Photos “A Celebration of Entrepreneurs” Gala, Honoring Raymond Plank

Houston Technology Center's Annual Gala
HTC’s – A Celebration of Entrepreneurs Gala, Honoring Raymond Plank

Photos from a recent client event – “A Celebration of Entrepreneurs” Gala, Honoring Raymond Plank by the Houston Technology Center.

I was honored to be one of the recognized Entrepreneurs although definitely not in the same league as the people crossing the podium!

While I always joke that I live on an airplane, Houston is home. So it is still such an honor for me to know that to know our Open Source Software serves clients like the HTC and learn firsthand just how amazingly funny but determined a man like Raymond Plank is.

 

And this last week I got to see an inspiring and truly amazing personal friend of mine speak. None other than Grace Rodriguez who now works with TED. She spoke at one of our other client’s luncheon this month, the American Advertising Federation of Houston. A few of those photos are on the Tendenci AMS site as well and cross posted to the AAF-Houston site. I am a former board member and have been involved in AAF Houston for years.

Grace Rodriguez photo gallery
Grace Rodriguez Speaking at AAF Houston

The best part about attending client events, well there are several really, but they include things like:

  1. Attending a client event – It’s a chance to say thank you to our client! With over 300+ that we host it gets harder and harder to say thank you as I don’t know many of you personally. A while back we added up a count of users logging in different Tendenci sites just in our data centers (we have three). Just the totals of course with no identifying data, and it was over 1.2 million souls. It makes me proud and also nervous when we tweak the Tendenci user interface!
  2. Attending a client event – I listen and YOU tell us how to improve what is both yours and our product! Yes, Tendenci is fully open source and you can download it from github at https://github.com/tendenci. So there may not be a direct financial benefit. Yet that is truly OK as Tendenci is clearly not just about the money. And a lot of y’all do host with us.  We appreciate both the developers who use and tell us how to improve and the clients we host and manage everything for them.

Speaking of feedback – be sure to tell us how to improve the software on our new community discussion forum at http://community.tendenci.com. We talk to a lot of developers on github so the forum is more for…. you know… humans who use the software day to day. What are your needs? What would you like to see in Tendenci?

What is your priority on our Roadmap for example?

I’ll do another blog post about the Tendenci community forums soon. (This also means that we now have forums integrated with Tendenci. We found another great Django based open source project named Misago which works great with Tendenci given we also use Django. Next is the single-sign-on server process….

Onward! And have a great Friday y’all!

Ed

Opportunity Houston 2.0 – PRSA Houston Event Recap

PRSA

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.

Houston

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!

The Power of Technology and The Millennial Generation

14NTC LogoMillennials are important!

They’re a technology-rich, internet-laden demographic that has untapped potential, if you can figure out how to engage them.

Join Tendenci‘s Becky Leven, a proud Millennial, as she discusses The Power of Technology and The Millennial Generation, a 14NTC panel today at 3:30 EST/2:30 CST.

 

The panel features five other experts from nonprofit and tech companies. Speakers include:

These 6 experts will go into depth about how to leverage, engage and collaborate with Millennials. If you’re attending 14NTC, you can find the event details here.

What If I Didn’t Go to 14NTC?

Never fear! This talk will be livestreamed at 3:30 EST/2:30 CST so you won’t miss a thing.

Register to watch the livestream here.

Houston Writeathon Talk From the February Netsquared Houston Meetup

Every month at The Stag’s Head Pub, nonprofit innovators, startup entrepreneurs, civil servants and social influencers meet to talk shop. The February NetSquared Houston meetup was visited by Greg J Micek, Founder of the Young Inventors Association of America and Jeff Reichman, the Principal at January Advisors.

 NetSquared Houston February Meetup Attendees

This month’s meetup was riddled with interesting startups and nonprofits ranging from Kandy Kruisers, a Houston company that builds skateboard and skateboard accessories, to the Houston Center for Literacy, a nonprofit working to increase adult literacy in the city of Houston.Greg J. Micek Portrait

Greg J. Micek – IQ Biometrix & YIAA

Among the speakers, was Greg J. Micek, President of IQ Biometrix, a company that creates facial recognition software, and founder of the Young Inventors Association of America (YIAA).

