Monthly Archives: January 2008

January Washington DC OLPC Learning Club Meetup is Tonight

I’m excited because tonight is the January meetup of the Washington DC One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Learning Club meetup.  As you all know, OLPC is an initiative that I’m very passionate/excited about.

If you’re a OLPC fanboy like me or interested in learning more about the initiative, this is a great opportunity to come, meet like minded people, and get your questions answered.

I’m going to be giving a short talk (15 minutes) about some of the content initiatives that I’ve been apart of with OLPC.  Should be fun!

The event is at Greater DC Cares at  Greater DC Cares 1725 I (Eye) Street, NW, Street Level Entrance, SunTrust Conference Room, Washington, DC 20006.

Starting at Clearspring…

So… it’s official.  I’m now the Developer Community Manager at Clearspring Technologies. There is a lot of work to be done and everyone here is very excited to see me get started.

Here’s to a new year and new opportunities.

WidgetDevCamp rocked Washington DC.

Friday night and all day Saturday Washington DC held the inaugural WidgetDevCamp

It was a gathering of local geeks to talk about the issues relating to widgets and other modular social applications ( like Facebook apps.)  There was also a lot of widget and social application hacking.

On Friday night we gathered to talk about the overall goal of the event, we discussed high level issues and uses related to widgets, and also brainstormed widgets we wanted to build. Before and after there was also lots of time to hang out and relax.  It was a good opportunity to get to know others who were interested in the space.  I think there were 50-60 people who were there on Friday night.

Bill Rubacky

On Saturday while only 30-40 people there, we had folks leading GREAT discussions.  There was everything from how to use widgets with the social graph, an overview of the Clearspring platform, widget best practices, desktop versus Web widgets, JavaScript vs. Flash vs. Flex for widgets, Facebook app development 101, and much more.  It was great!

Also we had a number of folks who spent a lot of time Saturday doing some coding.  We had guys writing widgets, Facebook apps, and some even playing with Google’s Android mobile platform.  At the end of the day on Saturday, we gave the different developers time to demo what they’d been hacking up and the demo’s caused some really great discussion too.

One conclusion that I walked away from the event with is that all too often people work on their various projects and home by themselves but they’ll have a TON more fun if they can do it with or around other people with like interests.  We need more co-working in Washington DC.  I’ll write more about this later.

If you’d like to have a WidgetDevCamp in your city, please e-mail me at justin AT clearspring DOT com.  I’d be happy to help however I can.

Note: First photo was taken by Jason Garber.  The second photo was taken by me.

Photos from WidgetDevCamp DC

UPDATE: You can see more photos at the WidgetDevCamp DC Flickr Group.  If you took photos of the event, please join the group and add the photos.

So WidgetDevCamp DC was this last weekend… it was awesome!  Here are some photos.  I’ll be writing more about it later.

IMG_0040 IMG_0035

IMG_0032 Peter talking about the social graph

IMG_0028 Mmmm donuts

Social Matchbox DC – Washington DC Tech Startup & Geek Speed Dating

 UPDATE: My apologies!  The event is on Monday not Tuesday.  Thanks John for the correction.

My good friend and recruiter extraordinaire Robert Neelbauer  along with one of his compadres is holding an event next Tuesday Monday called Social Matchbox DC.   It’s a job fair/meet and greet for local DC tech startups and local geeks.

I’m confident it will be a great event.  Unfortunately, I can’t be there but you should go, especially if you’re looking for a job.  A lot of local startups will be there… Razoo, Mixx, Webs (formerly Freewebs), Hotpads, Clearspring, Intridea Inc, CustomInk and others.

Widgets are The Future of The Comic Strip

Growing up, reading comic strips was my major reason to read the newspaper.  To this day, I still enjoy reading the comics within the Style section of the Washington Post.  Mainly, I read Garfield, Peanuts, and Dilbert.

But I have the feeling that the physical newspaper isn’t long for this world.  (I think my home town newspaper is getting small enough that it will qualify as a pamphlet.)

People are turning to the Web for their information.  Web applications like personalized home pages are becoming the view port into the world.  The Web can give me what I want… where I want it

If the comic strip wants to succeed, it needs to be modular so that its content  can be syndicated in whatever environment a user desires.

Well… Dilbert has done just that. There is now the Official Dilbert Widget.

You can post the Dilbert widget to your personalized home page, your social network, or your blog side bar easily. From within the widget, you can search view today’s comic strip (pane by pane) or you can view past comic strips.

I think it’s wonderful. It’s on my iGoogle page.

And… Yes, the Official Dilbert Widget is powered by Clearspring Technologies. (Disclosure: I’m joining the staff at Clearspring.)

What do you think of the Dilbert Widget?  Have you installed it somewhere yet?  Could you make it better?  How could you take the future of publishing comic strips to an even better level?

Digg (Quietly) Releases a New iGoogle Widget

Digg's New iGoogle Widget

Google’s personalized home page service iGoogle is one of my viewports into the world.  It is also how I mainly interact with Digg.

I was pleasantly surprised today when I noticed that Digg had updated their iGoogle widget.

Before you could just get a listing of the recent top stories.  Now you can flip see the recent top news stories, images, or videos either separately or together.  There is even the little news story image, like on Digg. You can see your friends activity.  Finally, you can also select specific topics that you want to see.

I think this is a PERFECT example of a Web application letting you take the functionality you enjoy with you.  You use Digg in the comfort of an environment that makes sense for you.  In this case, it’s iGoogle… and a lot of people use iGoogle.

On a related note: why isn’t Digg blogging about this?  Fanboys can only be fanboys if they know what you’re doing.