There’s a new award in town. Literally. Thanks to the Portland-creative triumvirate of WebVisions, Pop Art and 52 Ltd announcing the Webvisionary Awards, a new award designed to highlight exceptional work online. Winners are to be announced on the first night of the WebVisions 2008 conference.
The first annual Webvisionary Awards is accepting submissions of outstanding work in a range of categories, from mashups and pimped out personal pages to advertising and mobile. Entries must be submitted by April 30th and there will be a fee of $15 per submission.
The categories are extremely broad, so it will be interesting to see where this goes.
Educational / Resource
Pimped Out Personal Page
Best of Show
And while I’m not much of one for the flash mob mentality, I, for one, think it would be really nice to see some of the cool Portland companies around here get some of the recognition they deserve. Especially given the crowd that WebVisions tends to draw to town.
For more information on the award categories or to nominate your favorites, visit the Webvisionary Awards.
More than 70 people have RSVP’d already. So it promises to be quite a crowd. And, unfortunately, it looks like Jake has had to close the RSVP list due to space constraints.
But, I’m still going to encourage you to show up, anyway. Because that’s just how I am. And because some people will not be able to make it. And the way I figure it—worse comes to worst—we can always peel off and overwhelm Backspace.
[Editor: Given the wealth of cool events happening in Portland on any given night, I thought it might be beneficial to have the people who drive these get-togethers give you their take on the events. “Why should you attend [whatever]?” So, with that, I introduce a new Silicon Florist series: Five Reasons]
Adam DuVander gives us five reasons we should all consider attending Portland Web Innovators.
You enjoy topics that are a mixture of tech, design, and business.
You like to learn about new projects and find collaborators
You love building on the web, no matter what your job title is or what technology you use.
You think about what can happen tomorrow, not what can’t happen today
You want to learn from a live collaborative discussion between passionate people.
Sound like you? Well you’re in luck. Because the next Portland Web Innovators get-together is this week, Tuesday (April Fools’!) Wednesday, April 2 at ISITE Design beginning at 7 PM. Entitled “Publishing Platform Wars!” the gathering will provide the opportunity to join the pdxwi types—the real users of these publishing systems—as they compare site publishing tools like Drupal, Bend-based ExpressionEngine, and WordPress.
I’ve been watching the InnoTech Oregon Conference grow into its own over the past five years. And while I was always close to attending (I think I may have even registered, last year), I never quite found the time to make it.
This year, I’m making time to attend.
I’ve always found InnoTech interesting because of its variety. Traditional business and cutting-edge technology. Green tech and CIOs. Non-profits and eMarketing. To me, it has the opportunity to be one of the few annual tech events that truly helps start and continue conversations among the different groups that work and live in Portland and the surrounding areas. Be those groups factions of the same business or complementary businesses working together.
In fact, there’s so much happening at the conference, I’m going to have to break it into multiple blog posts.
But I wanted to start with this. The folks at InnoTech have offered a 25% discount to all of you Silicon Florist readers. So, if you’re considering attending, please take advantage of it:
Discounted InnoTech Oregon Conference & Exhibits Pass includes Breakfast Presentation with Don Tapscott, Author, WIKINOMICS, at the reduced rate of $45.00 per person ($60.00 per person standard price.) Click to select INNOTECH GENERAL REGISTRATION and enter Discount Code SIL45D to confirm your place at the breakfast.
Designed to be a “more business-oriented BarCampy unconference,” the event more than fulfilled its goal. And, in so doing, completed a successful trifecta for the Portland Legion of Tech, adding Startupalooza as an equal among the successful BarCamp Portland and Ignite Portland events.
The best part, in my opinion? The new voices. And hearing new stories from the old ones.
In a town where you tend to run in very small and similar circles, Startupalooza both introduced new voices into the conversation—like the Garage Games guys from Eugene and the soon-to-be-a-Portland-fixture Intrigo team—and drew well-known, yet not-oft-seen types out of the woodwork to both observe—and participate.
Prior to the event, the primary coordinator and Legion of Tech Treasurer, Todd Kenefsky, intimated to me that he had some concerns about the lack of networking time built into the schedule. But guess what happens when you put a bunch of intelligent and entrepreneurial people in a room together? Those conversations just start to happen. In the audience. In the cubes behind the presentation area. In the lunchroom. In the hallway (which served as a bit of an echo chamber at times).
Every minute of the event was a time for networking. And for learning. And for sharing.
