Tag: Portland

TwitterLocal Leader Board adds Top Twitterers by region

With TwitterLocal, Portland’s Matt King took a interesting foray into tracking Twitter users based on their geographical location.

But was that enough for Matt? Oh no.

So, he had to go and make it even more compelling by adding a “Leader Board,” that listed the top 30 Twitter cities, based on the number of tweets per capita.

Brilliant!

Still not enough for Matt.

But now he really may have gone too far. Because he just snuck in what could amount to one of the most compelling slicing-and-dicings of the Twitter types I’ve seen.

That’s right folks. The Twitter leader rankings heretofore relegated to the global stage of Tweeterboard have now—thanks to Matt—taken on a decidedly local flavor.

The TwitterLocal Leader Board now provides the leading Twitter users for each city. (Here’s a snapshot of Portland’s leading Twitter users over the last 24 hours, for example.)

As an added bonus, this new view into Twitter locales also provides a flowing tweet stream from local residents.

Our little TwitterLocal is now a big ol’ “Pulse of [your leading Twitter city here],” with insight into who is currently contributing the most to the conversation.

Tweet globally, rank locally.

For more, take a moment to review the TwitterLocal Leader Board and click through to some of the leading locales.

Same Portland Lunch 2.0 building, new Portland Lunch 2.0 host, also bacon

Sad that you missed seeing the eROI space at the last Portland Lunch 2.0? Well, wipe away those tears, gentle reader. We can get you close.

The latest Portland Lunch 2.0 date and location have been announced. And, as luck would have it, it’s in the same exact spot, only one floor down.

Vidoop, one of the ever-burgeoning residents of the eROI-owned space in Old Town, has volunteered to host the next Portland Lunch 2.0, to be held May 28. Those interested in attending can RSVP via Upcoming.

This lunch marks a celebration of sorts for the Vidoop team, in a Welcome Wagon sort of way:

From what I hear, this will be a cool time for Vidoop. Apparently, their entire Tulsa office is transplanting itself to Portland this month, in an epic roadtrip. So, this will be a great chance to welcome them to Portland and give them a taste of how we do Lunch 2.0 here.

No word on the amount of bacon to be had. (Knowing the hosts, I’m assuming this is not an “if” question, but rather a “how much” question.) But, rumor has it that Ford’s on Fifth may be tapped to cater the event.

Jake Kuramoto, the energy behind Portland’s version of Lunch 2.0, has said he’s interested in squeezing a few more Portland Lunch 2.0 gatherings into the summer months. So, if you’re interested in hosting, please ping Jake on Twitter or feel free to comment below.

Future Portland Lunch 2.0 hosts include Wieden + Kennedy and maybe, just maybe, yours truly. But first, let’s all head on over to see Vidoop’s new digs.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

OregonLive Reddit now based on latest not greatest

OregonLive Reddit is completely borkedSince I had written an earlier editorial on OregonLive Reddit about its wealth of potential, I thought it appropriate to post that—until further notice—that potential is now completely gone.

Why? Because now OregonLive Reddit stories make the front page of the OregonLive not as a result of their popularity or user voting, but as a result of the order in which the OregonLive Reddit articles were submitted.

That’s right.

It’s important to note that the OregonLive home page now features the most recent submissions, and not the hottest posts.

And here’s my favorite part…

This change took place about one week ago in order to keep the Reddit posts fresh on the home page.

Perhaps the folks at The Oregonian and OregonLive are even more Web 2.0 than I thought, given that the new system follows the logic that “shiny and new” far outweighs “relevant and interesting.”

So go ahead and vote the Silicon Florist submissions up or down. It doesn’t really matter.

-1 for social media

At a time when the OregonLive Reddit user base was in the midst of asking good questions and having deep discussions about the nature of the service—at a time when many were working to embrace the potential of this feature—the team at OregonLive chose to remove the one and only thing that made the feature worth using: the voting that allowed the populous to determine what appeared on the front page.

Currently, the social feature has absolutely no bearing on what appears on the front page. It’s all chronological.

