Tag: Portland

Portland Lunch 2.0: The sequel

Portland Lunch 2.0, the opportunity to meet your Portland peers over lunch at one of the area’s cool office spaces, has set the date and location for the next get-together.

The next lunch will be held April 9 at the eROI offices in Old Town.

Come one, come all, whether geek or not. Have some lunch on eROI, mix and mingle with your fellow Portlanders, learn about the tech scene in Portland, go home or back to work happy.

For more information, see the post on the official Lunch 2.0 blog, or if you’re already sold on the idea, RSVP on Upcoming. I hope to see you there.

Showdango: Find and promote Webinars

I like Webinars, Webcasts, and online presentations as much as the next guy, but it’s rare that I attend one without having randomly stumbled upon the opportunity.Well, all that may change with Showdango, a Portland-based startup that aims to be your source for finding Webinars.

Showdango’s community-driven Webinar index also provides RSS feeds and the ability to automagically add an event to Google Calendar and/or iCal (the GCal and iCal links are included in the RSS feeds to boot).How did Showdango come about?

It all began with a webinar that we attended by Seth Godin. We were so inspired by Seth’s webinar that we decided to look for other webinars, and that is when, regretfully, we found out that there weren’t any good resources for webinars… until now. showdango is the world’s first webinar index, and our vision is to provide a valuable resource that anyone can use to share, view, and track webinars. We hope that you will help us spread the word about showdango.

Showdango was build by CartoSoft, a small geospatial startup based out of Portland, Oregon. The company’s mission is to extend the reach of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to a broader audience through the use of Internet Mapping Solutions.For more information, see the Showdango post on the CartoSoft blog. Or to try it for yourself, visit Showdango.

MIXr: First mobile social networking app with Silverlight touchscreen UI

MIXr Mood Switcher

Today, Portland-based StepChange Group took the stage at MIX08 to demonstrate a groundbreaking new application: the world’s first gesture-driven, Microsoft-Silverlight powered user interface on a mobile device.

The data-driven touchscreen interface, dubbed MIXr, runs in the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 environment, and was a proof-of-concept to showcase the functionality of these cutting edge development environments for the MIX audience.

“It was lots of fun—though nerve-wracking—to have our team sharing the stage with Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie,” said StepChange’s Kevin Tate.

Aside from the Portland angle, why is this newsworthy?

In my opinion, the release of the MIXr application is important for two specific reasons.

First, it proves the viability of Silverlight as an environment for delivering rich mobile applications. And, on a day when the use of these types of technologies in the mobile environment is being rejected by a major player, that’s a pretty big win.

Second, it gives us a glimpse into the future of social networking.

Unlike many of today’s “social networks on mobile devices,” the MIXr application, developed by StepChange in partnership with San Francisco’s Stimulant, demonstrates how the future of social networking may transition to your mobile device.

In other words, this isn’t a “m.” mobile view into an existing social network application; it is the social network application:

[MIXr] uses real-time user updates to track the mood and status of clubs and venues—and helps friends to connect and coordinate with one another during a night out.

It aggregates user ratings, such as a venue’s mood, line length, and music, and uses interactive data visualization to make it easy to figure out what’s hot and what’s not.

“Rich mobile applications are going to quickly change the way we use the Web everyday,” said Tate. “We’re focused on creating applications that leverage the powerful advantages of location, personalization and communication that the mobile environment provides – and have chosen Silverlight as our platform because of its portability and performance.”

For more information on MIXr and developing rich mobile applications using Silverlight, see Stimulant’s post on the MIXr release and StepChange’s announcement on the MIX08 Keynote.

Guest Editorial: Scott Kveton

[Editor’s note: Continuing the Silicon Florist’s guest editorial series, we welcome Scott Kveton, a well-known force-of-nature in the Portland technology community. And, as you’ll see, the de facto Chamber of Commerce for the Portland startup scene.]
Made in Oregon

Image courtesy Modified Enzyme under Creative Commons

Falling in love with Portland again and again

Last week was amazing. I spent most of it with Luke Sontag here in Portland, meeting with folks, spreading the good word about Vidoop and generally being in the city.

Having grown up in-and-around Portland, it’s always fun to see the reaction to everything-that-is-Portland from someone who doesn’t live here. (Oh, and the weather we had last week didn’t hurt either.)

I got a chance to talk a little bit about this at Ignite Portland 2, but I’ll say it again: This is the beginning of a fantastic renaissance period for Portland. It’s such a vibrant, eclectic, talented and diverse city with so many things going on, that it inspires the mind and spirit around every corner you turn. Even more, I think Chris Logan had it right: it’s time for Portland to step up and take its place.