And, from the looks of things, everyone is still recovering from all of that energy concentrated in one place. Because posts about the event have been few and far between. Here’s some of the coverage I’ve been able to track, so far (if you have a wrap-up post that I’ve missed, please leave a comment, and I’ll add it to the list):
Scott Kveton “Startupalooza or Bust!”
“All in all I was amazed at the vibrance of the Portland startup scene … clearly there is something here, clearly we’re just starting to pick up the pace here … I can’t imagine anywhere else on earth I’d rather be working and living.”
Bram Pitoyo “Startupalooza”
“If learning from and having conversations with Portland’s greatest innovators (and, in some cases, even luminaries) for a whole day failed to excite your mind to want to create something bigger than yourself (a startup, collaborative, group, side project, community activity, etc.), I don’t know what else will.”
Michael Sigler “Startupalooza”
“It’s obvious I moved to the right town. The collaborative spirit here is awesome. There is so much to take part in and everyone is eager for feedback and participation. Though it was still mostly a sausage-fest, it was good to see a number of women in the audience. I was also pleasantly surprised by the range of ages represented.”
Paul Biggs “Startupalooza and #drunkgeeking”
“While I very much enjoyed learning about some really cool new projects in PDX, as is the case with most structured events, the most rewarding part for me was all the side conversations buzzing in hallways and nearby bars. It’s all about the people!”
Gabriel Aldamiz-echevarria “Taste sharing for web personalization”
“So when we were asked to talk at Startupalooza (a really cool Portland tech event, put together by Todd Kenefsky and the Legion of Tech) we decided this should be the topic of our talk: taste sharing for web personalization… something which is of extreme importance for MyStrands and the entire recommender industry.”
John Poelstra “Superb Startupalooza”
“Of late I’ve been trying to get more involved in the local tech scene where I live. On Saturday I went to check out Startupalooza and had no idea what to expect. It was superb in every respect. The facilities at CubeSpace were great and all the presentations and speakers were excellent. I wish I could have stayed for the whole thing!”
Joanna Kane “Startupalooza a high-tech hit”
“The crowd in attendance ranged from those with decade-long entrepreneurial careers to wide-eyed observers hoping to absorb tips and tools to get their new ideas off the ground. The energy in the room was palpable, conversations were animated, and new ideas were being generated as fast as they were being shared. If I had to pick one theme for the day, it would be the common interest in making life easier through technology, coupled with making technology accessible for anybody and everybody.”
If you missed the event, Legion of Tech was working to record the entire thing. Hopefully, we’ll all soon be able to have a listen, post processing. I, for one, am curious as to what I actually said while I was up there.
I know, I know. I struggle to fathom how we’re going to squeeze all of this into one afternoon. But why not show up and see if we can? And then, plan to stick around. Word around the campfire is that there might be one or two after-event activities happening, as well.
OpenID aficionados rejoice. I just got word that David Recordon, one of the leading forces behind OpenID development and vice-chair of the OpenID Foundation, will be making a trip to Portland in April.
Details are still slim until we get an idea of the number of folks interested in attending. So, if you’d like the chance to meet Recordon and some of the other OpenID-oriented folks in Portland, please RSVP for the Geek Lunch on Upcoming.
I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted as things solidify.
Just like developers’ language- and framework-specific gatherings, there are other tangential practices and events that can play an important role for Web startups, blogs, and the like, here in Portland.
One of those tangential practices is search-engine marketing (SEM). And Portland is one of the leading cities for professionals who are exploring and extending the white-hat techniques of this oft-maligned marketing communications practice.
So, it makes sense that Portland also plays host to one of the premiere national events for SEM, SEMpdx Searchfest.
This year’s event, SEMpdx Searchfest 2008, to be held March 10 at the Oregon Zoo, will consist of:
[A] full-day search engine marketing conference featuring multiple learning sessions and expert panels to help you leverage search engine marketing (SEM) in your organization. Whether you are an SEM professional, work in an advertising agency or part of an in-house marketing department, SearchFest 2008 will connect you with the leading thinkers and practioners in SEM today.
I’ve also been advised that the event has taken a decidedly strategic turn, designed to help folks understand the benefits of adopting—and strategies for incorporating—search engine marketing into the broader strategies for the business.
Sound interesting? You’re can still get the early-bird discount if you register before March 1. And if you want an additional discount of $40, the Silicon Florist is happy to comply:
How to get the discount:
Register for SearchFest at www.searchfest.org
Enter the code SEMBD in the “Coupons/Gift Certificates” text box and click “Add.” (This is at step 3 of the shopping cart)