcorns, 2 pickles, and of course a butterfinger…and waaaay too many bathroom breaks. One of my favorite things to do though is simple, get together with quality people and eat some quality food, in that order. I think I am addicted to sushi, our CEO said I am going to wake up one day with gills, I’m still waiting…

Links? T-Rex Vehicles, UFC, and the obligatory ConfIdent Technologies, Vidoop, and Silicon Florist

Questions about Portland?

  • Where should I live?
  • Where are some great places close to down/mid town to hike?
  • Sushi?
  • Live music?
  • Places to train MMA (jiu jitsu and kickboxing)?

Joel D. Siedenburg, Account Manager

What? Siedenburg’s core role is business development and strategic partnership procurement as well as account relations and management.

How? Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, moved to Tulsa for college in 2000, and did commercial real estate (retail investment sales) with CB Richard Ellis. Later turned down doing an amplified level of this in London or Madrid to join Vidoop in Nov of 2006. Have never looked back!

Links? Elpais.es, elmundo.es, Lowes.com (joke, I’ve been renovating a 1928 house), Wes Anderson, Audi

Questions about Portland?

  • Looking for a good gym…?
  • Where are some close fly-fishing spots?
  • And definitely need to start looking more into housing… recommendations?

Benjamin Stover, Software Developer

What? Member of the plugin team. I currently maintain the Firefox plugin code.

How? Born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma. I’m 23 and have been working for Vidoop for about a year. My interests include video game programming, Javascript, jogging, two-stepping, beer (favorite: Pilsner Urquell) and math (or what I can remember of it). My current project is losing weight. 🙂 Lately I spend too much time reading blogs and thinking about work. I’m gay and have a wonderful boyfriend who is a
school teacher, and we volunteer together at Oklahomans for Equality.

Links? Not very interesting, I assure you 🙂 My webpage is stechz.com, but there’s nothing there right now. My twitter URL is http://twitter.com/stechz.

Questions about Portland?

  • What kind of bike should I buy? A hybrid? Where’s the best place to buy one?
  • Is there a good capoeira group in Portland? Muay thai?
  • What are the geeky niches in Portland? e.g., retro video game hobbyists? Chiptunes scene?

So now that you’ve met them, where can you meet them? Beer and Blog, my friend. Beer and Blog. Sponsored—appropriately enough—by Vidoop and featuring Scott Kveton, Michael Richardson, and DiSo.

As always, I’m sure Mr. Kistner would appreciate an RSVP on Upcoming so he knows how many to expect.

Looking forward to seeing you and the Vidoop’rs there.

And if you want to get a jump start on answering some of the questions posited above, feel free to begin sharing your Portland expertise in the comments.

Portland Lunch 2.0 SP3: Vidoop, hard hats, and bacon-wrapped dates

Portland Lunch 2.0 Vidoop hard hats by Aaron HockleyContinuing its line of successful—and relatively bug-free—releases, Portland Lunch 2.0 launched its latest incarnation, last Wednesday, at Vidoop in Old Town. So I guess this one was a “security” release. Or maybe Lunch 2.0 now supports OpenID. Or something.

In any case, a well attended Portland Lunch 2.0 promises one thing for sure: lots o’ blog posts and other fodder. So, here’s your round-up.

  • Flickr photos tagged “Portland” and “Lunch 2.0
  • Portland Chapter Completes Third Iteration, Teases Fourth
    “Bacon and OpenID were the themes at yesterday afternoon’s Lunch 2.0, graciously hosted by OpenID provider Vidoop.”
  • Lunch 2.0: Portland style
    “Since the ideas of a) free lunch, and b) geeks gathered were both good ones, Lunch 2.0 became an unofficially official thing. Since then the idea has spread all over the world, but taken a special hold in Portland where we have loads of tech companies.”
  • Lunch 2.0, the Vidoop version
    “I also noticed that the crowd seems to have expanded. From my standpoint, what started out as a mostly techie crowd now seems to include a lot of marketing folks as well as some of the general Portland Twitterati.”
  • Portland Lunch 2.0
    “Lunch 2.0 is one of the best way to meet people in Portland’s thriving tech scene—the other being BarCamp Portland and Startupalooza.”
  • Trails and Lunch 2.0
    “This afternoon I attended Lunch 2.0 here in Portland, OR. It was hosted by Vidoop, the creators of an OpenID product they say foils both phishing and key logging. I created an account, chose my 3–5 images, and logged in and out of it. It seems interesting, so likely more to come on that one as well.”
  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch
    “So Cami’s easy… a free hardhat and bacon wrapped goodness plus a room full of interesting people totally warrants a mention on my blog.”

