Tag: Portland

REMINDER: From Side Project to Startup starts up tonight

Whew! We’re drawing near to the finish on an event-filled week. And now, From Side Project to Startup will be leading us into the weekend.

What’s the focus? Selena Deckelmann gives us the lowdown:

If you were at Barcamp Portland, you may have stopped by for the My Other Thing session. (if you weren’t there you can listen to this recording of a great, freewheeling discussion) The session led by Rick Turoczy and Banana Lee Fishbones. After the group separated, people talked about wanting more – more discussions, more connections… maybe even – a conference! Inspired by that session, From Side Project to Startup was born.

Things kick off around 5:30 PM at CubeSpace, with a welcome reception.

Here’s the full agenda:

Friday Evening – September 12, 2008
5:30-6:30 – Reception/Networking
6:30-7:00 – Welcome and setting the stage
7:00-9:00 – Creative Entrepreneurship: Conception to Actualization – Bridget Benton of Eyes Aflame
7:00-9:00 – Unconference Sessions

Saturday – September 13, 2008
9:00-10:00 – Coffee, Bagels and Schmoozing
10:00-10:15 – Welcome
10:30-12:00 – What to Do Before You Quit Your Day Job – Mark Paul
10:30-12:00 – Unconference Sessions
12:00-1:30 – Lunch
1:30-3:00 – One Page Startup Marketing Plan – Peter Korchnak of Semiosis Communications
1:30-3:00 – Unconference Sessions
3:00-3:30 – Snack Break
3:30-5:00 – What Kind of Funding are You Eligible For? – Carolynn Duncan
5:00-5:15 – Wrap Up
5:15-??? – After Party

As you can see, the format is fairly open. With lots of time to jump in and out. So, even if you can’t make it to the whole thing, I’m hoping you’ll take the chance to swing by and participate. That is, if the subject matter interests you.

And something tells me that it does.

The event is brought to you by Legion of Tech, an Oregon nonprofit dedicated to helping grow and nurture the local Portland technology community through educational, not-for-profit, community-run events.

For more information on the event, visit From Side Project to Startup. To RSVP, visit Upcoming.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

REMINDER: Silicon Forest Forum tomorrow

Silicon Forest ForumJust a reminder that a bunch of local venture capital types, entrepreneurs, and other tech enthusiasts will be gathering at the Intel Jones Farm campus on Friday for the Silicon Forest Forum.

As I mentioned in a previous post and the Silicon Florist podcast, the co-founder of Tesla Motors will be the keynote. I’ll do my best to see if he’s willing to give a Tesla Roadster to each of the Friends of the Florist.

But I’m not guaranteeing anything.

I’ll be in attendance as part of my effort to continue the wacky week of Silicon Florist appearances at events. I had a great time at LivePitch Portland on Tuesday and was honored to moderate a phenomenal panel—Josh Bancroft, Dawn Foster, and Marshall Kirkpatrick—at the OEN PubTalk last night.

So what I am doing at the Silicon Forest Forum? More smiling and nodding, of course.

I’ll be moderating another all star panel entitled “Bloggers, Digital Media… and the Business of Creating Content.”

The panel will feature:

See? Smiling and nodding indeed. But at least it keeps a consistent theme to the week. That theme being “Great panel, but what is Rick doing up there?”

Sound interesting? I hear that there still a couple of seats left. So if you’d like to attend, swing by the Silicon Forest Forum site to register. And if you’re going to be there, please make sure to grab me and introduce yourself.

OSCON? Gone

Well, I’m sad to report that the rumors about OSCON‘s departure from Portland’s 2009 summer tech event line-up have been confirmed.

It’s true. OSCON is gone.

OSCON 2009 won’t be in Portland, Oregon

After six years, O’Reilly has decide to move its anchor conference of the summer—and the leading venue to discuss all things open source—to San Jose, California.

And I’m not alone in my unhappiness over this announcement, if Twitter is any indication.

Worse yet? This comes on the heels of O’Reilly’s decision to move RailsConf—which has also called Portland home—to Las Vegas, next year.

