There are tons of great blogs around the Silicon Forest. And, by extension, that means we have a bunch of great bloggers. So it stands to reason that, every once in a while, one of those bloggers makes the leap from the farm leagues to the big show.
To blog or not to blog? It’s a question with which any number of corporations wrestle. And today at the InnoTech eMarketing Summit, Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb and Josh Bancroft of Intel will answer that question—and likely many more about corporate communications, blogging, and microblogging sites like Twitter. (I’ll be on the panel as well, doing a lot of smiling and nodding.)
Here’s the basis of the discussion:
Whether out of curiosity or under pressure, you’ve likely started a company blog. Maybe you’re even letting employees blog. But making blogging a successful component of your organization’s communications and support programs? That’s another thing, entirely. Join this panel of panel of elite bloggers and microbloggers to learn how you can use blogs to increase transparency with your target market, create deeper and lasting relationships with your existing customers, and improve your company’s visibility on the Web. Attendees are sure to leave with both a renewed motivation to blog and specific steps for improving their organizations’ use of traditional blogs and new microblogging platforms.
The three of us will be providing our insight at 2 PM, today, in Portland Ballroom 256 at the Oregon Convention Center. So if you’re at InnoTech, we’d love to see you. For you Twitter types, the hashtag for the event is #emspdx.
Can’t come see us today? Well we can’t save you any… oh wait. That’s okay, but we’ll miss you. And I’d highly encourage to register to attend InnoTech on Thursday so that you can see Rahaf Harfoush talk about the Obama social media campaign.
The new Spanish chapter is the second international gathering after Beer and Blog Tokyo.
Stateside, Beer and Blog features chapters in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana (that’s right, Beer and Blog has secured both the “no daylight savings time” states), Missouri, Nevada, Texas, and, of course, the three locations in Oregon.
Interested in starting a Beer and Blog of your own? (Yes, Omaha, San Francisco, DC, and all of you other spots, I’m looking at you.) Just contact @justinkistner. You’ll get your own space on the Beer and Blog site, a Twitter account, swag, and team support from all of the other chapters.
Speaking of Beer and Blog, this evening’s Beer and Blog Portland will be an “End Awkwardness” field trip to Cubespace featuring karaoke and Open Source Bridge outreach. (And if someone can explain how performing karaoke is supposed to end awkwardness rather than enhance it, I’m all ears.) For more information, see Upcoming or Calagator.
Three members of the Portland tech community—Aaron Hockley, Geoff Kleinman, and Lorelle VanFossen—took to the stage to present. Which is a really big deal, given that the attendees at this event are very much a who’s who of the WordPress community and the world of blogging, including Matt Mullenweg (the creator of WordPress), Chris Brogan, Liz Strauss… the list goes on and on.
Aaron Hockley’s talk “Beyond Beer and Blog,” described the growing Web tech scene here in town and highlighted some of the key factors that contributed to building such a successful community.
The presentation was so exceedingly good—and so well received—I’ve embedded it below for your viewing pleasure. It’s the weekend. Kick back and spend a few minutes hearing about how we got where we are today.
Geoff presented on techniques and tips for managing team blogs with large numbers of contributors. You can watch his presentation on the WordCamp Las Vegas Ustream channel.
Unfortunately, at the time of this post, the always incomparable Lorelle had not yet had her presentation archived. (
I’ll link it up when it’s available. [Update] Or not. See Aaron’s comment below.) She presented on measuring traffic and what it means to bloggers. No doubt with a mention or two of Woopra.
WordCamp Las Vegas continues through Sunday. It is being streamed live if you’d like to tune in.
Living in the bloggy world that you do, it may come as a shock to you that—are you sitting down?—many intelligent, thoughtful, and opinionated individuals are currently without a blog of any sort today. In fact, some of them don’t even read blogs, let alone publish them.
I know! WTF?
There, there. Wipe away that tear, sunshine. We’re looking to avert this tragedy. In Portland, at least.
