hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

August 09, 2007

Portland, Oregon: Rose City + Silicon Forest

Portland, Oregon. Call it the "Rose City." Call it the "Silicon Forest."

Call it whatever you want. Point is you've heard all of the hype.

Yes, yes. It's a cool place and it's where I happen to live. Bully for me.

But there's one thing that I've noticed lacking.

No, it's not sunshine. It's following-the-shiny-object tech coverage. You know, the "get all excited about the latest and greatest thing and then forget about it in a couple of days" tech coverage? Or, to be less snarky, the "I think I've built something really cool and I want everyone to know about it" tech coverage?

I mean, I read a bunch of the "Web 2.0" blogs. Every morning. TechCrunch. Mashable. eHub. And they're great and all. But I really want to know about the cool stuff that's happening down the street from me. Or in my backyard.

I've told you guys a hundred times. Get out of my backyard. NIMBY!

Sorry. Forget about the guys in my backyard. I'm more interested in the stuff down the street.

I'm talking about the folks who are doing great work, below the radar. They're not getting coverage in The Oregonian or the Silicon Forest blog. Although those folks are interesting to me, too.

But I'm thinking primarily about that other group.

You know those folks. They're all interested in "building standards-compliant tools" and "making cool products." They're busy being developers and not marketers. So they often don't have time to toot their own horns.

Well, luckily, I have time to toot their horns. So I will. So to speak.

So, being the industrious type that I am, and needing somewhere to remind me of all the cool Portland developers and bloggers doing cool stuff, I started another side project.

At this point, I have more sides than a dodecahedron.

Yes, it's a blog. Shocking.

It's called Silicon Florist. And it's designed to bring recognition to the great work being done in the Portland community. Small scale startup work. Thoughtful big company work. Good thinking and good building.

With Silicon Florist, I'm hoping to help a thousand flowers bloom here in our little Silicon Forest.

If it sounds interesting to you, why not subscribe or at least stop by for a visit?

And, if you're one of the aforementioned companies. And you live or work in the Portland metropolitan area. And you're busy doing good work. Feel free to drop me a line and I'll keep an eye on you.

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Portland, Oregon: Rose City + Silicon Forest

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May 04, 2007

Yahsoft or Microhoo: Two wrongs don't make a not evil

I know posting has been a little light, lately. But I couldn't resist chiming in on this one...

The blog world is all atwitter (I don't really feel like I can use that word anymore, thanks to Twitter, but I will) about the possibility of Microsoft taking over Yahoo!.

$50 bees is the number being reported. Both Mashable and Techcrunch are good sources for additional details if your interested.

Hypocritical, as always, remains a good source for I-think-I'm-smarter-than-everyone-else snark.

Does anyone see a bubble around here? Anyone smell the wafting success of TimeWarner and AOL? Anyone?

Of course. The so-called reasoning for this little maneuver is obvious, even to me. Who don't want to take a run at those kids in Mountain View?

But a software company that has never really understood how to use the Web and a Web company that is barely getting over its preening as a media company and getting fat on a Web 2.0 acquisition diet? Let alone, the cultural implications for employees?

Putting all that aside, have you ever been through a merger or acquisition? It's not exactly a team-building exercise. And it certainly doesn't enhance your focus.

It will be interesting to watch the hype and the coverage. And to see if it ever comes to fruition. But I just don't see these two as a combined company presenting a serious challenge (anymore than they would have as individual entities) to Google anytime soon.

The whole is less than the sum of the parts.

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Yahsoft or Microhoo: Two wrongs don't make a not evil

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December 03, 2005

Web 2.0 interface design checklist

ORIGINAL POST (December 3, 2005)

Congratulations, burgeoning Web 2.0 application developer! Your fresh or not-so-fresh-but-still-full-of-AJAX-y-Ruby-esque-goodness Web page err... Web 2.0 application is nearly ready to start collecting email addresses from potential users or interested tire-kickers or would-be media moguls. (Please note, should you actually launch a product or should your existing product ever escape the world of BETA is completely inconsequential at this point.)

Let's get to the hype! Whoa, tiger. Before you start proliferating the hype about your product throughout the wonderful world of blogs, let's take a deep breath and go through one last checklist.

Ready? Okay. Here we go...

    REQUIRED:
  • Are you using gradients? If yes, please continue. If not, begone vile charlatan.
  • Do elements of your Web page appear to be made of glass or, at the very least, do they look like they have been coated with a high-gloss lacquer? (+30)
  • Do elements of your Web page appear to have reflections as if the Web page on which they sit were a vapid pool or a slightly useless mirror?(+50)
  • Are you using really big type?(+10)
  • Are you using really big text boxes for submission forms (+30) and, if so, do they use really big type?(+50)
  • Are you using any of the following:
    • Gradient buttons (+5)
    • Glassy buttons (+10)
    • Glassy gradient buttons (+30)
    • Glassy gradient 3D buttons (+50)
    • Glassy gradient 3D buttons with reflections? (+100) (Editor: If you answer "yes" to the last item, then bravo, Michelangelo! Bravo!)
  • Are you using backgrounds with monochromatic diagonal lines on them? (+10)
  • Are you using backgrounds with monochromatic diagonal lines and gradients? (+30)
  • Have we asked if you are using gradients? (+10)
  • Do you have an obvious blog link as part of your layout (Note: It doesn't matter if you actually publish a blog)? (+20)
  • Are you using gradients? (+30)
  • Are you using really big type? (+30)
  • Are you using CSS to call out random areas of text, as if your site had been attacked by a group of rabid undergrads wielding highlighters? (+30)
  • Are your font choices serif or san serif? On second thought, nevermind that. Are they big? (+20)
  • For the love of Mike, are you using gradients? (+30)



  • OPTIONAL:
  • Have you ever used the phrase "degrade gracefully"? (+10)
  • Have you named your Web 2.0 application with an unintelligible eNormicom-meets-cutesy-gibberish name? (+30)
  • Did you create that name by dropping a vowel or using the domain suffix? (+50)


SCORING
  • > 300: Sorry for wasting your time. Get back to beating away the venture capitalists, purchasing video iPods for your staff, and blogging about how cool you are.
  • 200-299: You are among the Web 2.0 elite. Please remember us when your site comes out of beta, should that ever occur.
  • 1-199: Nice try, poser.
  • 0: Web 1.0


UPDATE (March 12, 2007): One of the best things about this blog being called hypocritical? I can write a post like this one and then do things like hello, kumquat. I'm still tallying the final score for that one: gradients, check, big type, check...


UPDATE (August 8, 2006): Have your Web 2.0 tool all built? Finished the Web 2.0 design checklist below? Did you use really big type? Oh, wait. Now, get your pitch together by listening to a bunch of the Web 2.0 executives with whom you'll be competing.


UPDATE (December 5, 2005): Aww, with everyone in such a giving mood, it appears that the holiday spirit is alive and well! No sooner do I get through Kathy's generous helping of buzzwords than I stumble across this gem: I just read a post about 10 Tips to Better Blogging by Matthew Oliphant over at Busines Logs [sic]. Great stuff. Particularly number [insert your favourite number here]. Check it out.


UPDATE (December 5, 2005): Great minds think alike. And that's probably why there is someone else out there--right now--thinking about the same kinds of smart things that that wicked-intelligent Kathy Sierra is thinking. And writing things like "Have you updated your buzzwords?" And once I find out who that may be, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, feel free to read my lame post, below. Or go read Kathy's better post, instead.


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Web 2.0 interface design checklist

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