Did I miss your post on the Portland Lunch 2.0 that was? Please comment. I’d be more than happy to link it up.

Photo Credit: Aaron Hockley. Used under Creative Commons license.

Portland Startup Weekend now being held at Vidoop offices

Heads up! There has been a last second location change for Portland Startup Weekend. The event will now be held at the Vidoop offices in Old Town. The event begins tonight, May 23, at 6:00 PM.

On a side note, I’m not sure if a Twitter hashtag has been proposed (or if Twitter will even be functional), but I thought I would propose one for those folks watching from the sidelines. How about #pdxsw?

[Editor’s note: As much as I’d love to be in attendance, I’ve been sidelined by illness. That said, I will definitely try to swing by during the weekend. Best of luck to the participants.]

Vidoop secures Messina and Norris

The Web world—and the world of distributed social applications—is buzzing with some momentous news. And happily enough, a Portland company is right at the middle of all of the excitement.

Portland’s Vidoop, has announced that Chris Messina, aka factoryjoe, and Will Norris, of the DiSo Project have joined Vidoop as full-time employees.

Suffice it to say, this is huge.

Messina and Norris are among the most recognizable names in the Web world today. Specifically for their efforts on the next generation of social technologies—technologies that promise to transform “social networking” from its current form of “destination sites” to being part of the very fabric of the Web, itself.

Their chops are, quite frankly, legendary. So much so, in fact, that Portland’s Marshall Kirkpatrick admits that he expects “nothing less than magic”:

Vidoop has had a strong team of engineers from the start. As someone who’s excited about standards based identity and the innovation that open technology makes possible – I am very interested to see what Vidoop and its new additions will be able to do. Check out what the two have sought to do for some time over at the DiSo Project. Now that they are doing that work with backing and as a part of a substantial team, expect nothing less than magic.

Messina sees opportunity

So—clearly—those of us on the outside are all excited about the news, but how do the DiSo guys—the people actually in the middle of this—feel about it?

Messina posted some of his thoughts about his new gig, highlighting:

Working full time on this means that Will and I should be able to make much more progress, much more quickly, and to work with other projects and representatives from efforts like Drupal, BuddyPress and MovableType to get interop happening (eventually) between each project’s implementation.

And, he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, to provide some additional insight.

What’s your new position at Vidoop going to entail?

Well, for the most part, doing what I was already doing with DiSo, but actually focusing on it full time.

What this means is that Will and I and other project leaders will be hunkering down and working out how we’re going to architect the project to better include external contribution, to better explain what DiSo is all about and how to get involved, to explain why and how to use the core technologies that we’ll be leveraging in DiSo, and to start formulating a more coherent roadmap for the project that other platform implementations might follow along with (for example, while we’ll be focusing on WordPress and working with the BuddyPress folks, we want to see MovableType and Drupal also getting this kind of functionality and open API support).

What were some of the key reasons for your deciding to join the Vidoop team?

Well, the conversation started innocently enough, but when I met many of the Vidoop folks at SXSW, I became more generally interested in what these guys were up to. When Kveton joined up and then, along with Luke Sontag, the co-founder, offered me the chance to come work on DiSo full time, and offered me resources to make it happen, there was really no way that I could turn that down.

As I’ve gotten to know more of the Vidoop team, I really think these are world class folks ready to make an impact on the world. That they have faith in open source and open technologies and were smart enough to bring on folks like Kveton and Kevin Fox speak to that wisdom, and suggests that I’ll be working alongside folks who get it and want to do the “right thing” is equally motivating.

It also helps that Vidoop is still small and scrappy and looking to define itself as a leader generally in the secure identity space… I think that that’s going to start mean more things to more people over the next couple years, so getting in at the ground floor to help set that direction is tactically something that also appeals to me.

What problems are you most excited about helping Vidoop solve?

Well, I think there’s a gaping hole in the marketing of OpenID right now about what you can do with an OpenID, or why they’re URLs and not, for example, email addresses. Providing a salient, compelling answer to that question is one of the first things I hope to tackle, and is essentially what the DiSo Project is predicated on.