Thanks to the good folks at Beer and Blog, we’ve got End Bloglessness, a half-day workshop designed to get even the most neophytic luddite up-and-blogging in no time flat. And as is common in the Portland Web tech scene: it’s all free.
Bloggers and would-be bloggers of all skill sets are welcome. Just show up Saturday, January 10 at CubeSpace. From noon until 5 PM, you’ll be walking through the entire blog setup process, everything from installation through promotion.
We are focusing on launching WordPress blogs for this workshop. We’re also focusing on self-hosted blogs, so you’ll need a hosting plan and your access information with you at the workshop to get assisted help. Owning your own hosting account, and therefore your blog, is important and the reason we want to do this workshop is to expand access to blog ownership to more people.
By the time you leave the workshop, you’ll have a blog that is ready to go and some direction on how to connect with other local bloggers. We are expecting people from all skill levels, including the technically challenged. Everyone will be treated with respect and will be encouraged.
Or, if you’re interested in hearing more, swing by Beer and Blog, this Friday at the Green Dragon.
Remember, only you can prevent bloglessness.
Hands down, one of the most compelling and beneficial events of the Portland Web scene last year was WordCamp Portland, where the WordPress faithful took the opportunity to gather, share ideas, and learn about new ways to use their favorite blogging platform.
So much WordPress love from the community. It seems a shame to keep it pent up all year.
Enter Portland WordPress User Group, a new event designed to help newbies get the help they need, to ensure power users get more powerful, and to generally forge a stronger community among the WordPress types here in town. And an event—most importantly—designed to occur much more often than once a year.
Apart from the assurances of “I know Beer and Blog. I’ve been to Beer and Blog. This is not Beer and Blog,” the format is still pretty open. The first gathering will be designed to help form that, um, format.
Birds of a feather flock together. Startups like startups. Creatives like creatives. And that’s probably why when a startup distillery and bistro called the Green Dragon opened, the startup tech community in Portland felt a certain affinity for it.
They liked us. We liked them. They were perfect for Beer and Blog. They were centrally located for other tech events. It was a very much kismet.
And, if it goes through—the lawyers have jumped in to say that “nothing is final”—then the dynamic of the joint may be changing.
John Foyston of The Beer Here blog has an update that pretty much states that Rogue plans on keeping most of what the Green Dragon character is today, so that could bode well for us who love it. From how I read the article, the only change would be in ownership, but the heart of the Green Dragon would live on. You decide.
We don’t know what we don’t know. But I’m not exactly holding my breath that the Green Dragon we know and love will be around much longer.
What to do? Show up to Beer and Blog today to bid one of the best geek hangouts in town a fond farewell. Mourning attire and protest armbands optional.
This week, it just so happens that Beer and Blog falls on Halloween which has it—like a victim of an unfortunate zombie bite—transforming into the ghoulishly clever “Bat and Blog.”
But wait, there’s more:
Now, if you are like me (meaning, not into intricate costumes that involve actual planning) you may find yourself dressing up as yourself again this year (meaning, sans costume). All that thinking ahead for costume ideas really bums me out, so I usually skip the whole thing.
This year, however, I came up with an easy-to-create Halloween getup of the non-lame variety that lets you participate in the celebrated tradition of being someone else for a day. The best part is that this costume idea is of someone we all admire, whom men and women alike want to emulate. Someone smart, popular, good looking and super-dooper nice, who supports and promotes the Portland tech scene with unwavering love. A bona fide tour de force.
Who are they describing? You’ll just have to head over to the blog and see.
Suffice it to say, I’m buying. But you’ll have to show up to find out if that’s a trick or a treat.
I’d love to prattle on and on about how great and amazing and inspiring WordCamp Portland 2008 was. But I can’t.
I’m simply at a loss for words.
Yes, it was that good.
And I remain ever so proud to have had the chance to sponsor and participate.
What was WordCamp Portland, you ask? Well, it was a very long day of love and learning focused on WordPress—a popular open source blogging platform and content management system. Throughout the day, more than 150 WordPress enthusiasts and soon-to-be enthusiasts shared their ideas, their problems, and their insights.