As I’ve mentioned before, the departure of these two O’Reilly events leaves a decided gap in our summer geek activities around here. After WebVisions wraps.

And I have to imagine that the Portland tourism industry is crying openly into its microbrewed organic beer at this point.

It makes me wonder if we shouldn’t be courting another event or two. (BlogHer?I ain’t too proud to beg.)

Or maybe, just maybe, stage one of our own.

Silicon Florist Podcast 03: ORBlogs, events, Internet Astronauts, events, Vidoop, events, Iterasi, and more events

Links from this podcast include:

And thanks very much to Matthew Atkins for the bumper riff.

Got bookmarks on those social bookmarking site thingees? Now, you can import them into Iterasi

[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I was aware of this feature under development, but I was not involved in this release. Quite frankly, it took me by surprise. But it makes sense that they’re pushing it while they’re down at the TechCrunch 50.]

IterasiBack when I discovered social bookmarking, the way I used the Web changed.

Okay. That may be a little hyperbolic, but there’s a lot of truth to that.

With social bookmarking, I was able to save site locations, tag them in a meaningful way, and get to them from any browser with an Internet connection.

It may not seem like a big deal now. But back then? It was “You mean my bookmarks aren’t beholden to this one browser on this one machine? Oh my. Very cool.”

But my bookmarks always suffered from a problem that I couldn’t solve with just a link.

And that was? Well, sometimes the page just changed. The story or the thing I thought was important or—worst of all—the cool design that I wanted to rip-off save for inspiration.

Screenshots were a workaround. But they were never really what I wanted.

What I wanted was to save the page.

Fast forward to today.

I’m sitting on a ton of bookmarks. I use social bookmarking sites like ma.gnolia and del.icio.us every day, if not several times a day. They have become so much a part of the way that I use the Web—and the way that I share and glean information from others—that social bookmarking would be an incredibly hard habit to break.

But I still worry about losing the page I actually wanted.

Well, now, that problem is solved thanks to still just barely Vancouver-based and ever-so-close to being Portland-based Iterasi and their new “import bookmarks” feature:

This feature imports bookmarks from Firefox, Internet Explorer, del.icio.us and/or from any app that exports to the standard bookmark export format. So you tell it where your bookmarks are, we import them and make permanent copies of the pages the bookmarks point to. No more lost articles. No more link rot. No more Error 404s. But we don’t just import them. Import Bookmarks is built on top of the iterasi Scheduler – released last month – so one-by-one you can choose to archive each bookmark once, every day, week or month, or not a all.

Now, granted, that’s not going to do much for the links that have already aged. But from now on? I can be sure that I’ll have exactly the page I wanted to save.

Saving bookmarked pages in Iterasi is great, but not using Iterasi is even better

As excited as I am about this feature to extend the use of Iterasi, there’s one thing I’m even more excited about: not having to use Iterasi.

Huh? Stick with me here.

I’ve developed a workflow for saving links and—as chagrin as I am to admit it—Iterasi isn’t part of that workflow.

It’s an afterthought. A habit I’m trying to force.

But with this feature? That problem is solved, too.

How?

Now that Iterasi can import bookmarks, I can work in my preferred social bookmarking tool and still have Iterasi saving the pages for me.

I can fly around willy nilly tagging things in del.icio.us or saving them to the Silicon Florist group on ma.gnolia. All the while, knowing that I can bring those over to Iterasi to make an archived copy.

And that’s pretty cool.

I can work where I’m comfortable working without losing the ability to save things I really want to save. And that makes this new import bookmarks feature very powerful indeed.

The feature, however, does come with a caveat:

If you have lots of bookmarks, it is best to schedule it to run when you are away from your computer. Think about it; we are feeding dozens and dozens of bookmarks down to the browser who is one-at-a-time loading, notarizing, and shipping each up to your account. In other words, we are torturing the poor browser. As you might expect, the browser can lock up under this kind of load. We find this situation to be unavoidable.

