Tag: Web

Get ready for busy week in the Portland Web and startup scene

I’m happy to see that our beautiful summer weather continues to hang around. But from an event standpoint? It looks like summer’s over.

If this week’s event schedule is any indication, people are clearly ready to get back to business in the Portland Web and startup scene.

There’s a lot going on, so I thought it might be helpful to provide a round-up of what I’m tracking. And if I missed your event (it happens), please take a moment to comment below so that we can get it on folks’ calendars:

  • Monday at 6 PM, it’s Mobile love, Android style #5. This meetup is an informal opportunity to discuss all things android-related. The android space is heating up again. The HTC Dream phone received FCC certification in August and will be sold by T-Mobile by November if not earlier. 0.9 of the SDK was released with 1.0RC1 around the corner.
  • Tuesday at 9 AM, you’re invited to watch startups pitch at the FundingUniverse Portland LivePitch. The audience at LivePitch receives $100 of “fake money” to “invest” in their favorite entrepreneurs, with prizes awarded to both a panel and audience favorite. There will be 60 minutes of pitching, and 30 minutes for general networking.
  • Tuesday at 7 PM, the Portland Python User Group will be meeting, featuring Leo Soto, a Jython GSoC hacker, will be presenting his DjangoCon 2008 talk “Django on Jython.”
  • Wednesday at 5 PM, it’s the OEN PubTalk “Becoming socially responsible: Understanding your company’s role in the world of social media.” I’ll be hosting a panel featuring Josh Bancroft from Intel, Dawn Foster from Fast Wonder, and Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb. Rest assured, I’ll be letting the smart people talk while I nod and smile. Not interested in coughing up the dough to attend? I’ve got a few free passes that I’ll be giving away, so stay tuned.
  • Oregon Entrepreneur Network not your style? Sorry, you don’t get to take a night off, because there’s also the first Refresh Portland starting at 6:30 PM. Refresh Portland is a monthly talk (held every 2nd Wednesday) about design, front-end development, usability and web standards. Sound interesting? Check out the new Refresh Portland site.
  • I don’t see anything on Thursday, for obvious reasons. But if that changes, I’ll let you know. I knew it. Thanks to Joe Cohen for the tip that Calagator lists a Thursday event to include in this list: Thursday at 5 PM is the Luz Codesprint. Luz is a Ruby music visualization playground, aiming to create a simple, beautiful GUI for artists, and simple, beautiful code internally! This event is open to Everyone, from coders to artists to musicians, everyone’s input and contributions will be super useful.
  • Friday, a bunch of local venture capital types will be gathering out at the Intel Jones Farm campus in hopes of seeing a Tesla Roadster. I hear there may be a conference there too. It’s called the Silicon Forest Forum, an event that features entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and management executives who know what it takes to create and run successful ventures. For more information and a speak line-up, visit the Silicon Forest Forum.
  • The one Friday fixture that needs no reminder—Beer and Blog—starts at 4 PM at the Green Dragon. This week is a “topic” week. So stay tuned for the details on the speaker.
  • And beginning Friday evening and running through Saturday its From Side Project to Startup. I don’t have to tell you that launching a business into the wider world can be daunting or confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. If you learn from other people’s experiences. How? Join this hybrid scheduled and unconference event designed to take the entrepreneurial conversations that started at BarCamp Portland and Startupalooza to the next level. To take a peek at the complete agenda, visit From Side Project to Startup.

Whoof. That’s a lot of activity. Even for our usually hyperactive tech scene.

I’m going to be trying to make as many of these as I can—especially the ones where I’m lucky enough to be “on the agenda,” as they say.

Hopefully, I’ll see you at a few of them, too.

Oh, and one last thing. If you’re interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the Portland Web and startup scene, feel free to join the Silicon Florist group on Upcoming. That way, you’ll always be up-to-date on the latest and greatest events.

Portland Web Innovators’ Demolicious features five new apps

Last week marked the debut of Portland Web Innovators “Demolicious,” an opportunity for folks to provide a quick demo of some of the new apps and side projects on which they’ve been working.

The event was well attended and has been extremely well covered by Amber Case, Doug Coleman, organizer Adam DuVander, Dawn Foster, and Bram Pitoyo.

So I’m going to do what I do best and steal round-up their content:

Matt King demoed the Interface Content Management Framework (Pre-release)

  • Matt King: “It’s a content management system for content management systems.”
  • Amber Case: “Watching King make a website is like watching a chef make something, put it in the oven, pause the camera, and take it out again, completely finished. Except there’s no baking time.”
  • Doug Coleman: “For someone like myself that is interested in building content managed sites, this is cool. It should make my life easier. I will look for it when it is released.”
  • Dawn Foster: “It’s a pretty slick DIY, highly customizable CMS.”

