KATU Portland-blogger invites blanket the area

I received a strange eVite from Portland ABC affiliate KATU inviting me to a blogger get together that they are hosting.

KATU wants to get to know the blogging community and is interested in joining the conversation. There’s no agenda, other than to enjoy some food and beverages courtesy of our hosts. Meet fellow bloggers, view (and photograph!) the television studios and have some fun!

And I’m not alone. Nearly 300 Portland area bloggers got the same thing.

Out of the blue. Yet intriguing, nonetheless.

Maybe Amanda is coming to town. Or maybe it’s just a ploy to raise KATU’s visibility, given that this was included:

To help spread the word (and hear what fellow bloggers are saying about this meetup), let’s tag our blog posts and photos “KATUmeetup”.

Other mentions, so far, include:

Did you get one? What’s your take? Someone from KATU care to elaborate? Or perhaps Brian Westbrook who seems to be the eViter for the event?

One thing is for sure, Portland Mercury’s Blogtown PDX is not happy with the snub.

SXSW 2008: Portland presenters?

Sure, sure. SXSW takes place in Austin. But that doesn’t stop a bunch of us Portland types from making the trek down to Texas.

Now, the (apparently completely buggy) voting system for SXSW 2008 panels is open, which means it’s time to choose the panels you want to see while you’re down there.

That’s all well and good. But there are nearly 700 panels on which to vote. If you’re like me, you could use some help culling the herd.

Well, I’ve heart rumors of a few Portland folks who were proposing presentations, but I only know of one for sure. That’s Dawn Foster who has proposed two panels:

If you’re a Portland presenter hoping to make the SXSW bill, drop a link in the comments so we know what’s what. If we get enough comments about different panels, I’ll post a round-up with all of the proposed Portland presenters and their topics.

And, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have a little Silicon Florist get together down there, with all of the Silicon Forest attendees.

Stranger things have happened.

Jive Software secures $15 million… and moves blog to Clearspace

Big news coming out of Jive Software today. The company announced that it has secured a $15 million round of funding led by Sequoia Capital.

From VentureBeat

One with considerable momentum is Jive Software, a Portland, Ore. Its product, Clearspace, doesn’t tack various software programs together. It offers it all from ground-up: It lets employees and customers collaborate on a mix of blogs, wikis, forums, chat, tagging, files and reputation systems into a single interface behind the corporate firewall (or outside it, if customers are involved, in which case it governs a publishing system that controls what gets outside the firewall). The company was bootstrapped for years, but in February, hit a vein, says chief executive Dave Hersh — demand for its product became overwhelming.

Jive will do more than $15 million in sales this year, with the second quarter revenue almost double what it was the same quarter of last year. It has more than 2,000 customers, says Hersh, mentioning names like IBM, Sun and BEA. So it has taken $15 million from Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital, to handle the growth.

Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian also covered this round:

Jive said it plans to use the money to continue developing its software and to market its products. Jive is the latest company to benefit from a surge in venture capital backing Oregon businesses. Venture capitalists invested $173 million in Oregon companies during the first six months of the year, up from $76 million in the first half last year.

Mashable covered the funding, as well.

Still no post on the Jive blog or in the Jive newsroom, so I’ll provide other details as they become available.

[UPDATE] As of Monday morning, still nothing from the horse’s mouth, but Om Malik is reporting that the funding will be used to “push sales and marketing of its Clearspace line-up of products,” while Portland station KGW has pulled an AP story that states, “The company said it will be scaling up operations, development and setting up international offices as a result of the investment.”

In related news, when I headed over to the Jive blog to see if they had posted anything, I was happy to see that they had ported their blog to their own Clearspace product. “Eating their own dogfood” as it were.

Although, Clearspace appears to be mighty tasty dogfood.

Pibb-powered backchannel for BarCamp Block

Headed down to BarCamp Block, this weekend? Yeah, me neither. I mean, it’s Multnomah Days. I can’t miss the parade.

But, even though you and I are miles away, Portland-based JanRain will make it feel like we’re there, making snarky comments on the backchannel like the rest of the folks, thanks to the Pibb BarCamp channel.