Kind of like, oh I don’t know, a printed newspaper?

I hear you, “Sounds like sour grapes to me, Turoczy. You’re just mad that you can’t keep content on the front page.”

You’re right. You’re absolutely right.

But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

As I mentioned in my earlier editorial, I felt this service was one of the more promising avenues to give startups in town some of the much needed limelight they deserved from traditional media. And I find it unfortunate that that avenue—an avenue that I thought had so much potential—has taken a hit.

Here’s hoping they reconsider this move.

Until that point, I’ll continue my search for other resources that truly have the potential to highlight the great work many of you are doing here in the Silicon Forest.

Because the people around here need to see the amazing things you’re doing.

Just not on OregonLive, I guess.

Interesting gigs on the Silicon Florist Gig board

Looking for a new gig? You might want to take a look at the Silicon Florist Gig board to see what’s what. Web startup looking to hire? Use the discount code freebie to post your open gigs for free.

Or maybe you’re a Portvangelist-to-be looking to move to the Rose City? Or someone who already lives here who’s looking for something new to do or a side project?

Well, don’t be shy. Feel free to use the gig board to pitch you skills. Just make sure you use a subject that makes it obvious like “inbound” or “looking” or “I am really cool” or something. Again, freebie at checkout and it’s, well, free.

As far as gigs, here are some of the newest ones:

  • Flex programmer at toonlet
    “toonlet is looking for a skilled contract Flex programmer to help us build out our online comic-creation tools on a short-term, per-project basis. If you’ve got the skill-set, we could really use your help.” [Editor: Personally? I’d jump at the chance to work with these guys. Not only are they exceedingly pleasant, they’ve got some really cool ideas going with toonlet. And obviously, much more to come.]
  • Django developer at Extreme Arts & Sciences
    “Extreme Arts & Sciences, a change management and business consulting firm, is looking for an established freelancer to tweak our django CMS to better conform to our needs. We also anticipate a revamp of our site architecture and look-and-feel update coming soon, and will need to meld the new graphics and whatnot with the django CMS.”

BarCamp Portland: The Weekend that was

BarCampPortland 2008Another (dare I say “wildly successful”?) BarCamp Portland is in the books, thanks to the efforts of the Legion of Tech, the hosts, the sponsors, and—of course—the attendees and session leaders.

I could easily prattle on for pages about the wide range of interesting topics, the community building and strengthening, the learning opportunities both inside sessions and out, and the general just, well, geeky fun of the whole thing.

But, I always find roundups to be the best way to provide the most coherent and well-rounded picture of these kinds of events. There’s no possible way of covering the entire thing from one perspective, so only many perspectives will do.

That’s what I’ve seen so far.

No doubt, many people are still recovering and gathering their thoughts.

If I’ve missed you or if you’ve just posted your thoughts, please by all means, comment below with a link to your post or resource, and I’ll be happy to add it to the list.

BREAKING: Ignite Portland 3 throws out the first spark

I just received word that we now have an official date for Ignite Portland 3. The next Ignite Portland—a wildly popular event that features 5-minute presentations on just about anything—will be held June 18, 2008, in the same location as Ignite Portland 2, the Bagdad Theater.

While the site is still getting tuned up, the Ignite Portland 3 Upcoming page is available, so let the RSVPing begin!

For those of you who might not be familiar with the Ignite format:

What is Ignite Portland? A bunch of fast-paced, interesting presentations – 20 slides for 15 seconds each. Our mantra is “share burning ideas” – just about any topic will do, as long as it’s interesting. From tech to crafts to business to just plain fun! There will be time to network and chat after each series of presentations.

(One of these days, I’m going to run out of fire analogies, but man, do I love writing about Ignite Portland.)

More news as it becomes available.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

What does the Portland tech community look like?

While a good number of us here in Portland tend to interact on Twitter or via blog comments or at events, it’s rare that we’re all in the same place at the same time. So getting a comprehensive picture of the “Portland tech community” has been difficult, at best.