Don Park demoed Do-it-yourself Friendfeed: An XFN spider. (Early release)

  • Amber Case: “He’s working on solving the problem that everyone faces when they join social networks and have to re-enter all of their social connections.”
  • Adam DuVander: “Try your Twitter page and see where it takes you.”
  • Dawn Foster: “The spider is pretty cool, and I’m going to have to take a closer look at this. It also reminded me to finish adding my rel=”me” tags; I added a couple a while ago, but was distracted by something shiny and never finished adding them.”

Lev Tsypin demoed Green Renter (Available)

I’ve had the opportunity to cover Green Renter before. It’s a service that helps people find green housing options in the Portland area.

  • Amber Case: “The founders also own greenowner.com and are looking into develop that, but feel it is more important to really nail down a niche before going on to develop other things.”
  • Doug Coleman: “Once again, Portlanders are leading the way in the whole ‘green’ movement.”
  • Dawn Foster: “The goal is to be the resource for sustainable buildings starting in Portland, but expanding out to other areas.”

Kevin Chen demoed Metroseeq (Available)

Metroseeq automatically find deals and coupons from local restaurants. The Wheel of Meals alone makes it worth a visit. And the recalibrating search algorithm makes is pretty cool, too.

  • Amber Case: “The ability for users to be able to find information from both offline and online sources effectively is the difference between Citysearch and Yelp.”
  • Doug Coleman: “Any product that grew from a college student’s free food association is alright in my book.”

Mounir Shita demoed GoLife Mobile (Available)

GoLife Mobile allows developers to build apps for use on any Java-enabled mobile handset using GoLife’s framework.

  • Amber Case: “It’s as semantic as a roving a meeting maker that negotiates meetups across dynamic time and space, as if the entire geography were a mobile, roaming office.”
  • Doug Coleman: “Their built-in advertising generator automatically generates revenue for your applications and objects and shares it with you.”
  • Dawn Foster: “It’s an object-oriented development framework with a revenue share built in to give developers a way to monetize their applications.”

And the most important part?

“As always, I am blown away by the things that are happening in the Portland Web Community,” wrote Amber Case. “Something amazing is happening in Portland. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everyone I meet is always working on something so interesting, and has an positive and innovative mindset on their shoulders. I’m eager to see what’s next.”

Doug Coleman echoes her response. “There are so many exciting things happening in Portland,” he writes. “I am happy to be part of such a thriving, creative and nurturing scene. I am looking forward to the next event put on by PDX Web Innovators.”

It’s like I always say. Everyone here has at least one side project; a side project that—anywhere else—would be a fully funded full-time job.

Cool stuff happening, to be sure. And that’s why I eagerly await the next Demolicious.

Fast Wonder Dawn Foster launches consulting practice

If you’ve had the opportunity to attend any Portland tech events over the past year or so, it’s highly likely that you’ve come in contact with some of the handiwork of Dawn Foster. Chair of the Legion of Tech and a staunch advocate of the Portland startup tech and unconference scene, Dawn’s influence has been a critical ingredient in BarCamp Portland, Ignite Portland, the Legion of Tech Happy Hours, Portland Lunch 2.0, any number of Jive Software events, Portland is Awesome… the list goes on and on.

And now that Dawn has announced that she’s leaving Jive, some of that magic touch is for hire:

Recently, I’ve seen a number of companies struggling with how to get more savvy about social media and interacting with online communities. My focus will be on providing consulting services to help guide companies in developing a comprehensive social media and community engagement strategy. I will help companies engage with their community both online and offline to help generate buzz around their products. I can also help companies find, monitor, and respond to what others are saying about them online.

No doubt, Dawn’s expertise will be highly sought. I’m looking forward to her continued success on the other side of the desk and would like to, again, congratulate her on this exciting new endeavor.

For more, see Fast Wonder Consulting or for a (now slightly dated) bio, see Dawn Foster on Portland on Fire.

Use the mobile Web? Cloud Four needs your help

Cloud FourPortland-based Cloud Four, a burgeoning startup that has found more and more of its time dedicated to mobile development, could use some of your help.

We need your help for a research project. If you have a phone that have web access, please go to http://cloudfour.com/mobile/ to test the number of concurrent connections your phone makes. Your phone’s browser will need to display images for the test to work.

We’ve also set up a SMS keyword to make it easier to get to the test url. You can simply text MOBILETEST to 41411 on your phone, and you will receive back instructions on how to test your phone.

For those of you who haven’t dabbled in mobile Web development, it’s very much akin to Web development in mid to late ’90s. Lots of desire to develop, but not much in the way of data to guide that development.

With mobile devices, the speed of web pages is even more important given bandwidth, processor and memory constraints. Yet, for those trying to take advantage of the techniques promoted by Yahoo’s Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site, it is nearly impossible to find how mobile browsers differ from desktop browsers.

For more information on the test and the thinking behind it, visit Cloud Four.

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.

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