There has been some talk about how “if you don’t live in the Bay Area and you’re in tech, you’re basically a wuss.”

So be it. The very last thing I want is for Portland to turn into the Bay Area or Seattle. I want it to be Portland. I want other cities to be saying “wouldn’t it be great if we were more like Portland?” I simply want Portland to come into its own in tech, in the arts, sustainability, green, etc.

But, how do we get to that point?

Well, it takes a bunch of us, it takes some time and, ironically, the city does most of the work for you.

For the past couple of years, I’ve made it a point to try to help people who are considering a move to Portland. I’ve spent countless days taking people around the city, introducing them to others in the city, and generally trying to give them a “locals’ view” of the city.

Now, the tour I take folks on covers a bit of ground and I’m seeking some input on the route. A couple of places I go to:

  • Tour of SW waterfront area with gondola love
  • Sellwood district (possibly for lunch, definitely for dinner at Saburo’s if it’s a weekday night)
  • SE towards 78th or so … Marshall has been kind enough to meet me more than once at the Bipartisan Cafe… soooo PDX
  • Alberta or Killingsworth… I used to live at Billy Reed’s at the turn of the century and I can’t believe how much it’s all changed since then
  • Pearl District for coffee (Caffe Umbria is amazing) or drinks (the Vault or even the Clyde Commons)
  • NW on 21st or 23rd… just too much to do, to eat, to see

Where would you take a touring visitor to get a taste of Portland from a local’s point-of-view? Bear in mind, I’m not looking for just a tech-person view on this. I’m all about diversity here.

The key to all of this, and the thing that I keep in mind at all times, is serendipity. Yeah, yeah, I know. Hard to quantify, huh? Well, I’m not the cheerleader type unless I really, really believe in it. Portland I can believe in. This city, the people, the places. It’s easy.

If you’re not predisposed to drink the PDX Kool-aid, then you’re probably not the type of person I’d want here anyway. And, if you’ve ended up in my Inbox or with my phone number, odds are, there’s a reason.

I’ll put this out there; if you have a friend or colleague that is thinking about making the move to Portland I’ll offer up my time for coffee or even the full-fledged tour to introduce them to the city and the people I know. It’s just the right thing to do. And, I’d challenge you to do the same.

Again, it’s not about trying to make Portland something it’s not… it’s about embracing serendipity and helping Portland realize its potential.

P.S. – first round is always on me … 🙂

Scott Kveton is a digital identity promoter, open source advocate, and Chairman of the OpenID Foundation. He has worked at Amazon, RuleSpace.com, JanRain, and MyStrands, and founded the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University. He is a regular speaker on the topic of identity and open source. Kveton currently serves as the Vice President of Open Platforms for Vidoop, a company he recently wooed to the Silicon Forest.

Silicon Florist gets some sprucing

While it may not be obvious to those of you reading the feed, the Silicon Florist site has undergone some long-overdue “sprucing up” over the weekend.

Call me crazy, but it seemed like it was time to step away from the slightly tweaked default template. Because quite frankly, gentle reader, you’re worth it.

Obviously, as with all new digs, we’re still working out some of the kinks (like resurrecting the OpenID comment log-in). So your patience is appreciated. As is your feedback. We tried to implement this quickly, over the weekend. And we’ll continue to iron out the rough spots over time.

Before you start lobbing critiques (and I do appreciate the critiques), I’d encourage you to first lob congrats at Justin Kistner of Metafluence, whose Conversation theme for WordPress and design recommendations served as the foundation for the Silicon Florist redesign.

Word around the campfire is that a few other folks are already using the Conversation theme—or are preparing to implement it soon. And, I can see why. I’m still learning my way around it, but I’m really liking it so far.

A heartfelt, “Thank you,” Justin, for offering this theme up for use, sweating through the tweaking over the weekend, adding some incredibly nice features to the blog, and—last but not least—putting up with my nitpicking. I cannot thank you enough.

Hopefully, all of you will like this new direction as much as I do. I mean, I can only read my own stuff so much. So keeping you readers around—and happy—is of utmost importance.

And please, rest assured, that despite the snazzy new look, the writing around here remains fair to middling, as always. 😉

I’m looking forward to your feedback.

So, that’s that. Enough navel gazing. Without further ado, we now return you to your regularly scheduled Silicon Forest startup news, already in progress.

paidContent and mocoNews mobilized by FreeRange

Portland-based FreeRange Communications has announced a partnership with ContentNext Media that will have FreeRange designing and delivering mobile versions of paidContent and mocoNews, currently the 439th and 4,146th most authoritative blogs in the world according to Technorati.

