Every year about this time, you start to feel it. It’s drawing near. The largest geeky Web event of its kind. A sort of pilgrimage for the Web types. Where they all head down to, well, Texas of all places. To hang out, attend sessions, and socialize with other people of their ilk. That’s right. I said “ilk.”
Yep, it’s true. The time is drawing near for SXSW interactive, once again. And it promises to be bigger and better than ever. But who from Portland is making the journey down south? Well, there’s no better way to find out—and draw the SXSW types out—than a social event. And that made tomorrow’s Beer and Blog Portland the perfect venue for a little get together. Read More
Hey lookie there! It’s Thursday. And that means it’s time for another episode of memePDX. I mean, so you’ve got a little company during lunch. What’s more? It’s episode 26, which means we’ve reached a half a year of content. Yay for milestones!
Maybe they’ve got a broken down car in the front yard. Maybe they like to stand on their roof and water their lawn. Maybe they choose to yodel at 4 AM on a Tuesday. Whatever the case, they’re crazy neighbors. And we’ve all got them.
But so many of these priceless crazy neighbor moments have been lost somewhere in the ether. Smatterings of utter weirdness that defy explanation. All fleeting. Like attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. Or like tears in the rain. Until now.
Most of the folks in the Portland Web scene have become all too familiar with a little Friday ritual called Beer and Blog. The event—which began with Justin Kistner helping a few other bloggers over beers—rapidly grew into the de facto happy hour for the Portland blogging and tech scene. So popular, in fact, that it spread to other cities.
But there were no rules saying you always had to go on a Friday. Or only go to Portland’s gathering, for that matter.
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815, the only child of Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella. Born Augusta Ada Byron, but now known simply as Ada Lovelace, she wrote the world’s first computer programmes for the Analytical Engine, a general-purpose machine that Charles Babbage had invented.
That got me to thinking. I’m incredibly lucky to get the chance to work with a number of extremely talented and technically adept women. And I get the chance to work with many of them on a weekly basis, which is awesome. Many of you are just as lucky as me.
So I thought I’d list some of the cool female geeks in Portland whom I am proud to know:
She’s the co-founder of Open Source Bridge, has had code committed to PostgreSQL, attends and speaks at any number of conferences, served as one of the original board members for Legion of Tech, and provides some exemplary guidance on killing chickens.
She’s a wizard with Yahoo! Pipes, a sage with community development, a hardworking startup type with Shizzow, one of the founders of Legion of Tech, and from what I understand, one mean werewolf player.
All of these women have been an absolute inspiration for me. And I’m truly honored that I get the chance to work with them on a regular basis.
She’s an incredible speaker and thought-provoking writer whose Creating Passionate Users completely changed the way I thought about marketing and writing—and was a direct inspiration for Silicon Florist.
She’s taught me how to think about the power and the promise technology holds for doing good. And her Gnomedex performance, last year, remains one of the coolest technological experiments I’ve ever seen—even though it had very little to do with technology and everything to do with people.
Which women are excelling in technology in your world?
If there are women in technology who inspire you, I’d love to hear about—and I’m sure they would, too. Who are the other women in Portland technology or Silicon Forest technology who deserve some recognition? Why not take a few minutes to write something up? There’s still time.
When it comes to social media and community management, few folks in Portland—arguably few folks in the world—understand it as well as Dawn Foster, @geekygirldawn.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to meet her, Dawn is a community management powerhouse. She has more than 13 years of experience in technology and software with expertise in open source software, web 2.0, social media, blogging, and community building, working at companies like Intel and Jive Software. She’s also a co-founder and board member for Legion of Tech. Dawn currently consults on social media and community management and serves as the community manager for Shizzow.
So when I heard she was working on a book that was going to give me access to some of her insights, I got a wee bit giddy.
Companies and Communities is focused on helping your company get real business value out of participating in online communities and social media. This 80 page eBook contains practical advice and suggestions for how companies can engage with online communities and social media sites.
How practical? Well, it’s full of things which we—as individual social media participants—may think are obvious, but are far from it. Especially for corporations. Things like:
Not all about you
Social media is a conversation, which is by definition two-way. In other words, it is not all about you, your company, your products or your agenda. It involves listening and participating in the broader community of people. Don’t just expect people to help you; jump in and help other people in areas where you have some expertise. If all you do is pimp your products without adding to the broader conversation, people will lose interest in you pretty quickly.
Unconferences are usually free and are often local. The unconference is an adhoc gathering shaped by those who attend with the sessions and agenda being driven by the participants. The framework is defined in advance, but the sessions are organized and produced by the attendees. In other words, instead of a full agenda with sessions and speakers clearly determined in advance, you start with a blank grid containing times on one axis and rooms / locations on the other axis; lunches and any other common activities are often added to the grid in advance to provide some basic infrastructure for the event. You never what discussions, demos, and other interactions to expect before the event, but you can count on it being an interesting time!
Now that you know, are you looking for some unconference-y goodness?
Look no further, my friend.
Recent Changes Camp: February 20-22, University Place Hotel, Portland State University
Recent Changes Camp was born from the intersection of wiki and Open Space. Since 2006, participants from all over North America and the globe have gathered together for a common purpose: discussing the past, present, and future of the technology and collaborative method that is wiki. RCC is a chance for everyone in the wiki community, something we like to call Wiki Ohana, to meet and have a fun, productive conversation about our passion for wikis of all stripes.
Going far beyond technology, we’re interested in wiki culture and other networks/groups/etc. that share many of the values implicit in it — from cultural creatives, to public participation and free culture advocates. If you use a wiki or you value open collaboration, Recent Changes Camp is created for you. RCC is about openness and inclusion, collaboration and community, creativity and flow. Further down this page you can check out a sampling of sessions we’ve enjoyed in the past, along with pictures and videos from previous events.
What happens when a group of technologists, programmers, web developers, designers, hackers and information architects meet up with journalists, entrepreneurs, students, professors and others with interest in news and information?
Amazing new ideas for how we collect, disseminate and consume news, hopefully.
Join us for a one-day un-conference to not only talk about how technology is influencing journalism, but brainstorm some ideas and hack them out by the end of the afternoon.