Tag: Portland

OpenID ID Selector promises to make OpenID less geeky

This week, Portland-based JanRain will be unveiling their latest contribution to the OpenID community: a compelling means of simplifying OpenID logins for the everyday user called ID Selector. With ID Selector, JanRain has managed to reduce the complexity—and, well, geekiness—of the OpenID login process in the same way that products like AddThis have simplified the social-media-submission process.

JanRain OpenID ID Selector

Long story short, the ID Selector reduces your OpenID login to clicking an icon and providing a username. It’s a shrewd move, given that every OpenID provider has a standard structure for its URLs, a structure that allows JanRain to reduce the amount of user input to a traditional “username.”

JanRain has always done a great deal of the heavy lifting when it comes to working on OpenID and being open with the libraries they’ve developed. So they understand how to work for the greater good when implementing OpenID solutions.

Their take on the OpenID ID Selector is no different. It allows the folks who implement it to customize the providers that show and the order in which they are listed—even if that means JanRain’s MyOpenID doesn’t make the list.

This is yet another step forward for OpenID and its burgeoning user base. And, truly, one of the first ways I’ve seen that highlights to everyday Web users—millions of people who use services like AOL, Yahoo!, and Blogger—that they already have live OpenIDs which they could be using to manage services.

It’s great for users, but it could also mean some exciting developments for the companies who choose to become OpenID providers. Rafe Needleman of WebWare, for example, sees a simplified OpenID moving into the realm of loyalty programs:

Major sites, like portals, could still do a much better job pushing the OpenID concept. That would be good for them, not just because it’d make OpenID more accessible to users, but because there’s a lot of brand affinity that sites can win by having users authenticate against their sites even when they’re using some other company’s service. Think of OpenID branding as the affinity credit card of the Web: Every time a user logs on to a service they’d get the authenticator’s brand popped up in front of them — just like Harley-Davidson does when its Visa affinity card users make purchases.

JanRain, not surprisingly, gets this, and will provide a complete white-label OpenID technology infrastructure for companies or brands that want to become authenticators. So if you want to log on to Web sites with an ID from your alma mater or local Rotary club, JanRain will make that possible.

But we still have a ways to go, before we get there. Allen Stern of CenterNetworks is wondering if part of the problem might be the marketing of the “OpenID” name itself:

From my side, I am starting to believe that we don’t need to market the term ‘OpenID’ to consumers. No one cares about the technology, they only want to login to their favorite service using their AOL or Google id. It’s like TCP/IP, no one cares how it works, just that our email shows up in the inbox and Twitter loads when we want to tell our friends we just saw Britney at CVS.

Clearly, we’re not out of the geek forest yet. But JanRain is making significant strides to see that we’re on our way.

For more information, visit JanRain.

Reminder: Meet OpenID developer David Recordon

If you’re like me, you’re a huge fan of the potential of OpenID. (Even though my current implementation continues to malfunction here on Silicon Florist. And that’s my fault, not OpenID.)

And while we get to chat with Scott Kveton, the Vidoop (and now ConfIdent) guys, and the JanRain folks on a regular basis, sometimes it’s nice to get to hear from some of the other leading voices in OpenID development.

That’s why I’m really excited for lunch on Monday with one of the original OpenID developers, David Recordon.

David currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the OpenID Foundation and works as the Open Platforms Tech Lead at SixApart. You may also remember him as a collaborator and editor of Brad Fitzpatrick’s “Thoughts on the Social Graph.”

And to keep this all on the up-and-up as far as Silicon Florist goes, Recordon has Portland ties, as well, having graduated from Catlin Gabel.

If you’ve got time on Monday, come on down to Huber’s for lunch to meet David, Kveton, and a number of other OpenID-o-philes. RSVPs are appreciated so that Huber’s has an idea of how many to expect.

For more information or to RSVP, see A Great Portland Geek Lunch on Upcoming.

Vidoop is ConfIdent, Portland gets two for one

I’ll have to admit that this one completely slid past me. But luckily I took the opportunity to swing by the Vidoop booth at InnoTech. At which point Kevin Fox and Michael Richardson brought me up to speed.

I blame myself.

When Scott Kveton announced he was joining Vidoop and opening a Portland office, I was pretty excited. Exciting young company. Cool technology. OpenID focus. All good things.

But I never imagined that Portland would be getting two companies out of the deal.

Meet one of Portland’s newest startups: ConfIdent Technologies, the Athena bursting from the head of Zeus spinoff, from Vidoop.