So what do geeks do to solve that problem? We employ technology.

Audrey Eschright has put together a Legion of Tech survey that will give us a view into the Portland tech community, in terms of the demographics and general foci of the folks living and working here in the Portland community.

It’s goals, according to Audrey, are pretty straightforward: get some semblance of an idea about who we are and what it is we do.

If you’re in Portland, and involved with any kind of technology activities for work or fun, please go to http://moourl.com/lotsurvey. The more responses, the better, since we want to see the breadth of our community, and whether Legion of Tech events are on your calendar. Tell your friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

If you consider yourself part of the Portland tech community—or if you’d like to be part of the Portland tech community—please take a few moments to walk through the Portland tech community survey.

I’ll make sure to highlight the results in a future post.

One OpenID gets you 30+ different Silicon Forest sites

Last week, after reading Aaron Hockley’s call to implement OpenID, it got me to thinking: How many sites in Portland—arguably the de facto leader in OpenID development—and the Silicon Forest have actually implemented OpenID?

Well, thanks to Kevin Fox at Vidoop/ConfIdent and a number of other folks chiming in, we were able to gather the following list of 23 30+ velvet ropes behind which your OpenID will let you.

(NOTE: The list is by no means exhaustive. So if your site is missing, please comment, and I’ll add it.)

AboutUs
“We connect businesses and websites with each other and their customers using a wiki-based resource of millions of editable pages of information.”

GreenRenter
“Find a green place to live or work. Discover green buildings in your neighborhood. Get recognized for your sustainability efforts.”

ICANNWiki
“ICANNWiki is a wiki whose goal is to create a free, valuable and ‘community’ neutral, global Internet resource containing information for all aspects of the ICANN ‘community.'”

Jyte
“Claim anything! Yes, anything. If you have something to say, then make a claim and let the community vote on it. Make claims about yourself, friends, and family. Put your stake in the ground and see where the votes go.”

Kumquat
“It’s your career. You need to take responsibility for it. That’s why we built Kumquat. To help make it easier to get the feedback you deserve. Whenever and however often you want it.”

Pibb
“Pibb combines the best features of instant messenger, chat, email, and bulletin boards.”

Portland Small Business
“PortlandSmallBusiness.com is a collaborative website, where members of the Portland small business community can go for peer advice and networking.”

Portland Web Innovators
“Portland Web Innovators is a technology-agnostic group where you can meet like-minded web people without the excuse of a networking-only event.”

Treasurelicious
“WTF is Treasurelicious? It’s a widget to show off what you treasure.”

Tweetpeek
“Using Twitter followers, Tweetpeek is designed to help anyone build a pulse-of-anything widget in a few easy steps.”

twurl
“So what is twurl designed to do? Well, at the very most basic level, twurl is a URL shortener that allows you to track clicks.”

Velog
“Velog is a simple place to log your bicycle rides and connect with others in the cycling community.”

Blogs supporting OpenID for comments

Need an OpenID?

If you haven’t had a chance to use your OpenID (it’s highly likely that you already have one) or aren’t quite sure how to get started, you might want to visit Portland’s own myVidoop or MyOpenID to get going. A few short steps and you’ll have access to all of the sites above.

Just like that.

Let’s start finding the right VCs for Portland and the Silicon Forest

Talk to enough startups and the conversation eventually turns to that of funding. And the search for that seemingly elusive operating capital.

Ultimately, this discussion devolves into a lament about the frustrations of the VC dance, the cross-purposes, the potential loss of control of which entrepreneurs live in fear, and, ultimately, some inherent evil in the whole process.

We live with this folklore. And we continually repeat it. And reinforce it.

A series of horror stories about what could happen. Stories that we continue to spin, time and time again, until we begin to see them as universal truths.

And then we begin to believe that the concept of VC investment and the culture of the Silicon Forest are at odds with one another.

That we can’t get there from here.

And that’s why I’m glad to see posts like this one from early stage investor Jeff Pulver.

