#bmoretechb At Advertising.com (AOL) for Baltimore Tech Breakfast

I am at the monthly Baltimore Tech Breakfast that is organized by Ron Schmelzer of bizelo.com.

The hashtag is #bmoretechb

Hooop.la – The linkedIn of Social Discovery Apps.

Devin Partlow.

Social Discovery based on proximity and availability.

Free Android App on Google Play. iPhone App in the works.

The app will connect you with merchants (coffee shops / restaurants.
for your meeting.

In development since 2010. Now on fourth iteration. More focused around building connections.

Realtime monitoring of real world environments.

Presented by Thomas Smith

Told a story about a rise in Whooping cough despite vaccination. The cause was a refrigerator malfunction. The challenge was to keep the cold chain during transportation.

Manufacturers and insurers lose hundreds of millions of dollars. It is almost impossible to trace the cause in the transportation chain.

The Magpie 1 device is a small device that broadcasts route and temperature and humidity.

The competition is:
– Paper Strips
– Data Loggers
– FedEx specific – SenseAware (domestic use only)

Magpie 1 – customizable sensor. Low power. 

Looking for funding to support completing development and starting initial production. 

Works globally across multiple carriers and so is applicable to international shipments. 

Estimated cost is $200 per device. 

Wehgee – Justin D’Onofrio

Wehgee is based out of New Jersey.

Combines personal connection and link sharing and collective sharing.

Is this Delicious + Facebook + Pinterest?

Traditional categories: Video, Links, Quotes, Photos, Audio

A weekly topic – conversation starter..

It looks like there is no link to existing social network

Wehgee has topics running for a week. – gives people time to think.

On Twitter on @Wehgee

Currently entering beta testing.

Working on Mobile version and Twitter and Facebook integration.

Business Model based around sponsored tags.

Pinweel – Tony Amoyal

Pinweel is not Katarina Fake’s Pinwheel application.

Group photo sharing with awesome privacy settings.

Pinweel is mobile and group photo sharing.

Create public or private shared albums.

You can make an album publicly visible but require an invite to allow upload.

SMS or email photos is cumbersome. Facebook is not private enough.

Dropbox is cumbersome. not social and can get pricey for large albums.

Instagram users use Pinweel for volume sharing.

Built on EC2 and S3. Mongo for data store. Built in Rails.

OnePhoto – Matthew Taylor

Another photo sharing application. Matthew Taylor presented at last night’s Baltimore WordPress Group in Columbia. See my notes from last night here:

OnePhoto is an application built using the WordPress platform.

It is focused around the desktop. 

The Greenbox allows you to upload unsorted photos and then easily tag and add in to albums.

OnePhoto allows groups to contribute photos. 

A very nice clean interface that demonstrates the enormous potential of the WordPress platform.

MD Entrepreneur Resources – Robert Rosenbaum, TEDCO Pres & Exec Dir

TEDCO was mentioned as an Entrepreneur Resource at ThinkBig Baltimore  on Monday night. See my notes:

Entrepreneur Expo on November 13, 2012. Expect 500 entrepreneurs to attend.

Startup America Partnership. This Friday launch at U of MD College Park for Maryland launch.

Check out MD.S.co

Baltimore Wordpress Meetup group at ADG Creative in Columbia

There is a great turnout for the Baltimore WordPress Meetup Group at ADG Creative in Columbia, MD.

People are turning to WordPress because it handles User Management out of the box.

User Segregation

example site: OnePhotoapp.com – Matt Taylor of OnePhoto gave a very informative presentation about how he built the platform using WordPress. 

TinThumb is an imaging processing plugin. There have been numerous recent  security issues.

Post 2 Post allows you to create many-to-many relationships between posts. 

E-Commerce options:

WooCommerce (multiple payment processor options)
You can also use PayPal.

Stripe – Credit Card Payment Processor that integrates with WooCommerce.

Use Payment processors to handle credit cards. You do not want to be handling credit card numbers yourself. An exploit or breach can cost $250,000 in liability.

With WordPress 3.x you can integrate in to the Admin Bar. This can clean up your site design.

Twitter’s Bootstrap is a HTML5 complaint tool for UI development – Great for laying out a theme.

Artisteer is also a great development tool for layouts. There is a 30 day trial period for it.

Codex – The WordPress documentation. Best place to go http://codex.wordpress.org

Next meetup will be on “You’re not doing it right!”

Think Big Baltimore – Where are the Hot House Ideas? #TBBmore

I am at the University of Maryland BioPark for Think Big Baltimore to discuss the question of “Where are the Hot House Ideas?