For more information and a short video on the new feature, see the Iterasi blog. Want to test drive it yourself? Download the latest version of Iterasi and then click on the “leaves” to access the feature.

Get ready for busy week in the Portland Web and startup scene

I’m happy to see that our beautiful summer weather continues to hang around. But from an event standpoint? It looks like summer’s over.

If this week’s event schedule is any indication, people are clearly ready to get back to business in the Portland Web and startup scene.

There’s a lot going on, so I thought it might be helpful to provide a round-up of what I’m tracking. And if I missed your event (it happens), please take a moment to comment below so that we can get it on folks’ calendars:

  • Monday at 6 PM, it’s Mobile love, Android style #5. This meetup is an informal opportunity to discuss all things android-related. The android space is heating up again. The HTC Dream phone received FCC certification in August and will be sold by T-Mobile by November if not earlier. 0.9 of the SDK was released with 1.0RC1 around the corner.
  • Tuesday at 9 AM, you’re invited to watch startups pitch at the FundingUniverse Portland LivePitch. The audience at LivePitch receives $100 of “fake money” to “invest” in their favorite entrepreneurs, with prizes awarded to both a panel and audience favorite. There will be 60 minutes of pitching, and 30 minutes for general networking.
  • Tuesday at 7 PM, the Portland Python User Group will be meeting, featuring Leo Soto, a Jython GSoC hacker, will be presenting his DjangoCon 2008 talk “Django on Jython.”
  • Wednesday at 5 PM, it’s the OEN PubTalk “Becoming socially responsible: Understanding your company’s role in the world of social media.” I’ll be hosting a panel featuring Josh Bancroft from Intel, Dawn Foster from Fast Wonder, and Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb. Rest assured, I’ll be letting the smart people talk while I nod and smile. Not interested in coughing up the dough to attend? I’ve got a few free passes that I’ll be giving away, so stay tuned.
  • Oregon Entrepreneur Network not your style? Sorry, you don’t get to take a night off, because there’s also the first Refresh Portland starting at 6:30 PM. Refresh Portland is a monthly talk (held every 2nd Wednesday) about design, front-end development, usability and web standards. Sound interesting? Check out the new Refresh Portland site.
  • I don’t see anything on Thursday, for obvious reasons. But if that changes, I’ll let you know. I knew it. Thanks to Joe Cohen for the tip that Calagator lists a Thursday event to include in this list: Thursday at 5 PM is the Luz Codesprint. Luz is a Ruby music visualization playground, aiming to create a simple, beautiful GUI for artists, and simple, beautiful code internally! This event is open to Everyone, from coders to artists to musicians, everyone’s input and contributions will be super useful.
  • Friday, a bunch of local venture capital types will be gathering out at the Intel Jones Farm campus in hopes of seeing a Tesla Roadster. I hear there may be a conference there too. It’s called the Silicon Forest Forum, an event that features entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and management executives who know what it takes to create and run successful ventures. For more information and a speak line-up, visit the Silicon Forest Forum.
  • The one Friday fixture that needs no reminder—Beer and Blog—starts at 4 PM at the Green Dragon. This week is a “topic” week. So stay tuned for the details on the speaker.
  • And beginning Friday evening and running through Saturday its From Side Project to Startup. I don’t have to tell you that launching a business into the wider world can be daunting or confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. If you learn from other people’s experiences. How? Join this hybrid scheduled and unconference event designed to take the entrepreneurial conversations that started at BarCamp Portland and Startupalooza to the next level. To take a peek at the complete agenda, visit From Side Project to Startup.

Whoof. That’s a lot of activity. Even for our usually hyperactive tech scene.

I’m going to be trying to make as many of these as I can—especially the ones where I’m lucky enough to be “on the agenda,” as they say.

Hopefully, I’ll see you at a few of them, too.

Oh, and one last thing. If you’re interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the Portland Web and startup scene, feel free to join the Silicon Florist group on Upcoming. That way, you’ll always be up-to-date on the latest and greatest events.

