http://www.richblockspoorblocks.com/ is a nifty little utility for visualizing household income by zip code (more or less.) The map of Bend clearly highlights the eastside-westside divide that we’re all familiar with. Average income on the east side is $34K, and on the west side is $70K. Pretty striking difference.
For this blog’s somewhat unreliable tradition of reflecting on the past year in Central Oregon’s tech scen, I thought I’d take a look at quantitative look at some of our tech meetups. Specifically, I’ve put together an analysis of group membership and activity that may be of interest.
I’m mostly doing this so we have something to compare against in coming years so I don’t know how useful this will be. Regardless, I’ll make a few observations …
BendTech‘s 336 members make it the largest group, although that could simply be because it’s been on Meetup.com the longest (6+ years?) It’s been largely dormant for the last couple of years, however, and only recently has shown signs of renewed life in the form of the StartupWeekend event organized by Alec Campbell (which explains why it shows a respectable amount of activity in the 30, 90, and 365-day activity graphs).
COWPU is the oldest group on the list, but also the smallest, at 54 members. It, too, has been on somewhat of a hiatus, and it’s size is in part due to it only recently being moved to Meetup.com and (I expect) shedding some of the less active members in the process.
The Google Analytics group is run by Theresa Baiocco, a group organizer new to Central Oregon scene. Theresa has been wonderfully active in the community, and also hosts the Web Design & Development group, as well as the Web Marketing group. These groups are all alive and kickin’, and meeting on a regular basis.
Hack Night Bend is still meeting on a semi-weekly / monthly basis.
Finally, the SharePoint group is the one non-meetup.com group on the list. It’s worth mentioning that there’s likely some modest error in determining crossover between this and other groups, but I don’t believe it’s enough to negate the pretty clear conclusion that has a distinctly different audience. Also, we don’t have activity data for this group, which is why it’s a no-show in all the activity graphs.
Other than the SharePoint group, there’s clearly a lot of crossover between groups; 50-80% of any one group can be found in one or more of the others. (There’s an ongoing conversation among the group owners about doing some consolidation. Opinions welcome, btw!)
This is a first pass at this sort of analysis. I hope you find it interesting. Please feel free to add any conclusions or thoughts you might have in the comments. And feel free to suggest other types of analysis you’d like to see.
Here’s a challenge for you: write a 2000 word article that describes what the Internet is and how it works. In layman’s terms. Include an explanation of how the Internet is “shaped” and what that means. Also explain the historical and political significance, including an brief aside into the role it had in the Arab Spring.
Oh, and please wrap it up with a bit of mind-blowing conjecture on the significance of several new undersea cables being planned in the southern hemisphere.
Yeah, I wouldn’t know where to begin either. Fortunately we’ve been spared having to do this nightmarish exercise, courtesy of Carlos Bueno and his masterful little The Shape of the Internet is Changing article.
Read and enjoy.
PerfectMenu started at Bend’s first Startup Weekend event, just a couple weeks ago. To go from nothing to TechCrunch in such a short span of time is something to be proud of. Now, if they can just pay off the picture frame the used to frame their first $5 bill they got from a customer, they’ll be profitable!
Bend Startup Weekend is less than 10 days away. We have close to 50 attendees already but we want more. The more attendees, the livelier the event and the better mix of talents we can achieve in teams.
If you’re on the fence about attending, here are 5 compelling reasons why you need to get off that fence and register now:
- You don’t need to have the next great business idea. The success of Startup Weekend relies upon more than just good ideas; it needs people to contribute to turn ideas into actual businesses. Even Mark Zuckerberg had co-founders. Every successful idea will need between 4 and 6 team members to turn it into a reality over the course of the weekend. If you don’t have an idea, you get to choose your favorites and join a team of your choice.
- Many Startup Weekend businesses have gone on to attain funding and success. Zaarly has received over $15 million in funding since it’s formation during Los Angeles Startup Weekend in 2010. Local investors in Bend have already taken an interest in this event.