ConfIdent Technologies, a Portland, Oregon-based software technology company, has unveiled a revolutionary secure login authentication technology. RecognitionAUTH™ promises to change the face of Internet security with a new secure login solution that eliminates passwords, adding a layer of security that is more secure yet intuitive for users to understand, without requiring additional hardware.

But, just so you don’t completely hate me for missing the breaking news, I’ve got something else. I found it buried at the bottom of the Vidoop post, announcing the launch:

Both Vidoop and ConfIdent Technologies LLC will be based in Portland, Oregon.

Obviously, given my myopic view, this could easily be the most exciting part of the announcement. Portland getting a Vidoop office was great news. Portland getting to be Vidoop and ConfIdent Technologies headquarters? That’s a huge step forward for the town and the Portland startup community.

I’ll continue to track and report on this development as more information becomes available.

For more information on Vidoop’s spinoff and the technologies that fall under its purview, visit ConfIdent Technologies. For more on the parent company, visit Vidoop.

Now on tap: Portland Startup Drinks

Portland Startup Drinks: Not that they are going to be drinking beer out of a can mind youJust saw that Portland has launched its own chapter of Startup Drinks.

What’s Startup Drinks, you ask? Well, it’s another startup idea from the same folks who brought us—or more accurately will be bringing usStartup Weekend.

A simple concept: startup culture in cities around the world gathers around a bar to have a pint and discuss what they are working on, what they need help with and what they can do for each other.

Pints and startups? I, honestly, can’t think of anything more Portland than that. Well, okay, maybe Beer and Blog.

Here’s hoping that Portland Startup Drinks will add their get-togethers to Upcoming so we can track them in the Silicon Florist Upcoming group.

Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

InnoTech Oregon 2008, Day 1

The first day of InnoTech Oregon 2008 is officially in the books. And from what I was able to surmise, it’s been a great event. Crowded sessions. Active discussions between the audience and the speakers. Even more active discussions in the hallways.

There’s some good energy in the crowd. And that crowd is pretty diverse. Lots of suits. And lots of tweets.

If you didn’t get a chance to make it over to the Oregon Convention Center today, bear in mind that today was the “light” day. On Thursday, there’s the keynote and the exhibit floor opens, not to mention a whole new slate of sessions.

If you get the chance, head on over.

Still not convinced? Well, here’s some of what you missed, today.

  • There was a very active Twitter contingent at InnoTech, filing 140-character reports and quotes from the event throughout the day. Read through the tweets that were tagged #inno on hashtags or search for “inno” TweetScan.
  • Dawn Foster “Why companies should have online communities
    “I’m here at Innotech this week, and this question came up on my panel about Online Communities. I wanted to share and elaborate on my answer to the question of ‘Why build an online community in the first place?'”
  • Jeff Hardison “Tech Marketing Professional Development: InnoTech
    “This morning, McBru CEO Kerry McClenahan and I participated in an InnoTech panel called Strategies for Planning and Building an Online Community as part of the conference’s eMarketing Summit. I really got a lot out of not only the insights from fellow panelists Dawn Foster and Barry Tallis of Jive Software, but also the audience questions.”
  • Mike Berkley “What the heck are Widgets? (And why I hate ‘widgets’)
    “I spoke on a panel today called ‘What the Heck are Widgets?’ I shared the stage with the VP Sales at eROI , the VP Biz Dev at KickApps (somewhat a competitor to SplashCast), and the VP Biz Dev at FlightStats.”
  • Andrew Hay “Understanding LINQ
    “Since I’m posting this in advance, I hope my session titled Understanding LINQ was a huge hit and everyone loved it. I’ve been working on the content for a while and its tough whittling it down to fit inside the specified time slots; there’s just so much cool stuff. I probably phat-fingered some keys once or twice, but hopefully I didn’t start my sentences with ‘So….’ too often or speak so fast that I made a whistling noise. I hope you enjoyed it.”
  • Peter Imbres “Thoughts from InnoTech
    “Just finished my panel at InnoTech in Portland a few hours ago and it went really well. I’m glad I got there early to gauge the audience a little because it turned out that they were much more social media savvy than I originally thought.”
  • Bill Winett “Innotech
    “Went to Innotech today. Glad I did.” (Includes session recaps)

Is your InnoTech write-up missing? Add it to the comments below and I’ll be sure to add it to the list.

And, of course, be expecting a similar round-up, from me. tomorrow.

For more information on InnoTech, Thursday’s agenda, or the speakers mentioned above, please visit InnoTech Oregon.

Portland Start-up Index for April 2008: COLOURlovers debuts at #4

I’m happy to report that, once again, it’s time to take a look at my favorite apples-to-oranges comparison of the Portland startup scene, the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index. For me, it’s like having birthday every single month.

