The presentations were amazing. We had:
- a little nudity
- a sing-along for take me out to the ball game
- a Kenny Rogers quote used by 2 different speakers
- dating advice
- and much, much more
A huge thank you to all of our sponsors. Without sponsors, Legion of Tech could not afford to do free events. The sponsors paid for the venue, event insurance, some food, and more. We also had some really cool, 30 second sponsor videos, which I thought worked much better than having each sponsor talk on stage for 30 seconds.
The only down moment during the event for me was having people boo our sponsors. Not cool, people. The sponsors are the people who make the event possible. Be nice to them if you want to have future events.
A huge thank you to all of the people who volunteered and helped out at the event. Without the support of a huge volunteer staff, we could never make these events happen. Keep in mind that everyone in Legion of Tech and all of the people staffing our events are volunteers. We do this because we love it.
Now, what did you think of Ignite Portland 4? What worked well, and what didn’t? Please post any feedback about the event on the Ignite Portland Open Thread: What Could We Have Done to Make Ignite Portland 4 Better?
These last few weeks have been tough on people. Most of us can probably say that we’ve felt the impact of these tough economic times in one way or another. From my perspective, companies have been a little less eager to spend money on consultants, and I have some friends who recently lost jobs at local Portland tech companies. During times like these, we need to stick together and help each other. By working together, we can all be more successful and come out of the downturn with our businesses intact.
On another note, a few of us have noticed something a little disturbing about the Portland tech scene:
On the one hand, Legion of Tech and other grassroots efforts (Beer and Blog, WikiWednesday, Portland Web Innovators, and more) have built thriving events where groups of people get together to talk about technology in a very informal way. These events tend to bring in large numbers of very smart people who skew toward being relatively young, working as consultants / freelancers, being incredibly passionate about technology, and having more technology-related side projects than you can count.
On the other hand, there are groups like the Software Association of Oregon (SAO) holding events that are also very well attended, but by a completely different set of people. These people are also very smart and successful, and they skew toward being more experienced, working at established companies, and are career technology professionals.
For some reason, it seems to me like there is this wall between these two groups of people, and it doesn’t feel healthy to me. I’ve been working with the SAO for months (way before we even suspected that we were heading into times of economic uncertainty) to find ways to break down this wall and get these two groups of people together. With the economy taking a hit, we decided that now was the time to do something about it. We felt a real need to get these two groups of people together to find ways to help each other through tough times. Our ultimate goal is to have Portland emerge out of the downturn with a technology industry that is stronger than ever.
We wanted to kick this effort off in a very informal way to get these two groups of people together and talking to each other. Thrive – PDX is born. We would love to have you join us on November 11th for the first in what we hope will be a series of events for a united Portland technology community.
Thrive – PDX
Tuesday November 11, 2008
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub (upstairs)
112 SW Second Ave
RSVP on Upcoming
Rick Turoczy and I also outsourced part of the naming for this event to our Twitter followers, and I wanted to thank everyone who provided suggestions. A special thank you to Benjamin Jacobsen who came up with this idea: “Survive and Thrive. Portland Tech moves onwards.” (we shortened it a bit)
Please use the tag: ThrivePDX when you write, tweet, post photos, etc. about this event.
We hope to see you there!
Were you sad and dismayed to hear that OSCON was moving out of Portland? Are you looking for more open source events to attend? Would you like an open source conference organized by the community? Want one more tech event to attend in July? Need an excuse (any excuse) to visit lovely Portland, Oregon in July? Do you like to help organize events for fun in your spare time?
If you answered yes to any of my obnoxious questions above, I have a great solution for you: The Open Source Bridge event.
Open Source Bridge will bring together the diverse tech communities of the greater Portland area and showcase our unique and thriving open source environment.
Open Source Bridge will have curated, discussion-focused conference sessions, mini-conferences for critical topics and will include unconference sessions.
We will show how well Portland does open source and share our best practices for development, community and connectedness with the rest of the world.
Lots of ideas are buzzing around in our heads, and we’d love to talk about them with you! If you’d like to contribute to the effort, stop by the town hall event October 30, 2008 at Cubespace. We’ll have another meeting November 6th, and it will be announced on Calagator.
At the town hall, you’ll have a chance to meet the members of the core organizing committee, and pick up a responsibility or two. We’ll be breaking off into teams for each of the major areas requiring organization, and distributing the work across many people. We will create a mailing list after this first meeting for those who just want to hear about what we’re up to, or participate in some other way.
(Quote from Selena Deckelmann)
I encourage you to attend the Town Hall to share your ideas with the team and to talk about how you can get more involved in the event. The key to community driven events is that they require a lot of work from volunteers both during the planning stages and on site during the event! If you want this event to be successful, I encourage you to pitch in to help.
Images above are also from Selena Deckelmann.
Bill Johnston recently gave a presentation about the State of the Online Community 2008: Key Findings from the Online Community Research Network, and I encourage you to take a look at it. As you can tell from the title, the slides contain highlights and important information from his research over the past year. Here are a few of my personal favorites among his key findings:
- Most organizations do not have a comprehensive online community strategy.
- Marketing typically owns the community (I have some thoughts on this).
- Community manager roles are still evolving.
- Many communities are not meeting expectations.
I recently gave my “What Would Dr. Seuss Say about Online Communities” Ignite-style presentation at the Love@First Website event here in Portland. I think this was a better presentation than the one that I gave back in February at Ignite Portland. It’s always easier to give a presentation the second time after you see what does and does not work.
The kind people over at iSite embedded the recorded audio from my talk into a SlideShare presentation, so turn up the volume and click play in the embedded presentation below to hear me give my Ignite talk while the 20 slides fly by every 15 seconds.