Greg talked about the 26th Annual Young Inventor’s Showcase, to be held at the Wolff Center of Entrepreneurship, in the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston campus on May 24, 2014. The showcase aims to promote creativity and innovation among students from Kindergarten through 8th grade.

 

Jeff Reichman – Open Houston & The Houston Writeathon

Jeff Reichman PortraitPerhaps you’ve heard about a marathon. How about a hackathon? A writeathon? If not, you have now!

In conjunction with Open Houston and The City of Houston, a group of volunteer designers, writers and data scientists are teaming up to streamline the local Houston government’s communication strategy.

Reichman says, “It’s about diversifying the pool of people who are civically engaged. Our key is to get writers and designers to communicate universally outside of language, because people assemble data in different ways.

The Houston Writeathon aims to improve government communication through building infographics that simplify processes, drafting petitions onto Change.org and working with affiliated organizations on general communication tactics and strategy.

The city provides so many services that just aren’t marketed. We have to be able to rally the talented and improve our surroundings if we want to improve local government,” said Reichman.

The event will take place at the Freed-Montrose Public Library on Saturday, February 22, from 10am to 5pm. They are still looking for volunteers and all are welcome. Get involved with the Houston Writeathon here.

If you’re interested in coming to any of the NetSquared Houston meetups, you can find out more information here. Attendance is free and meetings are held monthly at the Stag’s Head Pub on Portsmouth Street. See you there!

As a bonus, to demonstrate how much fun a writeathon can be when you get a bunch of creatives together in a room. The group wrote this techie Valentine’s day story tag-team style:

The Story

It’s Valentine’s Day, the year 3000. I’m cruising on my spaceship, headed to pick up a bouquet of flowers, when I look over to my artificial girlfriend that I’ve created from a 3D printing lab and ask her, “What color would you like?”

“Wow,” she says. “I’ll defer to you.  This is worse than the time I had to jump out of a train after my old boyfriend, which made me lose my legs. I had to get them replaced by an open source firmware running on a 3D printer. My previous legs were shorter so I decided to get new ones to make me taller. What do you think about augmentation, honey?” She asked me. 

Ignoring her comment, I remembered I had a 3D printer on board and decided to print the flowers myself. As I was doing that, the 3 moons and 2 suns began to rise over the horizon and it reminded me of when I first downloaded her from Github. At that moment, a horrible thought struck me, as I plummeted out of the sky, crashing into Earth and destroying it. I’d forgotten to put space gas in my space gas tank…

Meanwhile, at a bar on the other end of the universe, the women toasted to the destroyed earth, celebrating the end of man and all his artificial girlfriends as they had pillow fights and braided each other’s hair.

 

Turning a Blind Eye to Good Usability: a 2014 SXSW Interactive Talk

Rachel Magario Smiling Portrait
Rachel Magario

Every year at SXSW, thousands gather for the music, film and interactive portions of the annual conference in Austin, TX. This year, Tendenci is speaking at Interactive.

Ed Schipul, CEO of Tendenci – The Open Source CMS for Nonprofits joins forces with Rachel Magario, a blind motivational speaker and the Assistive Technology Specialist at PACER Center’s Simon Technology Center to discuss Turning a Blind Eye to Good Usability, a workshop dedicated to improving web development and design for accessibility.

 

Picture of Ed Schipul, CEO of Tendenci
Ed Schipul

The workshop, Turning a Blind Eye to Good Usability, will go into depth about how to optimize your jQuery, HTML and images for true accessibility.

The workshop will be held at the AT&T Conference Center, Room 105 from 11am to 1:30pm on Tuesday, March 11. Turning a Blind Eye to Good Usability is reservation only. Participants can sign up here and will need a valid SXSW badge and an activated SXSocial account. Don’t forget to hashtag! #sxsw #blindeye

To learn more, visit the event page or take a look at the article on our website.

We hope to see you there!