And while it will come as little shock to anyone in the startup scene, the feedback says that SAO members would like… (drum roll please) exactly what the folks in the startup tech scene have been doing: smaller informal discussions at brew pubs.
You may remember the Software Association of Oregon survey I mentioned a few months back. You know the one. The one where the SAO was looking to get some feedback on what direction they should be pursuing? Remember? Well, you must. Because more than 40% of the respondents weren’t even SAO members—and I have to assume that means that you were likely one of those who responded.
Well in any case, the results are in. And they’ve been all munched and crunched and whatnot. And while it will come as little shock to anyone in the startup scene, the feedback says that SAO members would like… (drum roll please) exactly what the folks in the startup tech scene have been doing: smaller informal discussions at brew pubs. Read More
Now, I easily rattled off any number of organizations who were focused on helping the Portland and Silicon Forest startup environment. But other than my own personal opinion, I couldn’t really gauge who was helping entrepreneurs succeed.
We get input at our lunches, and through our Meetup.com site, but we’d like to round that out with input from a larger sample of the Portland area tech entrepreneur community. So please take three minutes to let us know what kinds of programs you’d like to attend. These are mostly ratings of 1-to-5 to show interest level in a topic. Lots of ideas are listed, but it goes fast. Really! Three minutes. (OK, maybe four minutes at the outside.) Thanks!
I know you can help, because everyone has an opinion. They’re like… well, everyone has one.
So take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and click some buttons. The OTBC—and our entire startup community—will be better for it.
Likely if you’ve ever spent any time working in Web design and development—or if you’ve ever had the opportunity to wrestle with some CSS or make your code jump through some hoops—you’ve come across A List Apart.
In 1997, web developer Brian M. Platz and I started the A List Apart mailing list because we found the web design mailing lists that were already out there to be too contentious, too careerist, or too scattershot. There was too much noise, too little signal. We figured, if we created something we liked better, maybe other people would like it too. Within months, 16,000 designers, developers, and content specialists had joined our list.
It’s fairly safe to say that there are few more influential sites out there when it comes to developing and designing the Web.
Calling all designers, developers, information architects, project managers, writers, editors, marketers, and everyone else who makes websites. It is time once again to pool our information so as to begin sketching a true picture of the way our profession is practiced worldwide.
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.
[HTML1]A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to get a glimpse of Sidecar, a new widget from Portland-based widget wizards StepChange Group. The product is currently running in a small private beta with a couple of other Portland-based companies, Sandy and one other.
Sidecar, at its very most basic, is a simple survey widget. It was developed—with product managers in mind—as a way to make it easy for developers to embed surveys and feedback mechanisms within the interface of the Web-based apps they’re developing. The widget was specifically targeted at gathering feedback during the oft-cryptic and hectic “beta testing” cycle that every product experiences.
But, as we walked through the demo, I immediately saw the opportunity for it to do more. Much more.
I couldn’t help but think of all of its potential as a feedback mechanism, a means of managing context sensitive help, a supplemental page-ranking system (think “contextual Digg“), and—last but not least—the means for you (yes, you!) to truly engage in conversations with your users in a format that is easy for them and valuable for you.
That’s a lot to cram into a little widget. But I’m definitely seeing the potential. Even in this beta version.
So of course I piped up with, “You know, I could really see this being useful on my blog. Or any blog for that matter. Blogs get feedback via comments. But that’s post-by-post feedback. I could really use this to assess the impact of Silicon Florist, as a whole.”
So, I continued to beg and plead. (I could almost hear the engineering team cursing me.) And luckily, I was invited to the private beta. Then I saw Greg Rau’s presentation at Startupalooza, and I was convinced that I better get this thing deployed sooner rather than later. So, now, you can see the Sidecar widget running right now, over at the top of the Silicon Florist sidebar.
Feel free to bang on it.
Sidecar is simple. Ridiculously so. And that’s the best compliment I can give it. It took me less than five minutes to build that Silicon Florist widget—and that was with the not-ready-for-prime-time admin panel. The same thoughtful simplicity that informed the design of the widget interface clearly permeates the widget configuration tools, as well. (I’ve provided a screenshot of the beta admin screen for reference.)
There are a bevy of reports and dashboards, as well: feedback, pages, users, and widget-use metrics. But I can’t say much about those until there is actually some data from the widget.
The only downside to Sidecar, at this point, is the installation, which is still a bit geeky. Not overly geeky mind you, but it requires mucking with code. And while that will have little to no impact on the Web-app developer adoption, it may curtail adoption with a broader market. I’ll be interested to see how StepChange puts its simplicity-smarts into making the widget installation (WordPress widget or plugin, for example) as simple as widget creation and management.
I don’t have any word as to when the Sidecar beta goes from private to public beta, but I will be continuing to provide feedback to the StepChange team on issues I encounter and the features I would like to see. If you’d like to chime in, you have two ways: commenting on this post or, preferably, using the widget (hint, hint).
For more information on the widget, visit Sidecar. For more on the people behind Sidecar, visit StepChange.[