Great tips for organizing events

This correlates nicely with my own experience of organizing event in Montreal, wanted to share this with you. In fact it’s so similar it’s almost scary. Noosphere in full effect.

For the past five years, I’ve been organizing a regular event here in Boston called the Web Innovators Group (aka “WebInno”). It’s been personally fulfilling to start something which begun as a small informal gathering grow into a real component of the local startup scene. I had no intentions of becoming a large event organizer (nor do I now have aspirations to become one more than I have). However (…) I believe that it’s incumbent on me not just to be a member of the entrepreneurial community but also truly participate in and contribute to it (…) along the way I learned a few general lessons which can be applied more broadly to organizing events:

  1. FREE is the right price.
  2. Listen by loudly asking for feedback…
  3. … but stay true to your vision.
  4. Content isn’t your main draw – the people are – but it’s a helpful anchor.
  5. The web is your friend.
  6. The details matter.
  7. Be nimble.
  8. Ask for more feedback.

Go read the complete post for all the details.

See also my events post (in french, but you can parse dates and titles and places from it easily).

Like little bubbles through time

This could be applied to so many industries…

“I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time…It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you’d be stuck with your whale blubber.”

Brian Eno (via Eric Case)

Related: “Over the next decade, every industry will undergo a transition from locked down and closed, to blown wide open” – http://bit.ly/47wouE (from my favstar list).

Co-working in Ottawa

This is Station C‘s sibling, it’s good to see more co-working spaces pop up, I strongly believe they are part of the DNA needed for startup hubs (read also Fred Wilson and Brad Feld on the same subject)

Another community-driven program is TheCodeFactory which was started two years ago by Ian Graham. In a nutshell, it is a co-sharing space hub where entrepreneurs not only meet regularly but also share a common space and resources together. There is a tremendous advantage to this setup as all entrepreneurs feel that they belong to the same community and can support and encourage one another.

TheCodeFactory is not an incubator, so it is not free but the rental rates are extremely affordable and the lease terms are very flexible. Early-stage high-tech companies know how hard it is to convince landlords to rent them space given the high risk nature of their business. So if you are a high-tech entrepreneur working from home I encourage you to give TheCodefactory a serious consideration. Ian is no stranger to high-tech (he was with NewBridge for 15 years before it got bought by Alcatel) and he will understand your needs. By the way he is also courteous.

[Via TechVibes]

Vanilla Forums raises $500K in Series A

It’s interesting to see them as “Montreal-based”, that means my friend John Stokes is doing something right… congrats to the Vanilla crew!

Montreal-based open source communtiy forum Vanilla Forums announced today that they have raised a $500K Series A round led by Montreal Startup, with participation by eonBusiness, Norseman Capital and Klein Venture Partners.

The former TechStars summer 2009 company will use the funds to expand its marketing, development, and sales efforts.

Vanilla co-founder Mark O’Sullivan shares how they went from TechStars to funded in less than six months on their blog today and the entire post is worth a read

[Via TechVibe]

Was Facebook’s greatest move to skip usernames?

ScepticGeek: Was Facebook’s greatest move to skip usernames? via @Pingdom

On most social networks, you have to create a username when you sign up. Not only that, that username has to be unique, no duplicates allowed. Facebook on the other hand just takes your real name, no username, and it doesn’t matter if there’s someone already on the site with the same name as yours.

There are probably hundreds of factors that add up to explain Facebook’s success, but the question is if using real names instead of usernames isn’t one of the key features that have helped Facebook grow as large as it has.

Great article, worth a read.

Data Logger for iPhone

This is a strong new trend – data gathering for personal or social use…

Data Logger for iPhone enables you to store and graph any data of your choosing along with a timestamp and geolocation. You might use Data Logger to store electricity meter readings, to create maps of pollution or temperature sensor readings around your neighbourhood, or animal sightings around the city. You can also set up custom data feeds, with user-defined min and max values, tags, description and units.

Data Logger for iPhone (Via Seth Roberts)

Geopocketing- There is more to geo + social than what you can see right now

This got me thinking: if I could “pocket” my data, restrict certain tweets to certain geographies on the OUTBOUND side of Twitter, then that’d be neat. I mean, most smartphone apps of Twitter have my location. What if they could say to the API, “Only send this to people within 25 miles of this location?”

This is a good example of what I mean when I say that foursquare is just the tipping point of geo+social services.

Via Chris Brogan – Geopocketing- When Twitter Gets Cool Again