Can ORBlogs be saved? [Update] Yes, it can

[UPDATE September 5, 2008]: Paul Bausch, the creator of ORBlogs was kind enough to respond to my email. His feeling is that while we may love the work that ORBlogs does—and how it works on the front-end—that the back-end was more spaghetti code than anything else.

As such, he suggests:

I’d be happy to dump a list of the active blogs, my db schema, or answer questions about how this or that works to get someone else up and running. But I really believe the code would do more damage than help—someone should make a new Oregon blogging directory of their own.

Great news! And, now, some work for us to do.

Thanks to those who have commented below offering their support. I will definitely be in contact with you on this project.

And if you’re interested in discussing this in person? Why not swing by Beer and Blog this evening at the Green Dragon where we’ll be discussing ORBlogs 2.0.

And I just got a tweet from John Metta that expressed a concern that this might lead to it becoming “PDXBlogs.” A valid concern, to be sure. But not the intent. While the bulk of the blogs currently indexed by ORBlogs are from Portland, it is my charge to help keep this discussion focused on an Oregon blog resource, by Oregon, for Oregon.

In fact, John may be our ORBlogs knight in shining armor.

Original Post

One of my primary inspirations for starting Silicon Florist was ORBlogs, a blog aggregator for Oregon-based blogs run by Paul Bausch.

It taught me that “thinking global and blogging local” could be a very viable way to communicate. And it taught me that—despite the ability to access information around the world—people are actually still quite interested in what their neighbors are doing in their own backyard. And saying. And writing.

And ORBlogs was the premiere source of that neighborly information. The stream of content that was “blogging in Oregon.”

But now that stream of information will be running dry. Sadly, it was revealed today that ORBlogs has decided to close its doors.

Paul writes:

I’m shutting ORblogs down now because the site continues to grow and the job of maintaining the site at the level I feel is necessary to keep it valuable has grown with it, putting it out of the bounds of a hobby. I wasn’t able to make ORblogs self-sustaining financially (let alone turn it into a job), and I can no longer devote the time to the site that it needs to grow. Blogging has changed significantly in five years, and blogging is no longer a hobby for many—it’s a job. Commercial blogging isn’t as interesting to me as the personal web and that factored into my decision as well.

After reading Paul’s news, I was kind of sitting dumbstruck. At a loss for words.

It really took the wind out of my sails. It was a complete punch in the stomach. For a number of us.

And no discredit to Paul. He bootstrapped this thing for 5 years. Five years! That’s like a millennium in internet time. I totally get it.

It’s sad news, to be sure.

Whoa, tiger. Who says ORBlogs has to close?

But then I quit moping.

Does it have to be? I mean, I was always taught the whole “if you love something, let it go” thing. But, quite frankly, I’m not willing to let this one go.

Paul built a resource that rallied—and completely codified—the Oregon blogging community. And that, my friends, is far too valuable to let slide by the wayside.

Because it’s actually bigger than Paul now. Too large for him to manage single handedly, for sure, but something that needs to continue. For the community. And for Oregon.

And if Jeff Martens, Aaron Hockley, Steve Woodward, Ryan Williams, Betsy Richter, Jack”Bojack” Bogdanski, Josh Bancroft, Doug Coleman, Gary Walter, Greg Hughes, Jim Mock, Curt Hopkins, Lizzy Caston, Rich Claussen, and Banana Lee Fishbones are any indication, I have the feeling I’m not alone in this opinion.

I’m not willing to let ORBlogs go softly into that good night. And I’m hoping you’ll join me and the folks above in finding a way to prevent that from happening.

Let’s save ORBlogs!

Are you in? Please comment below. And let’s make this happen.

We need to take the burden off of Paul, and manage to save this resource at the same time. I’m hoping you’ll join in the good fight and lend a hand.

[Update] J-P Voilleque has established a FriendFeed room to support the “Save ORBlogs!” campaign. Please join in!

