Queen Bee sitting pretty with UpSale

Portland-based Blue Hill Solutions, a Web-development shop specializing in e-commerce systems, has announced the relaunch of Queen Bee Creations, a Portland-based manufacturer of unique handmade bags and wallets.

The entire redesign and relaunch took eight weeks, concept to completion.

Besides requiring 100% creative control over the presentation of their site, they needed a system for managing retail and wholesale customers, tools to match their manufacturing and fulfillment processes, and a platform that would scale with their business through the holiday season and beyond.

The new site is built upon Blue Hill’s UpSale e-commerce platform, which was built specifically for applications like Queen Bee.

Ignite Portland was (insert your favorite fire-related metaphor here)

Ignite Portland, the Portland-flavored version of the O’Reilly concept designed to encourage the sharing of burning ideas in 5 minutes or less, just wrapped up.

Held at the Wieden+Kennedy office in the Pearl, the rumored-to-be-oversold attendance numbers—somewhat miraculously—proved to be exactly the number of people allowed by the fire code. Go figure.

Topics of the 18 presentations ranged from knitting to unicycling to chickens to turning Japanese.

Rest assured, there was some geeky stuff, as well.

Exit polls are looking very positive. Every presenter should be very proud. (I’m not going to call any favorites. But if you want to do so in the comments, I won’t stop you.)

A heartfelt thanks to the organizers: Josh Bancroft, Dawn Foster, Todd Kenefsky, Raven Zachary, and the bevy of other geeks and non-geeks who helped make this a reality. And an equally heartfelt thanks to all of the presenters who made this whole thing incredibly interesting.

If you missed the event, you can read the Twitter stream, check the photos by tag or in the Flickr group, wait patiently for the video to be uploaded, or you can read some of these recaps:

Got a recap? Post it to the comments and I’ll make sure to add it to the list.

(Personally, I got the chance to meet a bunch of the real-life versions of the avatars I see on a daily basis. To all of those folks, thank you so much. Great to see you. I know there were a bunch of people I missed, as well. And I’m truly sorry that we didn’t get the chance to meet.)

The next event is planned for January. Hope to see you—and meet you—there.

Light it up! Ignite Portland is tonight

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight is the night.

Ignite Portland
Wieden+Kennedy
224 NW 13th Avenue
Doors open at 5:30
First 300 admitted

I’ll be there and I hope to see you there, too. If you are, please find me and introduce yourself.

If you can’t be there, fear not, gentle reader. The geek quotient is high here, so there are virtual Ignite Portland venues that will allow you to attend vicariously.

ChoiceA takes on MLS

Somewhere-near-Portland-based ChoiceA has taken on the ambitious task of creating an alternative to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the database upon which the world of realty is founded.

We are creating an alternative to the MLS because we think there needs to be a new model, and because we thought you should be able to list for free. We don’t walk both sides of the fence. There are hybrids and discounters, but we are a fresh start. We wiped the slate clean and started a 2nd national database – only this time it’s free and intended for the by-owner community….

The existing model was a bit monopolistic for our taste.

The undertaking, while a completely mind-boggling really-really-miniscule-David-versus-gigantic-super-size-Goliath battle, is admirable.

For more on the service, I suggest reading Marshall Kirkpatrick’s Read/Write Web post, which provides an in-depth report on the ChoiceA service and the challenges it faces.

TwitterWhere: Get tweets by geographic location

It’s Twitter geography day, today, on Silicon Florist. First, my post on Portland Twitter types. Now, something even cooler.

Portland-based interactive developer Matt King has announced the release of TwitterWhere, a tool for listening to Twitter users in your backyard. Or up to 50 miles away from your backyard. Or in someone else’s backyard. Or… Well, you get the picture.

At first blush, TwitterWhere is exactly the type of tool for which people like me—who are looking to keep tabs on the local scene—have been waiting. (In fact, it could easily make me obsolete.)

TwitterWhere lets you generate an RSS or XML Feed to filter out Tweets around a certain area. Just enter a city, state, postal code, choose the range of miles you want to include, and hit the button. You’ll instantly get URLs to add to your RSS reader.

I just grabbed the Portland feed and it appears to be pulling those more hip airport-call-sign-oriented types using PDX, as well.

This looks very promising.

For more coverage of TwitterWhere, see Read/Write Web and Mashable.

Twitter on Portland, Portland on Twitter

It’s no secret that Twitter tends to be my newswire. And I’m not the only one. Portland’s own Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read/Write Web goes so far as to say, “Twitter is paying my rent.”

To me and many others, Twitter is the AP wire. It’s where I hear about stuff first.

In fact, Twitter is part of the reason I started Silicon Florist. Because I just saw so much happening out there in our fair city.

For the uninitiated and perhaps intimidated, it is important to note that the beauty of Twitter is its clean and nearly foolproof opt-in setup. Getting spam? Quit following. Done. Want to know who’s following your news? Just look. There they are.