Because these types of stories counteract the folklore. Because the kinds of things he’s seeking don’t seem to be cold-blooded or mercenary. Because Pulver seems to be the type of investor who is right in line with Portland’s startup culture.

When meeting with an early-stage startup looking for funding, if I am interested in the company, I look to connect with the founders and find out the inspiration behind the company they are creating. I try to understand the problem they are solving and the opportunity they are seeing. I also look to see how as a team they get along, work off each other and I try to get a feel of their creative energies. I look for teams where each member is watching each other’s back and a core team whom I feel will be together for the long term. I look for people who are both smart and creative who can be focused when necessary and whose personality allow themselves to be open to change directions and re-map themselves when needed.

If there’s one thing of which we have loads in Portland, it’s creativity. Whether that creativity manifests itself in traditional ways like art and music, or in less traditional ways like crafts, cooking, brewing, vintner-ing, designing… or coding interesting Web apps.

We tend to wield technology like a brush or a pen. Using it as an outlet for our creativity. And then, we tend to relish partaking in others’ creativity, be it culinary or brewery.

And there are VCs out there who get that. Who aren’t big scary monsters. Who are interested in the same types of things you are interested in doing.

We need to remember that. We need to start wooing the right kind of VCs. For you. And for the Silicon Forest.

Investors who, like Jeff Pulver, “invest in people first and ideas second.”

Let’s get started with that, shall we?

YottaByte Group: The future for Oregon tech education

When I first sat down with Derek Brandow and Jason Gallic of Eugene-based (but hopefully making the move to Portland) YottaByte Group, I didn’t know quite what to expect. And by the time we said our good-byes, I was shaking my head in disbelief.

And since that time I’ve been struggling to get this post written. Struggling because of that—literally jaw-dropping—disbelief.

Disbelief that something so obviously right, necessary, and critical for our community—and the future of our communities—hasn’t already been done. Disbelief that these guys would have any difficulty finding funding for something that promises to change the future of technology in Oregon and, likely, the rest of the world. Disbelief that educators everywhere wouldn’t be clamoring for this model to help students.

To put it bluntly, the conversation was quite the “Well… duh!” moment for me. Why wouldn’t everyone be behind this thing? Why aren’t we doing this already?

So what’s this exceedingly obvious—yet heretofore untapped—idea that makes YotttaByte such a winner in my book?

Well, to put it simply, they’re rethinking the educational system—especially as it relates to innovation and technology—in today’s K-12 environment:

The current model for both public and private schools has not changed significantly in the last 100 years. The longevity of that model is a testament to the greatness of its 20th century design. However, the design is beginning to crumble….

The time is now to create the schools we are going to need for our children to thrive (not merely survive) in the 21st century.

And the YottaByte team has a compelling vision for how this might occur.

From my admittedly ignorant standpoint, I see it falling somewhere between the concept of alternative schools and the traditional gifted and talented programs.

Like an art student focusing on painting or a musical student focusing on an instrument, YottaByte students would work in an environment that allows them to focus on technology and innovation.

Once up and running, YottaByte promises to create intensive and collaborative schools that help these students exercise their artistic talent—in this case an artistic talent that manifests itself as problem solving and technical discovery—with students around the world.

In their own words, YottaByte will be:

Preparing children for collaboration, innovation, and contribution in a global marketplace.

Hearing them tell it, it’s a compelling vision for how technology could—and arguably should—be approached if today’s students are to get the kind of technical grounding they’re going to need to manage the sheer bulk of digital information and power at their feet. And to wring every last ounce of potential out of the collaborative technologies we have at our disposal. To get the right people fixing the problems. Not just the people who happen to be there.

It’s a pretty powerful concept, and one in whose Kool-Aid I have deeply imbibed. Because what YottaByte is proposing is not only a brilliant idea, it’s just the right thing to do.

I’m looking forward to continuing my coverage of YottaByte’s progress as they continue pitching this story and building out their proof-of-concept schools.

It’s going to be an interesting ride.

For more information on the YottaByte Group and their vision for technology education, visit YottaByte Group.

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