Portland is filled with hidden gems. Technologists of great aplomb who are quietly working away building awesome things. And it’s always nice when they take a few minutes to share some of their amazing insights. This month, New Relic has managed to wrangle one of those folks to speak—Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki—at their FutureTalks series. Read More
I’ve no idea what it is about Portland that attracts interesting inventors, but we seem to have more than our fair share. Read More
If you’re like most people, you get an awful lot of value out of Wikipedia. But have you ever wondered what it takes to get more involved in the community of Wikipedians?
You hear me chirping about how we’re getting more and more funding here in Portland. But are we really?
Well, Amber Case and Aaron Parecki of Geoloqi took a stab at building something more objective than our usually anecdotal take on the funding atmosphere around here. The result? A wiki that details the Portland funding events, acquisitions, and other highlights over the last few years. Read More
[HTML2]For all the wiki activity in Portland—I mean, c’mon, the inventor of the wiki lives here—Portland has been virtually bereft of a wiki of its own.
Until now. There’s a new project underway called Portland Wiki. It’s goal? To document everything there is to know about Portland, Oregon. And you’re invited to help. I mean, it’s a wiki. Duh. Read More
We all realize that there’s a ton of stuff happening in town. New startups, exciting side projects, crazy cool events. And every day it seems like we’re learning about more and more opportunities to draw the community together—or cool new technologies to test drive.
This leads to two issues. First, how do we keep track of all this stuff? And second, how do we filter all of this stuff?
You may remember Portland-based Versionista from last year, when they stepped into the limelight as the McCain camp used the tool to highlight recent changes to the Obama campaign site.
Now, they’re allowing Web site owners to expose those changes, themselves, with a new service that provides the date of the last change and highlights the content that has been revised.
Here’s an example using Silicon Florist’s recent changes.
It seems appropriate that the town known for its wikis—and home to the father of the wiki, Ward Cunningham—is home to a service inspired by the wiki view of recent changes. Even if you don’t let your readers edit your site, it’s always nice to let them know what you’ve changed.
To test drive this feature or to add it to your site, visit Versionista.
Big news today for Portland and the world of wiki. Portland-based AboutUs has secured $5 million in Series A funding led by Voyager Capital. And in equally good news, the company plans to use the infusion of cash to expand their staff.
It’s always impressive when a Portland company lands funding, but given the current economic conditions, this is especially welcome news.
Quoting heavily from my post on ReadWriteWeb:
How does a small startup secure capital in such turbulent economic times? Being profitable helps – something AboutUs achieved by mid-year 2008. The company is forecasting continued growth, this year. Ray King, CEO, said the company is targeting $5 million in revenue for 2009. The primary source remains advertising, but the online marketing services AboutUs sells – including content creation and custom page development – continue to gain traction.
Another reason for investor confidence? The staff. AboutUs holds a special place in the world of wiki as the employer of Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the wiki, and they continue to attract new talent. They recently hired a number of new employees, including CFO Jack Williamson. King hopes to use the new funding to increase the size of the company to around 50 employees by the end of 2009, up from its current staff of 32.
The company also received a nice write-up in the Portland Business Journal today. But, of course, the Business Journal being what it is, you won’t be able to read it unless you’re a subscriber.
For more on the news, see Mike Rogoway’s post on the Silicon Forest blog.
Other good news? The celebration for this announcement has already been set. Don’t forget, AboutUs is buying us lunch—or rather Lunch 2.0—next month.
As home to Ward Cunningham, father of the wiki, Portland has a special place in the world of wiki. And, of course, we’ve also got AboutUs here—Ward’s current employer—which holds the promise to be one of the leading wikis in the world.
So when something momentous happens with wikis, it affects Portland. And today’s announcement definitely fits the bill.
Introducing the Universal Edit Button.
What is the Universal Edit Button? Well, you know how we’ve all become conditioned to look for the little RSS chiclet as an indicator that an RSS feed is available? This is that same idea—only it’s an icon that indicates a page is editable.
And while the conversations around the concept have been circulating for a few years, like wikis themselves, the actual development took place quite quickly.
That was a little over a month ago. And now, 20 different wikis are participating. That’s mind boggling to me. And a testament to the wiki community.
So how will it work? The Universal Edit Button wiki describes it this way:
The Universal Editing Button (UEB) will allow a web surfer to more quickly recognize when a site may be edited. It will be a convenience to web surfers who are already inclined to contribute, and an invitation to those who have yet to discover the thrill of building a common resource. As this kind of public editing becomes more commonplace, the button may become regarded as a badge of honor. It may serve as an incentive to encourage companies and site developers to add publicly-editable components to their sites, in order to have the UEB displayed for their sites.
Portland’s Marshall Kirkpatrick put it this way:
Leave it to people in the wiki market to know how to collaborate. Nearly 20 different wiki providers have teamed up to offer a new Firefox extension that will notify users whenever they are on a page that is publicly editable, using a standard icon that sits in the same place the RSS autodiscovery icon appears. Clicking on the icon… will take you to that page’s editing interface.
Again, I think this is a huge step forward in wiki collaboration and its great to see. But what I remain even more impressed by? The speed at which this whole thing took place. And the collaboration that helped them achieve it.
I think there are any number of open-source and open-specification pursuits that could stand to learn from this.
For some of the history and discussion of this concept, you can see some of the dialogue on the AboutUs Universal Edit Button page. For more on the sites supporting this fledgingly concept and information on how to participate, visit the Universal Edit Button wiki. Convinced? Here’s the Universal Edit Button Firefox extension.