And, perhaps the most amazing thing? It was almost single-handedly willed into being by Aaron Hockley, following a conversation at Beer and Blog. And with the support of team of volunteers and sponsors, he and his team turned WordCamp Portland into a truly incredible event.
I’d love to tell you more, but honestly, I can’t really do it justice. So—as is my general wont after these types of things—I’m going to round up the stuff that other people are saying.
Let’s let them do the talking:
- Twitter posts tagged with #wordcampdx (It was the #1 topic on Twitter throughout the day.)
- Flickr photos tagged with wordcampdx
- Thank YOU (WordCamp Portland)
“We’re wrapping things up here at WordCamp Portland, but I wanted to post a quick thank you to everyone. Thanks to our sponsors for providing cash and services that helped make this possible. A big thank you to all of our speakers, some of whom traveled quite a distance, for sharing their expertise and helping to facilitate a ton of great discussion. Thanks to all of our attendees – hopefully you learned something, and we appreciate all of your knowledge that you’ve shared.”
- Presentations Links Roundup (WordCamp Portland)
“Many of the WordCamp Portland presenters referenced links, information, or slides which are shared online. Here’s a roundup of pointers to the presentation information, roughly in the order presented…”
- Liveblogging WordCamp Portland (Critical Games)
“8:33am: We’re all set up in the main conference room at CubeSpace, bagels and coffee in hand… slide on the project points out that if you want to search on twitter or flickr or anywhere, the hashtag to look for is #wordcampdx…. “
- Liveblogging WordCamp PDX (Eric Stoller)
” The tag/hashtag for WordCamPDX (only 1 p) is wordcampdx. Aaron Hockley is kicking off the event promptly at 8:36. Very diverse group of attendees.”
- WordCamp PDX (superfancy)
“Anyway, the reason I attended was for information overload! And I was not disappointed in the least.”
- WordCamp PDX! Resources and Morning Recap (Hazelnut Tech Talk)
“Saturday morning cartoons and sleep were replaced with a hundred bloggers at CubeSpace. We woke up collectively to a series of speeches, tips, and new friends we didn’t expect.”
- What I learned from WordCamp Portland (OurPDX)
“Sitting in the sold out room for WordCamp Portland I was struck by just how dynamic and exciting the internet community in Portland has become. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to write about it, doesn’t want the rest of the world to know about our little secret (but I think the secret is already out). Big things are happening here in Portland. When I say big things, I don’t mean some major Internet company is going to be opening its doors, and I don’t mean there will be some huge announcement of some grand Oregon based product. The magic of what’s happening here is that it’s a million little exciting things that all add up to a very significant and flourishing community.”
- I survived WordCamp Portland (My Whim is Law)
“Yesterday, I met other people who are in the business of changing lives – their own, or those of the audiences or organizations or causes they represent. I added several more people to my Twitter stream, or shared my knowledge with them (and vice versa.) My life is immeasurably richer because I blog. It’s immeasurably easier because I use WordPress.”
- WordCamPDX Wrap-Up (Critical Games)
“The short of it: it was a REALLY fantastic event, and I’m very glad I went (it would have been worth coming down from Seattle for were I still in Seattle, let me put it that way). As can be gathered from my previous post, there was a virtual wealth of information regarding blogging, and thats not even getting into the deluge of tweets on Twitter regarding it — at several points in the day, we were anywhere from the number one to the number three item in Twitter Trends, even beating out the political stuff the day after the debates. And the attendance was just 150 people(ish), so that should be saying something on just how much everyone was tweeting. I about doubled my Twitter Follows/Followers.”
- #wordcampdx Changes Lives (TechnoEarthMama)
“Today I attended the excellent conference/unconference WordCamp Portland, and was amazed.”
- WordcamPDX (Vin Thomas)
“If you don’t know by now, I use wordpress for this blog. I love it! It is really one of the great developments in open source web development.”
- I learned a little something (Moody Meow)
“Entering Wordcamp I was almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of people. They announced that they would let more people in, and I’m glad. I almost registered too late, intending on going, but trying to convince myself not to go because I wouldn’t know a soul there.”