That we can also help turn Vidoop into a leading open source factory is also a nice bonus, and something that, well, I don’t think exactly happened with Flock (for contrast).

What are some of the biggest opportunities you see for Vidoop and OpenID in general?

As I mentioned, it’s kind of demonstrating what an OpenID endpoint should look like. I don’t think anyone quite has this right yet, but we’re still early.

I also think that there are A LOT of user interface problems with OpenID (Kyle Neath cited some the other day) that are inhibiting its adoption. So rather than lead with a technology and expecting people to be like, “Oh yeah! OpenID! I want one of those!” we need to address real use cases and develop opportunities where it just so happens that OpenID is the easiest and most compatible solution for the job.

That Google’s Friend Connect supports OpenID is huge, but it’s really only the first page of the next chapter. The opportunity is writing the volumes that come next.

What are some of the biggest hurdles you see for Vidoop and OpenID in general?

Well, apart from better demonstrating what OpenID is really good at, I think that there are serious issues with the mobile OpenID experience (Twauth is one approach to making it better). I think this is going to require conversations with mobile providers, but also will require a more critical consideration about what expectations are when people are using apps in a mobile context or environment.

Part of that is going to necessitate the development of human interface protocols that help people recover when OpenID fails, or when errors occur that don’t have obvious solutions. In some ways it’s about educating people about the ways in which OpenID can stumble, but also the ways in which you can recover gracefully. Frankly, hardly any discussion has materialized around those topics yet, and I think without more thought and design put to those matters, OpenID will continue to be seen as a developer or geeky tool not ready for the “masses” (i.e. people who really don’t, and shouldn’t have to, care about the background technology that makes the web work).

Will we be seeing a lot more of you around Portland?

Dude, I love the Ace Hotel and Stumptown, so I’ll definitely be spending more time up there! Seriously though, I imagine I’ll definitely be up there pretty regularly.

How long can you resist Kveton’s Portvangelist charm before you feel pressured to move up here?

Portland is definitely one of my favorite cities, and if I ever leave San Francisco, it’ll probably be where I end up next.

In fact, my half-sister used to live in Portland, and I remember when I was in college I came to visit her and her family for a week. Since her husband was a day trader, we had to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to be at the office at like 5AM so he could be trading when the east coast markets opened up at 9AM. Anyway, I decided that I’d walk around the city that morning rather than stay in the office, and I remember clearly the cool fog, the sun, walking by Powell’s and the seeing the Willamette Week in newsstands (its design was an inspiration at the time, given that I was in design school!). Anyway, my point is that I pretty well fell in love with the city that morning, so at some point, I’d definitely love to come back and stay some day!

Anything else you’d like to make sure the Portland tech community knows about this news?

Well, I’ve always been really impressed by the openness and inclusivity of the Portland crowd ever since (and even probably before) I attended BarCampPortland.

With Vidoop making Portland its new home, I think we can only expect to see more and more interesting things emerge, and continue to emerge, from the Portland tech scene. What with Ignite, Startup Weekend, BarCamps, werewolf!, all this bodes well. Oh, and if there are any passionate WordPress devs looking for a project to hack on in their spare time, DiSo is certainly looking — and imagine we’ll start doing meetups in the not-to-distant future as well… watch our Twitter account for more.

Vidoop continues to impress

Obviously, this is a huge win for Vidoop, a company which has already done an impressive job of attracting top local talent to its rapidly growing Rose City footprint. And with this move, Vidoop steps into a whole new arena: attracting leading talent from San Francisco.

“We’re excited about Chris and Will joining Vidoop,” said Scott Kveton, Vidoop’s VP of Open Platforms, another recent tech rockstar hire for Vidoop. “We’re seeing a set of open technologies are emerging to help describe the ‘digital you,’ and Chris and Will have been at the center of those discussions. These are the technologies that will really enable the Open Web.”

And it’s not just the execs. The Portland team clearly realizes the opportunity that now lays before them: helping define the future of the Web.

When I mentioned to Michael Richardson, another recent Vidoop hire, that he just happened to luck into the dream team. He concurred.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with Chris Messina and Will Norris,” said Richardson. “It’s a great chance to work with people who not only have great experience but also possess a clear vision of the upcoming open web. I look forward to working with them and the rest of the Vidoop team to make that vision a reality.”