The event is being LiveStreamed. Unfortunately I couldn’t get online to find the link.

Jason Hardebeck is the moderator for the panel.
  • Bryan Sivak, Maryland’s first Chief Innovation Officer, 
  • Sarah Djamshidi ED/Chesapeake Innovation Center/President at MD Business Incubation Association, 
  • Michael Morris of Capital Studios/Heavy Seas Alehous/ Cana Development and 
  • Nick Hammond, PHD, CTO of Ablitech, Inc.

Why come to the BioPark?

Nick H:  A lot of pre-prepared deals. 

Michael M: Why Co-working at Capital Studios? 

In mid 2000’s there were few options. Beehive was just getting started. There was nowhere to really meet and connect in Baltimore.

Capital Studios: 1300  Bank St, Baltimore.

Capital Studios is different from the Beehive at the ETC -which focuses on software.

The difference between an Incubator and a co-working space is the structure and support and mentoring that comes from an incubator.

Incubators – it is not about the space it is about the resources that come from the close association with other incubatees.

Brian S: Density is important. Different views in the same space. Passion and energy coupled with diversity is the key to innovation.

Incubator or Co-Working Space?

Do you know what you want to do?
Are you still developing your idea?

If you know what your business is then co-working is probably the way to go.
if you are still evolving your business then an incubator may be the way to go.

The BIOPark is an example where incubator companies can save numerous hours each week by enabling contracts to be placed with suppliers and maintain the chain of custody through the central BioPark organization.

Foster.ly is also a great resource.

Startup Maryland initiative launches this week. Livestream will be available. 

Maryland Technology Development Corporation TEDCo – is a great resource. http://www.marylandtedco.org/

Organizations have to learn that Social Media is a conversation and not a broadcast

There is a great article on John Bell’s blog – The Digital Influence Mapping Project: “Don’t over-react to a social media crisis

Social media is a conversation

In my experience the detractors want to be heard and if a brand is really listening and not just using Social Media as a broadcast many situations that are initially perceived as a Social Media Crisis will quickly calm down and dissipate in to a largely forgotten timeline.

The key is IF the organization demonstrates that it is really listening. When the naysayers think you are a faceless bureaucracy they shout louder. When they realize that there is a real person listening they will typically moderate their tone because they perceive that they are being heard.

So as John Bell’s article points out. Stay calm. Take a deep breath. Show the community that you are listening. That you are human. That you really are authentic. Don’t be afraid of admitting a mistake or misstep. Demonstrate that you are willing to learn from your community. It is these steps that will help to not only address a crisis but in many cases convert detractors in to supporters.

I witnessed a small case like this last week. Google made a change to their bookmark gadget on iGoogle. It was a usability disaster. It looked pretty but was less than usable. Users hit the comments board for the widget and panned Google. A string of 1 star reviews. Within hours the widget had been reverted to it’s original design. The comments board lit up again. This time with overwhelmingly positive responses. Those detractors had been converted to supporters. Google had listened.

@Baratunde Thurston closing Insquared #in2

Baratunde Thurston – How To Be Black


Wikis and Streams – expanding the way we tell stories – this was an emerging trend in elections. 

Baratunde gave a hilarious recounting of the Abortionplex story.

and the entries created on Yelp by readers:

and how it was taken seriously by a congressman:

#In2 Startup Traction session with Tara Hunt (@missrogue)

After a great lunch time talking with different people about HealthCare and HealthCa.mp

The trigger question for this session: How do you get past the first user and scale your idea/product/service?

“Product market fit is what matters at the end of the day” – Tara Hunt.

Check out TechSoup – a resource for non-profits: http://home.techsoup.org/pages/default.aspx

SEO – increases traffic but conversion can be really low.

Reduce the barriers to engagement. Easy on ramp. Easy sharing.

Growth isn’t the only success metric. Check out the book: small giants.

One tip for cheap internet access. Check out Comcast internet essentials : $9.95 per month. http://www.internetessentials.com/

Tara’s guide to setting your target:
  1. Who is my customer (ONE person)?
  2. Why would they give a hoot?
  3. What is your ONE core metric of success?
  4. What are 5 things I can do TODAY to get there?

Then work out what is the MVP – What is the Minimum Viable Product?

Some of the participants at this session:
  • nobadgift.com
  • dinnertime.com (not live yet – authorization required for access) ties in to employer health and wellness programs. 
  • rigorison.com (a blank template for a teenage software writer)