They’ve even built a bridge to IRC:

As an added bonus the Pibb developers have setup a Pibb <-> IRC bridge, so all the people on the #Barcamp IRC channel will be able to see whats going on in Pibb and vice versa. Cheers to bridges helping people break out of their communication silos!

For more information on Pibb’s at the BarCamp Block, see the JanRain blog.

Grabb.it releases incredibly cool interface for iPhone

Tired of the music on your iPhone? Point it to the Grabb.it iPhone interface and you’ll be surfing new tunes in a matter of seconds. Find one you like? Click and you’ll be listening—to the whole song.

Just flip through the iPhone friendly scroll list or search, then click on a selected tune, and voila! That’s it. It’s playing on your iPhone. Just like that.

The new Grabb.it iPhone service worked flawlessly on wifi, with no interruption. It played the songs as if they were stored in my iPod library. With Edge, it was a little choppy.

Still, worth checking out.

[UPDATE] Great insight into the development challenges, on Chris Anderson’s blog.

Designed to support independent musicians, the Portland-based Grabb.it service makes any Web-accessible MP3s—from local favorites, relative unknowns, and popular artists—more accessible by indexing MP3s as they are posted by artists and fans.

RailsBoxcar open for business

Unveiled earlier this year, RailsBoxcar is now open for business.

Portland-based Planet Argon has announced that the pricing for their Ruby on Rails hosting environment has been released and that they are prepared to take orders.

Good news if you’re a Portland Rails developer looking for local hosting for your app.

[Boxcar is] a new hosting service, which aims to provide you with even more privacy, more guaranteed resources, and better options for scaling your Rails application as your business grows.

For more information, see the Planet Argon blog.

PLANET ARGON is a Ruby on Rails development, consulting, and hosting company that encompasses a network of developers and administrators that love working with open source technology. Founded in 2002, PLANET ARGON started only as a custom web application development company, but eventually expanded its services to offer web and database hosting to the general public, specifically to fellow developers.

Ignite Portland begins to smolder

As mentioned earlier (“Ignite Portland?“), Josh Bancroft came back from Gnomedex with an urge to begin Ignite Portland.

Well, if Twitter is any indication, a small planning session, today, seems to have been extremely positive. Josh mentions it in tweets here and here. And Dawn Foster mentioned it in a tweet as well, offering that something may be happening as soon as October. I know that Raven Zachary was in attendance, too.

Both Raven and Dawn are involved in organizing the annual BarCamp Portland and monthly BarCamp Portland Meetup events.

(Full disclosure: I was honored to be invited to attend this planning session, but had to decline due to personal commitments.)

More details on Ignite Portland as they become available.

[Update] Ignite Portland has a Facebook Group, now.

Metroblogging Portland meetup August 22

Metroblogging Portland is a collectively composed blog featuring a relatively continuous stream of local news from local talent. The bloggers work together, but they don’t work together. So they try to meet up once a month.

This month? You’re invited.

We’ll be at rontoms starting about 5:30 or so on August 22nd. If you’d like to come have a drink, we will be supplying a variety of nibbly things for you to munch on while you have your beverage and come say hi to us. Especially if you’re a commenter, even more especially if you’re a regular commenter (whether you agree with us or not) we would love to put some faces to some names. Wouldn’t you?

For more information, visit Metroblogging Portland.

Diggnation broadcasting live from Portland?

That’s the hope of PDXPipeline.

If you’re a fan of Digg, Pownce (speaking of which, I still have invites), or just young Mr. Rose, join the Digg campaign encouraging the Diggnation crew to broadcast live from the lovely Rose City.

It’s going to take quite a few of you chiming in to even get this to move, so feel free to add your Digg to the list.

iPhone Whois

If you’re anything like me, you come up with domain ideas in the most random—and often unwired—places. I mean like the grocery store. What were you thinking about?

Never mind that now. We have important matters to discuss.

Matt King has just released a Whois application for the Apple iPhone. So now, no matter where you are—as long as that “where” has Edge or wifi access—you can check that domain name and see if it’s available.

To try it out, head over to whois.onmyiphone.net.

Of course, then you have to go try to register it on the very non-iPhone-ish registry sites. Baby steps.

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