Things have been slower than I had hoped but, little by little, I’m getting new spots added to the Salt Lake Free WiFi map. I’ve been going through the list of wireless points provided as a community service by Xmission.
I’ll post more info as it goes live.
Last week I was having dinner with several notable area web folks and they were shocked – Shocked! – that CodeAway didn’t have an email newsletter (and they were surprised to hear we didn’t have membership fees, or formal memberships, or…)
I’ve always felt that people didn’t need their addresses on another email list. There are too many groups who’s ‘free’ membership comes with strings attached: expectations for contribution or pitches for products. I’ve always wanted CodeAway to provide as comfortable environment as possible; and that includes no subversive agenda.
But I can understand not everyone wants to check the website on constant basis to get updates. Some people would prefer getting email reminders of area events in their inbox. So I need your help: would you like email updates of group events? Would you mind if we send a once-a-month email? And what experience have people had with different group services? Should we put together a Google or Yahoo group to help centralize signups and email sending? Which service is better?
If you happened to be in the Utah County area Phil Burns is restarting his series of Geek Dinners.
The event will be February 8th, 6pm at Los Hermanos in Lindon, Utah.
Jeff Bar from Amazon.com will be the speaker and, as always, geek networking over meal time is sure to ensue. Bring your business cards and your appetite.
I just finished going through the video from the Pandora CodeAway meetup last week. Sadly, the audio quality is so poor that I couldn’t get a good video out of it. It’s a shame, really, because I was so inspired by Tim Westergren’s presentation.
What I learned:
- Pandora analyzes EVERY song that they play on their radio stations. By analyze, they have trained musicians who take about 20 minutes per song and categorize in over 400 categories. He showed us an example of the process using only about 10 categories and it was all over my head. It just goes to show why they are so much better than Amazon.com at recommending music to me.
- If Pandora is willing to go to all that trouble for EVERY song, that is really where the value of their website is. Tim said several times that they were the only ones “crazy” enough to do this.
- What am I the only one “crazy” enough to do that would add value to my own websites? Can anyone else replicate what I do? What uniqueness am I adding to the universe?
My mind has been reeling since the last CodeAway. Mike and I have been tossing around ideas on how to make our own websites better and unique.
That’s what CodeAway is all about. Every month we are in touch with people who can change our lives for the better. We toss around ideas and in the end, we are greater for it!
Hope to see you all next month!
Update 01-24-07: Tim Westergren wrote about his visit to SLC. I can even see many key CodeAway members in the picture he posted online. Check it out!
Pandora: Salt Lake City Recap
Thanks for coming to Salt Lake City, Tim! We really appreciate it!
First off, I’d like to thank everyone who made it out to the Pandora town hall meeting with founder Tim Westergren. I’ve been so swamped with work that I haven’t had a chance to sort through my notes and do a proper recap but it was a great evening.
Secondly, I just want to post a reminder that our next CodeAway event is:
Saturday, Feb 24th, 2007 1-5pm
Sprague Library – 2131 S 1100 E, Salt Lake City, UT – Google Map
Downstairs Conference Room
Free wi-fi courtesy of X-Mission
In addition to our usually collaboratively working shindig we’ll also have representatives from Xmission on hand. They’ll have shirts and sage advice for getting the most out of their free wifi locations. Bring a laptop and I look forward to seeing you there!
From Om Malik’s BroadBand Blog:
The third edition of the Mashup Camp unconference started today in Boston, as a group of developers, mashup enablers, and observers gathered to share ideas and show demos of web applications that are mixed together from sites and services on the web. As with the prior two events, the camp includes a SpeedGeeking contest where attendees view and then vote on their favorite mashups.
While Mashups are tremendously cool I wonder if anything viable and sustainable with come from it? It seems like much of the mashups occuring today have little practical use beyond proof of concept. Are there examples of Mashups that have gone on to be viable livelihoods for their creators?
Etsy is a cool marketplace that allows individual artisans and craftsmen to sell their customized wares in a community environment. One of the neat projects the team is working on for the coming year is Etsy Labs:
A couple of months ago, Etsy leased its first ever commercial space in Brooklyn, NY. Being the creative folks that we are, you know we would never be satisfied with some depressing, cubicle-strewn, scheisse box of an office in Midtown. Instead, we decided to find a space that will not only serve as Etsy HQ, but that will also be a communal creative space where we could offer resources, support, and classes to our users and the DIY community at large.
It will be home to parties, trunk shows, seminars, workshops, a lending library, and all other sorts of fantastic things. It will have a silkscreen press, a letterpress, film, music, and video production facilities, jewelry making stations, sewing machines, sergers, and so, so much more. We will call it the Etsy Labs, and beginning with a small opening party on February 1st, its doors will be open to you.
It reminds me of San Francisco’s Teh Space; only with fewer laptops and more knitting needles. The goal with any of these efforts is create creative communities that are also self sustainable (a tall order). Best of luck to the Etsy folk.
There has been a change for the January CodeAway event. Instead of having a stand alone meeting we’ll be going to the Pandora Users Meetup. Pandora is an impressive in-browser was of discovering new music and we’re excited to see what they’ve got on tap for the Salt Lake City crowd. The details for the event are:
Where: Salt Lake City Main Library, Auditorium
Address: 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City UT 84111 (801) 524-8200 Google Map
When: Thursday, January 18th at 7:30 PM
Special thanks to Laura Moncur for bringing this to our attention. From the official announcement by Tim Westergren:
This get-together is a free event, open to everyone. It’s a chance for me to share with you our story – where the Music Genome Project came from, how we survived the dot-com collapse and what this last whirlwind year has been like as we approach 5 million listeners. Most of all I’d like to get your ideas and thoughts about the service and where you think music is headed. I’ll also have some Pandora gear for everyone.
Please *RSVP by replying to this email*. You’re welcome to bring guests, the more the merrier… just let us know.
See you there!
The news via the Open Culture blog:
Our next informal Portland BarCamp Meetup has been scheduled! We have also settled on the fourth Thursday of every month as a regular date for the event. Any local techies are welcome to attend.
When: Thursday, January 25th
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Jive Software Office (317 SW Alder St Ste 500)
Sponsored by: Jive Software
So if you’re in the Portland area check it out!
Happy 2007! I’m sure as you prepare yourself to get started on those New Year’s resolutions make sure you check out a recent article on the Contract Worker. Freelancing can be an incredibly rewarding career choice but somewhere in those resolutions make some room for building long term value:
As we make a living through contract work, we should strive to reach a point where our hard-earned money works for us. One way to do this is to create money-generating assets along the way, so that when the time comes to retire, we’ll be certain of our financial future.
That’s not to say that freelancing is a dead-end career path. In fact, I believe freelancing provides greater oppurtunities to attain true wealth because being control of your own schedule makes it easy to pursue lucrative, asset-building opportunities.
These opportunities could be as simple as creating a successful blog brand to a self-published bestseller capturing your unique wisdom. These are the things that continue to bring in steady income while you pursue your larger flights of business fancy.
What are your resolutions for 2007? More importantly, what long term value are you building?