WebVisions 2009: Pitch your panel, session, or workshop

WebVisions continues to serve as Portland’s premiere Web design and development conference. And, in 2009, it could be our only major tech conference of the summer.

I mean, we already lost RailsConf 2009, and if the rumors of OSCON relocation hold true…

There was even rumors that OSCON 2009 will take place in another city (The Bay Area?)– even the Burgerville staff told me about the scuttlebutt. They were understandably bummed about it as they get plenty of customers during OSCON week.

… then WebVisions—as great as it is—has the chance to be even greater, next year. The belle of the ball, as it were.

So, don’t you owe it to your geeky self to participate? That’s right. I think you do, too.

And here’s your chance.

WebVisions has just opened its submissions for the 2009 event, allowing you to pitch the WebVisions team on your session, workshop, or panel.

What’s the difference, you ask?

  • Sessions are 1.25 hours long and address topics that reveal new directions, technologies, processes or approaches for the Web.
  • Workshops will be held on May 20th only, and are set up in a classroom format and run for 3 hours for a half day or 6 hours for a full day and should provide more in depth coverage of a topic.
  • Panels run for 1.25 hours and feature 3-4 speakers including a moderator. Panels should be fun, lively and informative, not a series of mini presentations from each speaker.

Don’t stress! You’ve still got plenty of time. Submissions don’t close until December 31, 2008. But I thought it would be a good idea to get you noodling on that about which you’re going to speak.

Because you are going to speak.

Now in its eleventh year, WebVisions will be held in May 20-22, 2009, in Portland, Oregon. For some feedback on previous WebVision events, see my roundup of posts from WebVisions 2008. For more information, visit WebVisions.

Digital Trends hires new CFO

Digital TrendsDigital Trends is one of my favorite “sleepers” around the Portland area. Whenever I mention their name and the fact that they’re here in the Silicon Forest, I’m usually met with a “Really? That’s a Portland company?”

Kind of like Survey Monkey and—to a lesser extent—COLOURlovers. (Yes, those are both Portland companies, too.)

I mean, I rarely if ever hear anyone around here talk about Digital Trends—apart from an occasional mention on the Techvibes’ Portland Start-up Index (they’re #5). And unfortunately, I never happen to run into any of their employees at any of the local tech events.

So, why should you care?

Only because Digital Trends happens to rack up about 40,000,000 visitors readers (3-4 million unique visitors to the site). Per month.

That’s right. 40 million visitors readers each month.

And that, my friend, is not to be taken lightly.

Another sign that they’re not to be taken lightly? Even though they’re pretty small, Digital Trends has just hired a new CFO, Nathan Bell.

No, not that Nathan Bell. That’s Nathan P. Bell.

In fact, I think this Nathan Bell is actually related to the CEO, Ian Bell. Or it’s just a random coincidence that they’re both named Bell—and that there are two Gauls in the company, too. (I’m not ruling anything out at this point, given that whole Nathan Bell thing. Maybe it’s Intrigo‘s Nathan who’s related to Ian?)

I’m sorry. Where was I? Gauls. Bells. Oh yes.

So Nathan Bell has been named the new CFO:

“Nathan brings years of financial experience to the table, and will help to shape the future path of the company as it continues to evolve and grow its awareness amongst technology readers,” said Ian Bell, Chairman and CEO, Digital Trends. “We’re pleased to welcome him to the Digital Trends team.”

And I’m hoping that we see more and more of Digital Trends around the Portland scene.

Digital Trends is the first stop for everyday readers, working professionals and gadget enthusiasts alike looking to make sense of how gadgets, games, home theater components and other tech-related products fit into their everyday lives. For more information, visit Digital Trends.

REMINDER: Portland tech types at Inverge Thursday and Friday

InvergePortland’s Inverge conference starts on Thursday, and a few of our favorite Portland tech types are taking the stage. If you’ve got time to attend, I highly suggest catching:

Not registered for Inverge? No worries. Passes will be available at the door. A Full Conference Pass will run you $495 or you can get a day pass for, well, roughly half that at $249.

For more information, visit Inverge.

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