Whether out of curiosity or under pressure, you’ve likely started a company blog. Maybe you’re even letting employees blog. But making blogging a successful component of your organization’s communications and support programs? That’s another thing, entirely. Join this panel of panel of elite bloggers and microbloggers to learn how you can use blogs to increase transparency with your target market, create deeper and lasting relationships with your existing customers, and improve your company’s visibility on the Web. Attendees are sure to leave with both a renewed motivation to blog and specific steps for improving their organizations’ use of traditional blogs and new microblogging platforms.
The three of us will be providing our insight at 2 PM, today, in Portland Ballroom 256 at the Oregon Convention Center. So if you’re at InnoTech, we’d love to see you. For you Twitter types, the hashtag for the event is #emspdx.
There are some pretty witty folks on Twitter. I, for the record, do not happen to be one of them. But they are there. I’m talking about people like former Portlander Simon “@pagecrusher” Goetz. That kind of witty.
And sometimes, magic happens. Tweets—that don’t seem so humorous when taken out of context—combine into a string of entertaining @s of back-and-forth dialogue. The result? Pure comedy gold, my friend.
Unfortunately, those fleeting moments of jocularity used to simply disappear into the ether. Forever lost.
Enter the latest feature from our cartoon-errific friends over at Portland-based Toonlet, the Twitter Toonletifier. (In their defense, that’s not actually what they call it. They call it “Twitter Comic.” But I’m calling it the Toonletifier.)
See a Dorthy-Parker-esque series of rapier retorts or a layer-tennis-like volley of banter? Capture it for historical reference.
Simply head over to Toonlet and search for keywords or users. Select the tweets you want to add to your toonlet. Do a little editing magic on the characters. And voila! Instant hilarity.
The feature is still in its early stages, but it’s absolutely stable enough for you to begin banging on it. So give Toonlet Twitter Comic a try.
What’s that? You don’t even have to have anything witty to say. You can still use the Toonletifier. That’s how cool it is. I mean, seriously. It never stops me.
WebVisions—the awesome event that brings some of the best and brightest Web types to Portland every year—is hosting Beer and Blog Portland this week. And like many hosts, they want to do something that makes the event memorable.
Now, I’m fairly confident that I’ve got a good understanding of the topics over which the folks will be fighting. But then I get a little foggy on how the whole “Twitter War” thing works. (Me == Not so bright.) But I’m sure that once I’ve had a beer… Oh wait.
Anyway, it should go something like this:
Each panelist will have one minute to state their case, followed by 3 minutes of free-for-all. People can comment and vote via twitter the entire time.
To Vote: Tweet !v and a comment with the #hashtag and/or @panelist included. This will vote for a hashtag, panelist, or both. A person can only vote once for a hashtag or panelist, subsequent votes will be ignored, but their comments will be saved. A user can vote separately for a hashtag and a panelist to write a longer comment.
To comment: To comment only, leave out the !v and just tweet your comment with the #hashtag and/or @panelist included.
Got it? Good. Explain it to me when you get there.
Who will be on the panels? Well, that’s up to you, my crowdsourcey friend:
Nominate yourself or someone else for a panel by tweeting “@TWarsBeerBlog I nominate @username for #Topic.” (But, seriously? Whatever you do, don’t nominate @username for anything. That guy has a temper. I’m just saying.)
What do you win? A free pass to WebVisions is up for grabs for each of the battles. Not feeling battleworthy? Do you feel lucky? Well, do you? Because you also have the chance to attend WebVisions for free by answering one question. And I won’t battle you, at all.
As always or almost always, Beer and Blog will be at the Green Dragon. Hope to see you there (so you can explain the whole Twitter War thing to me). Visit Upcoming to RSVP.
Portland-based Twitalyzer has released a new feature that allows users to rank Twitter folks for a demographic region by certain metrics, like influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity, and clout.
How do the Twitter types in Portland fare? Let’s take a look at the listings for today.
If only AT&T had performed as flawlessly, Shizzow would have been invaluable at SXSW. Unfortunately, with the Edge network cratering under the sheer girth of iPhone traffic in Austin, neither Shizzow nor Twitter managed to live up to their potential.
But now that we’re back in the land of the speedy connections, Shizzow will no doubt shine. And since many of us monitor Twitter far more than we monitor Shizzow, maybe just maybe we’ll have some more of those chance meetings that Shizzow was designed to facilitate.