The biggest surprise this month? Two-time Webby nominee COLOURlovers has debuted on the Portland Start-up Index at #4, cracking open an otherwise static Top 5. The only other new addition is the Collaborative Software Initiative at #46.

Second biggest surprise? Pheedo jumped up 25 slots. Now that’s a “mover.”

But what’s happening with the other folks? Who’s moving up? Who’s moving down? Where do we stand?

Well, let’s take a look.

  1. AboutUs
  2. Discogs
  3. Kongregate
  4. COLOURlovers
  5. MyOpenID
  6. Earth Class Mail
  7. Splashcast
  8. Jive Software
  9. Sandy
  10. Pheedo
  11. Gone Raw
  12. eROI
  13. NetworthIQ
  14. Stikkit
  15. GadgetTrak
  16. Walker Tracker
  17. Attensa
  18. ChoiceA
  19. Art Face Off
  20. Active Reload
  21. Grabbit
  22. Pibb
  23. iovation
  24. UrbanDrinks
  25. Lunarr
  26. Rocketbook
  27. Iterasi
  28. WeoGeo
  29. FreeRange
  30. KnitMap
  31. GoLife Mobile
  32. fmyi
  33. Imindi
  34. Goboz
  35. VocalNation
  36. MomHub
  37. GoSeeTell
  38. Workplace2go
  39. Picktastic
  40. Jama Software
  41. Avnera
  42. Kryptiq
  43. Cendix
  44. Lightfleet
  45. Box Populi
  46. Collaborative Software Initiative
  47. Worldwide Nest
  48. Techchex
  49. Kumquat
  50. IDP Solutions
  51. YourList

For a details on the movement of each startup-list entity or to get more details on how the rankings are tabulated, visit the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index.

Scoble is right: Portland deserves more geek cred

Wow. Two Scoble mentions in one week. Who’d of thunk? (For those curious types, the other Scoble mention.)

Aaron Hockley shook me from my travel stupor, highlighting Scoble’s recent post “Israel: A country too far from Mike Arrington’s house” and advising me that the post was “perfect fodder for a Silicon Florist post. ”

He’s right. It is.

Scoble’s post is mostly about Israel. And, honestly, I have to agree with him. I had the opportunity to work with a Portland startup whose development team was in Israel. And I also got to work with some Israeli developers at another not-so-startup gig in Portland.

Scoble nails it. It’s an amazing tech scene over there.

But that’s not why I’m posting.

I’m posting because he also says this:

I’ve started noticing a trend: that the further away a tech area is from Silicon Valley the less respect that area will get…. Do you agree or disagree that people, companies, countries can get the respect and/or tech industry PR they deserve if they are far away from Silicon Valley?

And I can’t even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. How thrilled I am to hear this kind of thinking. You mean, there might actually be something interesting happening in technology outside of Silicon Valley? Do you think?

But, as to his question, that’s a bit more difficult. Because I honestly don’t know. It’s really, really hard to get folks in the Valley to pay attention to folks outside of the Valley.

There is a ton of noise down there. And what’s more, there’s always the potential for face-to-face meetings. There’s real, honest-to-goodness networking. Like the stuff we do around here with Portland Lunch 2.0, Ignite Portland, and BarCamp Portland.

But the access points are entirely different.

Down there, you have access to a bunch of people like Arrington, Scoble, Om Malik, Jerimiah Owyang, Jason Calacanis, Scott Beale… the list goes on and on. Up here? You can only bug Marshall Kirkpatrick for coverage about five to six times a week before he starts getting upset. (Trust me, I’ve tested this limit, time and time again.)

Now, Scoble’s been to Portland before, so I know he’s aware of some of the stuff happening up here. But he’s not here enough. We’re not connected enough.

Down there, there’s more potential:

I’ve noticed this when I visited MySpace: they were so excited when I visited because they say that tech bloggers never visit. I was thinking back to my own experiences. Yes, that’s true. Facebook employees regularly meet up with us at parties and dinners and conferences. We run into MySpace employees far less often. These personal connections turn into stories on blogs.

And yes, while it’s nice and quaint that I try to make sure your projects are getting coverage here on the little ol’ Silicon Florist blog, that’s only going to get us part of the way. And a small part of the way, at that.

Ideally, I’d really like to see Portland getting the credit it deserves—on a regular basis—in more well-read publications, like TechCrunch, Scobelizer, GigaOm, and ReadWriteWeb. And The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the San Jose Merc.