Vidoop’s Kevin Fox sees similar potential—and opportunity—for the burgeoning Vidoop talent pool.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Chris Messina on past projects and have always found his enthusiasm and honesty refreshing,” said Fox. “His ability to form a vision, then create and galvanize a community is unmatched. I look forward to helping build communities around the great products that Chris, Will and the rest of the stellar Vidoop team create.”

Now, it’s really starting to get exciting here in Portland.

ConfIdent people are attractive, especially when it comes to OpenID

And more OpenID news is rolling off the presses here in the Rose City. Portland-based ConfIdent Technologies, the new spinoff from recent Portland-transplant Vidoop, has announced partnership deals with ClaimID, Clickpass, and ooTao for its RecognitionAUTH™ technology, a patented system that does away with traditional passwords in favor of managing security credentials with images.

In related news, Vidoop has announced that the new JanRain OpenID ID Selector will be incorporated into the Vidoop affiliate program.

The ConfIdent announcements are important for a number of reasons.

First, partnerships of this nature continue to introduce concepts and technologies that hold the promise of moving OpenID from the realm of “cutting-edge technology types” to “everyday Web surfer.”

Second—and perhaps more importantly—it is a major step forward in security that is both more rigorous and yet, at the same time, easier to manage for both users and adopters. With ConfIdent’s system protecting the identity of the OpenID holder, stealing OpenID identities just became a great deal more arduous—if not nearly impossible.

And third, this kind of news is just another reminder that Portland is well on its way to becoming an OpenID powerhouse—if not a full-fledged tech hub. Lest we forget that, today, as two major OpenID announcements dropped, the Vice-Chair of the OpenID Foundation was in town for a lunch at Huber’s with the Chair of the OpenID Foundation and a variety of other folks from the community.

That’s a lot of OpenID activity for one day.

And other Portlanders, like Marshall Kirkpatrick (who also happens to be the fifth most influential tech blogger around), are beginning to make note of the trend:

Already the home of the inventor of the wiki (Ward Cunningham), the initiator of the Linux kernel (Linus Torvalds), a boatload of RSS and OpenSource-heads, Portland Oregon is also becoming a hotbed of OpenID work.

Here’s hoping that trend continues. (I’ve already done my part, by finally repairing the OpenID login for Silicon Florist comments.)

For more information on the partnership announcement, read the ConfIdent Technologies release. For more on the technology behind ConfIdent, read up on RecognitionAUTH.

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.

Vidoop secures Michael Richardson

The recently founded Portland Vidoop office, headed up by Scott Kveton, continues to make waves in the local tech startup scene. This time, Vidoop has announced that local Reed-schooled Python-magician Michael Richardson has signed on as part of the Portland team.

You may know Richardson as the coding muscle behind such hits as “Pulse of PDX” and “Tweetpeek.” He’s also a regular at Portland’s weekly Beer and Blog gatherings. And just an all-around scary-intelligent coding type.

According to the Vidoop blog:

Michael will be a software developer in the ever-growing Portland office working on OpenID, distributed social networking and other “open web” related initiatives.

For more on Richardson, read the Vidoop post announcing his hiring. For more information on Vidoop and its technology, visit Vidoop.

Silicon Forest and the Identity Management Working Group

Sometimes, I get pretty focused on OpenID-flavored identity management. But there are other startups in town working on a different type of identity management. The kind that involves your offline existence. (If there is a such a thing.)

The Santa Fe Group, a respected consultancy focusing on fraud reduction, has just announced the formation of its “Identity Management Working Group.” Among the group’s top concerns will be the growth of business identity theft, in which bogus entities use existing business names to compromise business accounts.

And the group has two Silicon Forest ties, one direct and one tangential.

First, the direct. Rick Kam of ID Safeguards, a Beaverton-based startup focusing on the identity fraud protection and compromised identity recovery, has been named the chair of the new organization.

“Collaboration is a critical component of curbing identity theft ,” said Kam. “This group will work together and with the industry at large to share knowledge that will find new and effective ways to protect us all.”

Second, the tangential. CheckFree, parent company of recently acquired Hillsboro-based startup Corillian, is also part of the working group.

Interesting news for the Silicon Forest, and perhaps the early rumblings of an opportunity.

What if all of the “identity” focused folks here in town got together and started working on this whole problem? I’m thinking these fraud protection folks, the Portland-based OpenID folks like JanRain, and the soon-to-have-a-Portland-office, rethinking-online-credentials Vidoop folks could have a pretty interesting conversation.

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