Reid Beels has transformed Twitter searching into an art form—matching Twitter search results with thoughtful Web design that allows users to easily keep track of certain topics or hashtags in an aesthetically pleasing setting.
But Reid couldn’t keep all this to himself, so now he’s open sourced those files as TweetScope, allowing anyone with a few Ruby chops to pick up the code and begin creating dynamic pages of Twitter search results themselves:
I’ve recently cleaned up and improved the code that powers these sites and am releasing it as an open-source project: TweetScope. It’s all written in Ruby using the Sinatra web framework, both of which make me happy.
Setting up your own site with TweetScope is pretty simple.
There are a number of folks from Portland and the Silicon Forest headed down to Austin, Texas, this week for SXSW. And while I’ve heard about a number of those folks anecdotally, I thought it might be helpful for all of us if we compiled a definitive list of Twitter accounts, so you can keep tabs on who’s doing what.
(Of course, to keep tabs on who’s doing what where you’ll want to sign up for Shizzow, too.)
So here’s who I have so far. Please comment if I missed you, if I missed someone you know is going, if you just signed up for a Twitter account, or if I added you thinking you were going but you’re not. I’ll make sure to update the post as comments dictate.
The current list of Twitter accounts for Portland or Silicon Forest attendees at SXSW includes:
Today we are announcing the public launch of Shizzow, a location-based friend finder where you can declare your location, and it will notify all of your friends so that they may come join you for a drink or a cup of coffee. Shizzow has been in private beta since August 2008 with invites open only to a limited number of people in Oregon, California, and Washington. Anyone in the United States can now sign up for Shizzow with no invite required.
Why now? Shizzow has big plans for SXSW—the annual geek get together in Austin, Texas—where people are constantly trying to figure out “Where the heck are you?”
You may remember that Twitter took off at SXSW in 2007 by helping people find one another. Since then, everyone has had aspirations of recreating that magic. Shizzow has a good chance to do so, given that it’s even better suited for that “Where the heck are you?” task. Plus, they’re promising some features specifically targeted at the SXSW crowd.
Here’s a look at some of the apps that have already taken advantage of the API:
IceCondor is an android application that allows you to follow people and events in real-time. IceCondor takes advantage of map coordinates embedded in RSS feeds (called GeoRSS feeds) and allows them to appear as red markers on googlemaps. IceCondor works with multiple services including Brightkite, Shizzow, and Upcoming.org. Built by @donpdonp.
Shizzeeps.com shows you which shizzow users (known as shizzeeps) are congregating where at the moment. It also allows you to see their shout messages, and even send your own ephemeral message to the group at a particular place. Shizzeeps also offers a Twitter service: follow @shizzeeps to get updates every 15 minutes. Built by @crunchysue.
An iPhone client with list and map views of people and places, detection of nearby places to shout from, ability to auto-shout, and more. You currently need to build the Shizzup client from the source code to use it. Built by @wajiii.
A simple Shizzow application for Android to quickly find out where your friends are, or find out who’s nearby and listen to them. See their locations on a map, or their recent shout history. Browse nearby places, search for places by name and tag, add to your favorites, and shout from them. Automatically detect your location using GPS/wifi, or manually set it on a map for finer control. You currently need to build the f’shizzow client from the source code to use it. Built by @petercowan.
Baken is an Android (and iPhone, eventually) app that automatically finds nearby locations from Shizzow’s database. It also provides much of the functionality found on m.shizzow.com. Matt also has plans to take the app in new directions in the near future. Built by @mattg.
Exciting times for the bootstrapped Portland startup. Here’s hoping they continue to soar. And I’ll be sure to report on how they’re received by the crowd down at SXSW.
The goal? To provide clean drinking water to the people who don’t have it.
As Portlanders we’re well aware of water. It surrounds us. It falls on us. And it bubbles up clean and clear from the Benson Bubblers.
But there are more than a billion of people who aren’t so lucky. Twestival is designed to fix that.
On 12 February 2009 175+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.
Think about it this way: What if you had to drink directly from the Willamette instead of your tap? Not so pretty.
I’m always proud of what we’ve been able to achieve as a community. Whether it’s gathering to chat. Learning about technology. Or figuring out how to build a better community. To me, this seems far more important and worthwhile than that.
Making this happen would be a great way to start another amazing year for the entire Portland Twitter community, tech oriented or otherwise.
Some of you may be way ahead of me on this one. (It wouldn’t be the first time.)