Opportunity Houston 2.0 – PRSA Houston Event Recap


Yesterday, PRSA Houston led a luncheon at the Houston Racquet Club where Drayton McLane Jr., chairman of the McLane Group and former owner of the Houston Astros, spoke about Opportunity Houston 2.0.

Opportunity Houston 2.0 is a 6-year marketing/fundraising initiative focused on lead generation for economic development organizations in Houston.

Its predecessor raised $40 million and created more than 600,000 local jobs.

McLane was an engaging speaker; funny and energetic. He spoke about improving Houston’s growth and external image.

Turning Points

McLane addressed the turning point that exists when big ideas surface. In the early 20th century, Houston was not as big or populated as it is today. Believe it or not, Galveston was the biggest city in Texas and still might be if not for two movements towards Houston’s expansion:

Houston is attractive because it provides opportunity: new jobs and a promising place to live. According to McLane’s research, today’s youth look for a place to live, then find a job. Millennials are interested in a city that fits their lifestyle and interests such as outdoor activities, nightlife, restaurants and attractions. This is a shift from before when people would first find a job within their industry and then willingly relocate, without truly evaluating the city itself.


City Image

Opportunity Houston 2.0 has implemented programs to develop the city as a whole with these areas of focus:

  1. Better communication in the realm of work-force development
  2. Creating / attracting educated people to run businesses
  3. Improving Houston’s image, nationally and internationally

Amongst internal and external perceptions of Houston, there are some hiccups (weather and traffic) every Houstonian is familiar with. But contrast those with a thriving job market and economy coupled with a vibrant nightlife, there’s no reason not to love Houston!

30 Days of Thanks – Thankful for hardships

Choosing just one topic to write about for this post was very difficult. I am thankful for so many things in my life. I have wonderful friends, an amazing husband, a great family, a roof over my head, a sweet dog, a working, albeit old 1997 Toyota Corolla, & an overwhelming amount of love & grace in my life. I do not take one of these blessings for granted because I know all too well how rare & precious of a gift they are.

My topic may seem odd to be thankful for, but I am thankful for the hard times, because without them, I would have never learned that you can go through hardships & come out stronger. Without the hard times I & my family have been through, I would not be who I am today. These hardships have given me character & a strength that I never could have imagined.

I have been blessed with some of the most integrous people I know & these people are my family. They have taught me the value of hard work & to appreciate all that we have been given. One of the most amazing examples of love & integrity I know is my grandfather.

This amazing man worked hard every day of his life & never once complained. He loved my father, grandmother, & us grandkids with a rare tenderness that I will never forget. He went through so much; sacrificing his dreams to provide for his family, but he was always there for everyone & he was greatly loved. He is a shining example that you can through hardships & still choose to love & be kind.

My next example is my father. If I wrote everything this man has taught me, this post would be a book series. Both he & my mother sacrificed everything for us. From us being homeless when we were young & doing everything in his power to provide a roof over our heads, to small things like not drinking milk in his cereal so us girls could have milk to drink.

I have seen my parents overcome so many obstacles; mountains that seemed insurmountable, yet they came out the other side & still chose to love, be humble, & forgive. My dad is not perfect & he will be the first one to tell you that, but his humility & kindess to any stranger, makes him loved by everyone who knows him. Despite every disappointment & hard time he has been through, he still chooses to love without reservation.

On those days where I am frustrated with an obstacle that is in my life, I stop & think about the incredible examples I have had. Any obstacle in life is overcomable, & if I allow it, not only will I overcome it, but I will be a better person for going through it.

When I was young I wished so many times that we had been wealthy & that I could have had all the things that other children had, but now I am thankful that I did not. It taught me that I do not need those things to be happy. The things in life that last beyond when I am gone, are how I loved & served while I was here. I pray I will be able to be as kind as my grandfather, or that my friends & family will say of me that I was humble & loving like my father.

These gifts are what I will always cherish & be thankful for. Never be upset when you go through hard times; allow them to teach you & make you better, not bitter. My family is the best example of this that I have ever known & that is what I am most thankful for.


Google’s Open Social – Good News for Tendenci!

Techcrunch pre-announced Google’s Open Social social software developer APIs today. This is very good news for Tendenci and a lot of other software companies! To explain.

Tendenci has always been written distributed. We have lots of small sites and they do not authenticate against one common source. This distribution is modeled after other fault tolerant systems to function best on a very hostile Internet. And is of course in addition to backups, etc. Nothing is fool proof, but this is a common sense start for the benefit of our clients.

Unfortunately distribution brings with it a set of problems. I am registered on Tendenci, the Houston Technology Center, The Houston Red Cross, etc etc and they are all Tendenci sites. Yet my "friends" list on each site has to be recreated each time and it doesn’t mirror vox, or linkedin or facebook anyway. What a pain! In fact, I just don’t bother.

From the Techcrunch post:

OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined
by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core
functions and information at social networks:

  1. Profile Information (user data) (Tendenci users and userprofiles)
  2. Friends Information (social graph) (Tendenci contacts table)
  3.  Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff) (Tendenci eventlogs and authors table)

So the question is "on release can we really just connect Tendenci to Open Social?". Well it won’t completely be THAT easy, but pretty close. We already use third party authentication services and integrate with numerous vendors through an XML data interchange. And we won’t really know until we get to sink our teeth into the Open Social API. But right now it looks very promising. More as we learn more!


Schipul office Internet line cut due to construction – call us!

Need to talk to Schipul today?  Call us at (281) 497.6567!

Construction outside of our building has cut our Internet line, which means that the Schipul office email and Web access is down.                                    

Your live Web site and email accounts are live and well
– they are hosted off-site at Vericenter and are unaffected by this outage.

If you have a development Web site, you are currently unable to work on  it until our Internet connection situation is resolved.   Check back here on the Tendenci Blog for Internet connection updates later today.

We are here for you!  Just give us a call at (281) 497. 6567!
Many thanks for your patience and your business,
The Schipul Team

Web Services Fully Restored

The earlier distributed denial of service (ddos) attack has been thwarted.  To help reduce the chances of web services being affected by such attacks in the future Schipul has added more redundant name servers to the network.  If we have access to your registrar we have made these updates for you.  If we don’t have access to your registrar please add the new name servers, as primary NS2.DNSPARK.NET, and NS4.DNSPARK.NET as your third name server.

If you are able to list all five the sequence should be NS2.DNSPARK.NET, NS1.DNSPARK.NET, NS4.DNSPARK.NET, NS3.DNSPARK.NET, and NS5.DNSPARK.NET.

Development Sites Scheduled Outage Today (June 3)

Alert: Development Sites Down
Date: Saturday June 3, 2006
Duration: up to 10 hours starting at 12:00

Today, Saturday June 3, 2006, the development sites will be down for approximately 10 hours. The outage will begin at approximately 12:00 PM CST and last, well, pretty much until the electricians turn the building back on.

Tendenci web sites and emails will not be affected (those are of course at a hosting facility).



New RSS Updates with XSL (pretty stuff) View for Humans

TendencirssindexscreencapNew RSS Icons and more prominent OPML links are live on all servers over the weekend.  Easier "add to reader" links and style sheets applied to the feeds to make them prettier when an unsuspecting user clicks on them.

The screen image on the right is from www.ppag.org, one of our long time Tendenci clients.

If you aren’t familiar with RSS and using it personally, I still like www.bloglines.com the best as a web based reader. Free so check it out.

The RSS feed links for your individual site should be linked in the footer, maybe the nav (varies by site) and definitely at /en/rss/index/ on all sites.