We’re on the right path. And the tide is starting to turn. But there’s still a long ways to go.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on how we can continue to grease the skids. What more can I be doing to help you? What more can we be doing as a community to get the startups here in Portland more of the attention they deserve?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

InnoTech Oregon 2008 is imminent

It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost time for InnoTech Oregon 2008, the first big tech event of the year for Portland. Sean Lowery, who organizes the event, is feeling the same way:

After 6 months of planning and preparation InnoTech happens this week, April 16-17 at the Oregon Convention Center. It seems like just weeks ago it was October and we had the first planning meeting for the NW CIO Summit, now after months and months of calling, emailing and planning, InnoTech Oregon is here. I won’t bore you again with how great this event is going to be, but with 100+ speakers, 2000 attendees, 90+ technology demos and must attend networking you can’t go wrong.

You can always check the InnoTech has a mobile conference guide to find sessions to attend. Me? I’m really looking forward is the Open Source track:

[Dawn Foster] will also be moderating a panel about Open Source Communities on April 17th with some amazing panelists and open source rock stars: whurley, Stormy Peters, Danese Cooper, and John Mark Walker. The session is part of an all day open source tracking being organized by Raven Zachary.

If you haven’t registered yet, 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.

If you’re already planning to attend and you happen to be on Twitter, I’m planning to hashtag my InnoTech related tweets as “#inno” and I would encourage you to do the same. (If you’re not already following hashtags on Twitter, you’ll need to do that in order for your tweets to be tracked by that service.) When you tag tweets #inno, I’ll make sure to include your twittered insights in any roundup posts.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Portland is Awesome, a new group blog covering the Portland scene

Portland is Awesome. Sure, sure, it’s a catch-phrase. And something we all know. But now, it’s also a blog covering Portland and its, well, “awesomeness.”

Portland is Awesome is a celebration of the many fun and interesting things in Portland, Oregon. Many of the Portland blogs just seemed too corporate, so I thought it would be cool to start a new group blog where people can blog about anything related to Portland.

It is most definitely cool. I haven’t been this happy to see a new blog come on to the scene since Portland on Fire.

Portland is Awesome will be a group blog, featuring a number of local writers. Dawn Foster, Nate Angell, and Bram Pitoyo [Update] and Sam Grover, Kathleen Mazzucco, and Justin Kistner have posted, so far. But I also noticed that more authors are wanted. (To paraphrase Aaron Hockley, “If only there were some sort of gig board around here where people could promote these positions for free by using the discount code ‘freebie.’ If only.”)

The once strong local group-blogging scene has stumbled a bit in recent months, leaving a noticeable gap in grassroots coverage of Portland’s incredible arts, entertainment, food, and culture. And that’s just one of the many reasons that Portland is Awesome (and other Portland-focused group blogs rumored to be in the works) will be a welcome addition to this much needed—and currently underserved—area.

I’m looking forward to reading this new perspective, so I’ve already added Portland is Awesome to my feeds. And I’d highly suggest you do the same.

For more information, visit Portland is Awesome.

Is Jive CMO Sam Lawrence the next Robert Scoble?

Portland-based Jive Software has been all over the blog world as of late with their release of Clearspace 2.0. But that’s not the only place they’re turning heads.

Jive’s Chief Marketing Officer, Sam Lawrence, has rapidly become a social-media phenom on Twitter and on his blog, Go Big Always (which coincidentally uses the same Justin-Kistner designed WordPress theme that adorns Silicon Florist).

Now, Portland’s Marshall Kirkpatrick is hinting that Lawrence may be the next Robert Scoble, given how readily his social media presence jumps to mind:

When we asked for examples of people doing this kind of work well on Twitter, the first name that flooded our replies inbox was Jive Software’s Sam Lawrence.

For those of you unfamiliar with Scoble, Kirkpatrick provides a short and sweet primer:

Robert Scoble blazed a big trail by blogging and producing video as a technical evangelist for Microsoft from 2003 through 2006. No longer at Microsoft, Scoble now produces media for media’s sake at FastCompany.tv. Others have followed his lead, knowingly or not, and job titles like “social media evangelist” are no longer nearly as rare as they used to be.

As for me, I’ve seen the power of Sam’s influence in a variety of media. And it continues to grow on a daily—if not hourly—basis. His bursting on to the social-media scene has been nothing short of explosive. And I continue to be impressed with his growing influence and impact.

That’s good for Jive. But it’s also good for us here in the Silicon Forest.

We could be witnessing the emergence of another true A-Lister, right here in our own backyard. And that, gentle reader, could be huge for the Portland startup scene.

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