- This is a fun, highly educational and dynamic event. Even if the concept you work on doesn’t achieve success, the experience is highly rewarding. You will learn how to accelerate an idea to early-stage business, how to analyze market opportunities, and pitch ideas to investors. All great skills to know and practice for those interested in entrepreneurship.
- Bend is a great city but it suffers badly from the boom and bust cycles our national economy experiences far too often. Establishing a thriving entrepreneurial community would result in a more stable, growth-oriented local economy providing some protection from the erratic cycles of the national economy. We all have our part to play and Bend Startup Weekend is about stimulating the creative thought and collaboration needed to create successful local businesses.
- We have free beer from Crux Fermentation Project. Enough said!
Any questions? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to register. See you on the 16th.
[article re-posted with permission from http://bend.startupweekend.org/2012/11/06/5-reasons-why-you-should-attend-bend-startup-weekend/]
Central Oregon Beer + Founders + Hackers + Usergroups + Impromptu Presentations = The Bend Venture unConference
This year we’re at the BendBroadband VAULT.
Stop by on Thursday afternoon to participate in lively, casual discussions while enjoying the best of Central Oregon’s tastes and tech talent.
What’s the agenda at the 2012 unConference?
Presentation topics are set by attendees during the first hour of the conference, so the agenda is up to YOU. Attendees are invited to deliver a 5 minute talk (no slides) in one of these three tracks:
- Lessons Learned
- New Ventures
That’s followed by 5 minutes for discussion. Slots fill up every year, so arrive early if you intend to present! Whether it’s sage advice or a funny& irreverent tale, we want your take. Everyone’s encouraged to jump in.
The FoundersPad Speed Pitch Competition
What else? How about a flowing keg of great local beer, tours of the BendBroadband Vault datacenter, cocktails made with local spirits, tasty treats from local foodies,a huge expo with information about local tech user groups and other community-minded organizations, the 10 minute talks…and YOU.
Created three years ago by the local Tech Alliance and its co-working space, TechSpaceBend, the unConference gives a nod to Central Oregon’s incredibly talented techies -both those who have a gig with a local shop, and many more who’ve found their telecommuting heaven right here in the High Desert.
See you there.
Possibly the most important trend in technology and the web is the emergence of tools that let us introspect about who we are as a people and the impact we’re having on the world around us. For example, the IHME has a very cool tool for visualizing Life Expectancy in the U.S. by County from 1989-2009. Locally we see …
Deschutes – Men: 73.2, Women: 78.8
Crook - Men: 72.1, Women: 79
Deschutes – Men: 76, Women: 80.6
Crook - Men: 73.9, Women: 79.7
Deschutes – Men: 78.7, Women: 81.7
Crook - Men: 76.1, Women: 80.9
One can’t help but speculate about the nature of the changes shown here. For example:
- Urban centers have the longest life expectancy
- The Bible Belt has the shortest life expectancy. (Cause or effect, that? )
- Life expectancy is much more varied across Oregon than it used to be 20 years ago.
- How much of the increase here in Deschutes is a result of a wealthier population (i.e. with access to better health care) immigrating here?
Visualizations like this – be they for life expectancy, meat consumption, national budgets, investment strategies, or police tactics – are “tale of the tape” for our society. We live in a unique time where we have unprecedented access to the tools necessary to analyze the world around us and act accordingly.
I.e. It’s an election year. Do your research.
VentureBox, our local business accelerator program, is throwing a “Wild Pitch” session next week. So if you’re starting a business, or just have a hair-brained idea for one, this is a great opportunity to get a bit of outside perspective. The full flyer can be found here (pdf), but here are the juicy bits:
What: Founders; 10 minute “Wild Pitch” Presentations
When: Friday April 20, 2012 ‐ 12 Noon till 5:00 PM
Where: Bend’s Old Cigar Building
Why: Get feedback on your idea and presentation.
How: Fill out the (brief) Wild Pitch Profile