- chrysalis (Cami Kaos)
“On Saturday I attended WordCamPDX which answered a lot of questions that needed answering and raised about 6,000 more that I’m looking in to. I’ll have an entire post on my experience at word camp later in the week but for now I leave you with this picture of Verso and I taken by Jane Wells.”
- At WordCamp Portland 2008 (BoxedTofu)
“Yes, I am a tech / blogging geek. That is why I’m spending the day in a sketchy part of Portland, listening to people talk about WordPress (an awesome blogging platform). If you’re looking to start a blog, it is what you should probably use (open source, plugins, community support, so good).”
- Wordcamp PDX is over… time to go home (BoxedTofu)
“Wordcamp PDX was a smash hit. I made some new friends, learned a few new blogging-related things, and saw a lot of people with iPhones. Although I dont’ have much else to say, I did want to show a couple of images.”
- Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-21 (Josh Bancroft’s TinyScreenfuls)
- Tying your tubes (Steel Bridge Rag)
“Just joined FriendFeed. Now we’re onto LifeStream, which sends anything I do to one place. These geeks move FAST! Overload!!!!”
- What is it about blogging platform conferences? (Develonizer)
“I’ve been to many tech confrences, the only two that have really creep-eeed me out have been Drupalcamp and now wordcamp. I think that they evangelizm is all with good intent, and I’m not trying to be cynical, but think about it. Everyone who has payed $10, and showed up @ 840, so I think that we can assume that there is some level of love for the topic of the day, wordpress(wp).”
- Unlucky in photo competitions, lucky in radishes (Gwyn’s Blog)
“It was cheap, cheerful, informative & well-organised. I am proudly wearing my free T-Shirt today. More conferences should have kegs of beer available from lunch time onwards too. Talking of which, I learnt about a Portland institution called Beer and Blog with weekly Friday meetups in PDX, so I might investigate that too.”
- At Wordcamp Portland Today (Viper007Bond)
“13-14 hours later I’m home. What an awesome day. I’d write more, but I’m burned out and not big on word anyway. See me on Twitter as well as the #wordcampdx tag for a summary. So totally going next year.”
- WordCamp Portland Wrapup (Thieves Like Us)
“More than any nugget of information I got during a talk, I think the most valuable thing I took away was a general sense of what is possible to accomplish with the framework in general.”
- Finding voice (Art Wells)
“I went to Wordcamp Portland yesterday. Though I couldn’t stay for the whole event, and I’m far from a wordpress power user, it was still quite inspirational. I met good, positive people and saw some shining examples of people doing what they loved with good tools.”
- WordPress Presentations from WordCamPDX (Webmonkey)
“WordCamp wrapped up in Portland over the weekend and all signs point to it being a success. Apparently the #wordcampdx hash tag made the front page of Twitter, if that’s any indication. Perhaps a better measure is the huge list of presentation wrap-ups, including slides, notes, videos, and more.”
- The Fairy BlogMother Lorelle (Liz Strauss)
“On the Worldwide Day of Play, Lorelle VanFossen gave her Keynote at WordCamp Portland as the Fairy BlogMother. Amazing in every way!”
That’s what I’ve got, so far. Did I miss your post? Please, by all means, link it up below.
(Psst! If you’re among those who just couldn’t get enough WordCamp, I’ve got a little secret for you. Don’t tell anyone. Let’s just keep this between you and me. But, word around the campfire is that there may be a Portland contingent making the trip down to WordCamp Las Vegas in January, where Matt Mullenweg and Lorelle are already on the agenda. There might be a Portland-type speaking there, as well. Stay tuned!)
For mediachick’s five fantastic reasons for making the not-so-arduous trip north, see the Beer and Blog, um, blog. My favorite?
The miscellaneous, yet delightful, discoveries: jukebox, generous outside patio, ping-pong table, bocce, wifi, and a sleepy and snuggly pub cat.
For more information, details on the location, and to RSVP, see Beer and Blog on Upcoming.