Justifiably classified as “must reads” by FreeRange CEO Jon Maroney, the mobile content for paidContent and mocoNews will be available at http://paid.mwap.at and http://moco.mwap.at, respectively.

Why FreeRange?

“The FreeRange platform gives our readers the latest breaking news with an attractive interface and quick load time,” said Ted Rupp, Director of Business Development at ContentNext. “FreeRange app’s vastly improve the mobile web experience, and provide an excellent outlet for sponsors as well.”

ContentNext chose FreeRange for two specific reasons. First, the FreeRange system updates feeds and content in the background, ensuring that the content is always updated and accessible—even if the phone is out of tower range. Second—and perhaps more importantly—the FreeRange mobile widgets are designed to run on practically all mobile systems, ensuring the widest reader base possible for the ContentNext sites.

And straight from the paidContent post:

The key benefits: all four feeds from our four sites are in one place, and are updated in real time so you get the freshest news. You can view the feeds at your leisure, even when you’re offline. Also, it can serve as your default mobile RSS reader, as you can add your own feeds and even your local weather. The app works on the majority of mobile devices with a data connection besides BlackBerry.

For more information on the ContentNext partnership, see the FreeRange release.

FreeRange Communications enables media companies and consumer brands to deliver their content and advertising to mobile phones in a way that is fast and easy to read. The FreeRange Mobile Publishing Platform allows publishers to have mobile widgets that work on nearly all mobile phones, extending their business models and content to mobile phone screens around the world. For more information on FreeRange and its mobile services, visit FreeRange.

Meet: SEMpdx Searchfest 2008 is March 10

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:

  1. Register for SearchFest at www.searchfest.org
  2. Enter the code SEMBD in the “Coupons/Gift Certificates” text box and click “Add.” (This is at step 3 of the shopping cart)
  3. Enjoy your day at SearchFest

For more information, visit SEMpdx. Interested in attending? Or, take the opportunity to register for SEMpdx Searchfest 2008.

Portland Lunch 2.0: Filling and good for you, too

The inaugural Portland Lunch 2.0 kicked off, today, at the AboutUs offices in the still-being-renovated Olympic Mills Commerce Center. And after pouring through a number of tweets about the topic, this afternoon, I can confidently say that Lunch 2.0 was a definite success.

The Lunch 2.0 concept started with folks in Silicon Valley as a means of staying in touch with friends and former coworkers, while getting the chance to gawk at everyone else’s office spaces and to try out the food in the cafeteria.

And there was much gawking to be had at the new AboutUs build-out. The space was perfect for the crowd. And, by midway through the event, it was easily filled to capacity with a wide variety of folks from startups around the area.

Since its start in the Valley, Lunch 2.0 has popped up all over the map, from Amsterdam to Bangalore to (my personal favorite) Lunch Five-0 in Hawaii. Portland’s version of Lunch 2.0 was brought to town by Jake Kuramoto with help from Dawn Foster.

Thinking about attending a future Lunch 2.0? Please bear in mind that part of the appeal of Lunch 2.0 is its progressive nature of moving from one location to another—so you can start scheming about how to cowork in their space you get to see the cool spaces in town where smart people do their work. If you’re interested in having a group of hungry startup types invade your office space during a lunch hour, please comment below.

As a reminder for those of you who were taking pictures and who have plans to upload them to flickr, tagging them “lunch20” will ensure they appear in the flickr widget on the official Lunch 2.0 site.

Jive Software nearly doubles customer base in 2007

I knew Portland-based Jive Software was hot. I knew they were award winning. And I knew that they had taken an unassailable lead in the “Most Want Ads in the Portland Area” race.

But, even with all of this purported knowledge of mine, it’s always nice to have some numbers to back me up.

Today, Jive released some of those numbers for FY2007. And they’re impressive, to say the least:

  • Nearly 800 new customers
  • 325% increase in annual sales
  • 15% of the Fortune 500 use a Jive product

Jive attributes its continued success to businesses’ growing need for “a better way to work,” highlighting that the collaborative nature of Jive’s products makes them a compelling platform for improving communications with a “proven, people-centric approach to collaboration.”

For more information on Jive’s numbers, read the press release. For more information on the company, visit Jive.

(Hat tip Northwest Innovation)

Portland on Fire: Slow social networking

Some people get married and then push everyone else to get married. Some people do the same thing with having kids. Me? I submitted my Portland on Fire profile, and now I expect everyone else in town to do it, too.

What’s Portland on Fire? I’m glad you asked.

