Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Baltimore Hackathon

We are having a hell of a good time organizing the first Baltimore Hackathon. The idea is to assemble teams and individuals to build software and hardware projects from idea to prototype in one weekend: 11/19-11/21.  Our motto is "Build. Meet People. Have fun."

We're awarding cash prizes to the winners and door prizes to all participants.  We're gonna have opening and closing ceremonies, free food from Puffs N Pastries, and other surprises.

We're organizing it using the TechInBaltimore Google Group. I'm really amazed at how people are coming out of the woodwork to sponsor, volunteer, coordinate, etc.  This is the most decentralized can-do project I've been involved with!

If you're in the MD/DC/VA/PA/DE area or beyond, I hope you'll consider coming to be a part of it!  We're really hoping to draw in people to our tech community who don't participate in other more purely social events.  This is all about making!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Social Media for Everybody, Redux

This week I had the chance to give my "Social Media for Everybody" talk to two different groups of people.  I promised everyone who attended that I would post the links and slides to the talk here on my blog.  Follow this link and you'll find everything.

Thanks to everyone for attending!  I really enjoy helping people navigate this world as it's been so personally enriching to me and helpful to my projects.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Baltimore Technology Heroes

I'm very grateful to have been nominated for a few nice awards this past year because of my work with Ignite Baltimore and other ventures. But there are others in Baltimore who are doing as much or more than I am to encourage Baltimore's development as a technology hub. Since these are annual awards, I'm hoping the organizers will check them out when it comes time for the next round of nominations. They've all got my vote!
  • Heather Sarkissian: I profiled her on BaltTech a few months ago. She deserves recognition for starting BmoreSmart, leading the Betascape effort, being one of the main organizers of Techcrawl East, and being one of the organizers of Ignite Baltimore.
  • John Trupiano and Yair Flicker: These guys own SmartLogic and have donated a considerable amount of time, money, and resources to the tech community. They have led the growth of the Bmore on Rails group from a mere monthly meetup for Ruby enthusiasts to a full-fledged networking and teaching society with weekly events for web programmers. They spearheaded the welcoming committee for June's Railsconf convention, and they funded the organization of a highly-regarded free unconference called BohConf. On top of that, they were also principal organizers of TechCrawl East.
  • Mike Brenner: He's just getting started but by the time 2011 rolls around he will be a serious contender. Baltimore was lacking a specific group that focused on technology entrepreneurship and he has taken up the charge with Startup Baltimore. They've had several well-attended startup breakfast meetings followed by workshops. This is probably the most energetic long-range community organizing effort we've seen to date.
  • Nate Mook: He was the co-organizer of TEDxOilSpill and one of the main organizers of TEDxMidAtlantic. These events are some of the highest-profile, highest-quality happenings in town and have brought a lot of outside attention to the city.
  • Baltimore Node Organizers: These people have built a mecca of Maker culture in Station North.  The key players that I know of were Adam Bachman, Jon Lesser, Mark Huson, Kelly Egan, Matt Forr but let me know in the comments if I left someone out.
Who did I miss?  Let me know and I'll update the post!

Side note: Baltimore is an extremely friendly town that embraces new projects and new leadership.  There are lots of other cool things that could be done to keep our momentum going, and you can expect that even a modest amount of effort on a meetup, hackathon, cofounder dating event, blog, podcast, or whatever will be recognized and celebrated!  That's been my experience with Ignite and the Baltimore Improv Group.