Doesn’t get much cleaner than that.

So, I thought it might be helpful to highlight a by-no-means-exhaustive smattering of the Portland organizations and events that I am following on Twitter as a way to stay up-to-date with Rose City happenings. (For the complete list of whom I follow, visit Twitter.)

If I were you, I’d consider following the following Portland-area startups on Twitter:

And then, there are a number of Portland-area startups who have employees on Twitter. (Which, honestly, is almost better than a company on Twitter. In the same way that, by and large, employee blogs are far more interesting than corporate blogs.)

Some of those startups are:

Finally, it isn’t lost on me that I may not be following all the people, companies, and groups that I should be following.

So, I’m asking you to enlighten me.

If you want me (and other Silicon Florist readers) to follow your Silicon Forest startup on Twitter, please feel free to add your Twitter identity to the comments, below. (I’ve refrained from posting a list of individual Portlanders here. But if you want more people following you, feel free to add your Twitter account to the comments, as well.)

If the list gets long enough, I might have to work on publishing a Portland-centric “who to follow on Twitter” list.

NetworthIQ sees users surge after Aussie ink

Portland-based NetworthIQ, the site that helps individuals track—and promote–their financial net worth, is reporting a surge in users after receiving favorable coverage in news.com.au.

Via the newswire that is Twitter, I’m hearing numbers north of 200, but shy of the one-day record of 391 set by the New York Times.

Inspired by the personal finance bloggers who feel liberated enough to share their net worth with the world, and other social sites (Flickr, 43things, del.icio.us, upcoming.org), NetworthIQ was conceived as a place where people can track, share and compare their financial status. The company describes it as a “social personal finance tool.”

Culinate launches new blog, bringing guests to the table

Portland-based Culinate, the foodie portal situated at intersection of food and life and food (it’s a five-point intersection kind of thing), has launched a new blog, Dinner Guest.

The blog is designed to allow the folks at Culinate to feature content from guest bloggers who may or may not be typing with their mouths full.

We named our new blog Dinner Guest, and in putting it together I’ve felt a little like a host making invitations to a dinner party. You know, wanting to invite new friends and old, interesting people of mixed ages and varied interests, someone to wear the lampshade at the end of the evening.

Or maybe it’s more like planning a menu: Something hearty, something green, something sweet, and something for the person who doesn’t eat [fill in the blank].

Recent contributors include Curt Ellis, co-producer and star of the documentary King Corn, and Harriet Fasenfest of Preserve.

Sound interesting? Subscribe to the Dinner Guest feed.

Culinate features articles and essays that address the multitude of intersections between food and the rest of our lives. We’re interested in how people define their lives via food — should I buy organic? be a vegetarian? shun sugar? — as well as how food defines us. Culinate is a place that connects food to the wider world and brings it home.

For more information, visit Culinate.

Ignite Portland running into fire code issues or I’ll take “irony” for 500, Alex.

Ignite Portland is filling up. So much so, that they’re about to overrun the space so kindly donated by the folks at Wieden+Kennedy.

It’s a fire code issue.

Ignite. Fire code. Get it? (Tap, tap, tap) Is this thing on?

Anyway, don’t let that stop you. Head on over to the Ignite Portland Upcoming page and RSVP. If need be, I’ll give up my seat so that you can get in to see the presentations.

Who’s presenting? I’m glad you asked, the presenters are:

  • Raven Zachary (What is Ignite?)
  • Urban Scout
  • Steve Morris
  • Audrey Eschright
  • Sarah Gilbert
  • Kevin Tate
  • Scott Huber
  • Scott Kveton
  • Crystal Beasley
  • Douglas Wolk
  • Hideshi Hamaguchi
  • Adam Duvander
  • Justin Kistner
  • Keith Gerr
  • Bill DeRouchey
  • MarcoPolo
  • Selena Deckelmann
  • MJ

Platial acquires Frappr (updated)

Portland-based Platial, the social mapping community with all of its vowels still intact, has acquired competitor Frappr.

Platial welcomes Frappr users

Details are fairly limited at this time. Aside from a welcome message to Frappr users on the Platial site.

Platial has dropped a press release to announce the acquisition (hat tip to paidContent), purporting to be the “#1 Social Map site.”

Platials CEO Di-Ann Eisnor says, We are delighted to have the Frappr community join the Platial family. This reinforces our vision to connect people, neighborhoods and nations around the world. Together, we will make social mapping more accessible, more valuable and a more fundamental part of Web 2.0, encompassing mobile and local search. We will also introduce new, more effective advertising models using social data and location to create greater relevance.

So what about that other company that does something with maps? You know, that one down in Mountain View and in The Dalles? Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read/Write Web provides guidance on what this acquisition actually means.

At the time of this posting, this has not been announced on the Platial blog. [Update] On October 23, Platial posted a blog entry about the benefits of the acquired technology.

More information as it becomes available.

See additional coverage in TechCrunch, Mashable, paidContent, and Read/Write Web.

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