Portland On Fire is a daily discovery of PDX people. The site introduces you to a person in the Portland, Oregon (PDX), area every day. Reach out and connect. The site was created by Raven Zachary and launched on January 1st, 2008. Early profiles [focused] on individuals in the tech and creative arts communities in Portland, but there is no reason why it must stay focused in these areas. The talent pool in Portland is large and diverse, and this site hopes to make this fact evident.

Portland on Fire has been described as “slow social networking.” A profile a day. That’s not really too much to ask, is it?

And I have to admit, it’s really working for me. Here are some of the interesting folks that I’ve met (all virtually and some in person), thanks to Portland on Fire:

  • Jessica Neuman Beck
    Designer, writer, crafter, geek
  • Paul Bingman
    Web programmer, film junkie, railroad movie consultant
  • Ben Bradley
    Soon to be the former Captain Bradley
  • Larissa Brown
    Mommy, knitter, knit designer, author, artist, runner, friend
  • Bill Burcham
    Technologist, craftsman, inventor
  • Joel Burslem
    Founder of the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog
  • Jennifer Cloer
    Information junkie, wife, friend, sister, daughter, aunt and colleague
  • Mara Collins
    Mother, Wife, Philosopher, Blogger
  • Serena Davidson
    Free-Range People Photographer, Geek Magnet, Entreprenuer, Chocolate Fiend
  • Selena Deckelmann
    Sysadmin, Event Organizer, Chicken Keeper
  • Melissa Delzio
    Designer, Artist – can sing greek alphabet, has squeaky hicupps
  • Kurt Deutscher
    Chief Technology Evangelist, Portland Native, Jazz Drummer
  • Audrey Eschright
    Crafty geek
  • Daniel Etra
    Nourishing complexity + digging deep for real solutions
  • Sioux Fleming
    Technologist, computer threat security evangelist, avid camper, cat person
  • Dawn Foster
    Community Manager, Event Organizer, Blogger, Podcaster, Vegan, and Technology Enthusiast
  • Adrienne Fritze
    Mom, artist, social entrepreneur, risk taker, passion monger, creative freak
  • Lyza Danger Gardner
    Introspective, Inquisitive and Surly: Portland Native Eschews the Humdrum
  • Sarah Gilbert
    Finance blog editor, writer, photographer, knitter, mama
  • Mark Gross
    Linux kernel engineer, open source tinkerer, robot builder, intellectual wanderer
  • Hideshi Hamaguchi
    Concept creator, strategist + designer who cannot draw pictures
  • China Z. Hamilton
    Artist & world traveler turned advertising student
  • Sam Keen
    Coder, Event Organizer, Open Source Enthusiast, Geek
  • Justin Kistner
    Online marketing strategist, web designer, and Rock Band drummer
  • Sam Lawrence
    Chief Marketing Officer, Jive Software
  • Kent Lewis
    Search engine marketing guru, recovering entrepreneur and family guy
  • Steve Libbey
    Novelist, guitarist, personist
  • Melissa Lion
    Professional Writer: Fiction, Food and Sex
  • Jadene Mayla
    Plant-lover, artist, zombie movie fan, ecstatic dancer, and writer
  • Kathleen Mazzocco
    Independent public relations consultant
  • Aaron Meyers
    Level 1 Dad LFG PST
  • Todd Mintz
    Eclectic Search Engine Marketing / Internet Marketing Specialist
  • Wende Morgaine
    Educator. Connector. Innovator.
  • Steve Morris
    Entrepreneur, startup coach, hobbyist technologist, former DJ
  • Matt Navarre
    Relational database developer, guitar nut
  • Lynne Joy Nesbit
    Relentlessly curious, business owner, artist, psychotherapist, mother, feminist, believer
  • Chris O’Rourke
    Father, husband, geek and general nuisance to computer problems
  • Bram Pitoyo
    Account planner, creative researcher, brand strategist & most other things
  • Paige Saez
    Interaction designer who likes ubicomp, conceptual art, painting, digital anthropology
  • Craig Schwartz
    Entrepreneur, raconteur, agent provocateur, bon-vivant, gadfly, sapient primate
  • Eva Schweber
    Cat herder, baker, recipe whisperer and dairy goat herder (retired)
  • Urban Scout
    Post-apocalyptic anti hero… With a blog!
  • Greg Sorber
    A technical writer who is decidedly non-technical
  • Gary Walter
    Quintessential 5th gen Portlander on a road not taken
  • Amy Sample Ward
    Lover, blogger, activist, biker, dreamer, worrier, lover
  • Raven Zachary
    Technologist, open source industry analyst, event organizer
  • Nick Zolotko
    Star Wars nerd with a hint of normality

But, honestly, for as interesting as all of these folks are? I’d still like to meet you. So why don’t you head over and fill out a profile? I’m looking forward to reading about you, soon.

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