Recap: DemoCampEdmonton6

Last night was our sixth DemoCamp here in Edmonton, and I think it was probably our best yet. We had around 140 people in attendance, which isn’t much different than DCE4 but it somehow seemed bigger. Maybe it was all the cameras and video cameras? We had Peter Urban and the Smibs TV team record all the demos – watch for the video there soon. I was also really surprised that so many people had never been to DemoCamp before. We’re definitely reaching new people, and I think that’s great!

We had five demos:

  • I showed the first little bit of ShareEdmonton, and EdmontonTechScene. It wasn’t the best demo in the world, but it wasn’t bad for having just two days 🙂
  • Graham Batty showed us bittablog, an interesting microblogging service that he recently cooked up.
  • Ryan Leland showed his unique take on social networking – you-vs-me. It was a definite crowd pleaser thanks to the humorous topics like Cougar-vs-Bear. You can use the democamp invite code to check it out.
  • Mark Matichuk showed us Clinitrust, a secure messaging platform for medical professionals.
  • Our final demo was Peter Urban and Paul Bellows, who showed us their new joint venture (between Smibs and Yellow Pencil). It’s a tool to help move content from one CMS to another.

The general consensus afterward was that Peter & Paul’s was the demo of the night. Though they did a little too much talking in my opinion, the product is definitely intriguing. It’s not hard to see that there’s a big market for what they are doing. It’ll be a time saver, indeed. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of it soon.

DemoCamp Edmonton 6DemoCamp Edmonton 6

See what I mean about the tripods and cameras? After the demos almost everyone wandered over to RATT (Room At The Top) in the Students’ Union Building. A little too much drinking and karaoke ensued, but it was a fun time!

Twitter featured more prominently this time at DemoCamp. We had TwitterFall up on the big screen before we got started, and that encouraged lots of people to start tweeting. Soon after the demos started, we broke into the top ten trending topics at Twitter Search, and eventually rose as high as #7. Very cool!

Don’t miss Walter & Alain’s great list, 10 things I liked about DemoCamp Edmonton 6. Brittney also has a funny post of fun facts about DemoCamp Edmonton 6. Also, Cam and I did an interview with The Gateway, who wrote about DemoCamp and IDEAfest today.

I can’t wait until DCE7! Thanks to everyone who came out last night. If you’d like to be notified about future DemoCamp and BarCamp events in Edmonton, sign up for the mailing list here.

DemoCampEdmonton6

It’s DemoCamp time again here in Edmonton! In just three short weeks we’ll once again converge at the University of Alberta to see what local tech entrepreneurs are up to. Following the demos we’ll head over to a local pub for Edmonton’s best networking opportunity for tech professionals (we’ll probably be at Hudson’s on Campus this time, instead of The Windsor). You can read about our last DemoCamp here. Here are the details for #6:

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks/networking afterward)
Location: E1 013, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free

The rules for DemoCamp are simple: ten minutes to demo real, working software, followed by a few minutes for questions. No slides allowed. If you’d like to demo, make sure you’ve attended at least one DemoCamp in the past, and add yourself to the signup list.

Please help us spread the word – we’d like to make this the biggest DemoCamp Edmonton yet! Let’s fill the room. Check out the BarCamp Edmonton blog, our Facebook group, the Facebook event, and the wiki page. Be sure to tag your tweets, posts, photos, and other content with democampyeg.

See you in early March!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton5

Tonight we held our first DemoCamp of 2009, once again in ETLC at the University of Alberta. Despite some cold weather, slick roads, and an Oilers game (featuring the return of Mats Sundin) we still had at least 75 people in attendance tonight at DemoCampEdmonton5. A great way to start the new year!

We had five demos tonight:

  • Randy Troppmann showed us RunningMap.com, an online tool for running enthusiasts to track and share routes. Users can map a route, view elevation, add photos and other points of interest, and more.
  • Mark Donovan from Titan Gaming Inc. showed us Titan Strike, a social networking platform for games. It features team and guild management, a built-in awards system, and tournaments. The idea is to have game publishers use Titan to build an online community around their games.
  • Timo Ewalds of Nexopia fame showed us one of his side projects – artificial intelligence for the game Pentago. It was without a doubt the most technical demo we’ve ever had, but it was fascinating to hear Timo describe everything he had to do to get it working well.
  • Victor Rubba from CrazedCoders showed us the UI they designed for the new Linksys MediaHub, just announced today at CES. It’s a Flash interface unlike anything you’ve ever seen before on a Linksys device.
  • Matt Skopyk showed us his Seizure Violin. It’s hard to describe in text, but essentially he’s using instruments and computers together to manipulate electronic music. Very cool stuff.

Just like last time, all of the demos went very well and looked very slick.

DemoCampEdmonton5DemoCampEdmonton5

I think my “demo of the night” goes to CrazedCoders, with Matt Skopyk very close behind. I’m very impressed that a local company designed the new interface for a mainstream Linksys device (photo here and here), and will be revamping the interface for their line of routers as well. Engadget said in their post about the device, “we’ll see how that interface runs in person later this week.” How cool is it that we got to see the interface directly from the developers tonight here in Edmonton?! More than that, the interface looks amazing. They’ve really done an amazing job. As for Matt’s demo – it was just plain cool. I love seeing the interesting things that people are up to, and the music and lights was definitely a crowd pleaser. You can watch it here (audio is pretty quiet, sorry):

For more on the demos, check out Twitter where I posted live updates from the event. Afterward we again converged at The Windsor Pub to continue chatting, meeting one another, and occasionally watch the hockey game. It was absolutely packed!

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight! If you’d like to be notified about future DemoCamp and BarCamp events in Edmonton, sign up for the mailing list here.

DemoCampEdmonton5

democampedmonton We’re not wasting any time in 2009 – our next DemoCamp takes place in less than a week! Join us on Wednesday, January 7th at 6:30pm for another set of great demos followed by Edmonton’s best networking opportunity for tech professionals (and entrepreneurs, investors, etc. – everyone is welcome). You can read about our last DemoCamp here.

Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks/networking afterward)
Location: E1 003, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free

Once again, we’d like to ask everyone to help us spread the word. Check out the BarCamp Edmonton blog, our Facebook group, the Facebook event, and of course, the wiki page. Be sure to tag your posts, photos, and other things with the democampyeg tag.

See you next week!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton4

Tonight was without a doubt our best DemoCamp ever here in Edmonton. With six fairly solid demos, nearly 150 people in attendance, and no technical glitches in sight, it’ll be hard to top DemoCampEdmonton4 but we’re certainly going to try! It’s just amazing to see the community grow like this – thanks to everyone who came out.

Tonight we had six demos:

  • Sean from Orange Door Idealab showed us Surveyor, a mobile tool for conducting surveys using the iPhone or iPod touch.
  • Reg showed us Edistorm, a social brainstorming platform.
  • Brady showed us ElectionBuddy, a service that helps you run polls and elections via email.
  • Aaron came all the way from Regina to show us The History Books, a sort of social networking site.
  • Sam showed us PureInbox, an online email management system.
  • Grant Skinner showed us a bunch of Flash projects, including Adobe Kuler.

It wasn’t planned at all, but all of the products that were demoed tonight seemed really polished. The interfaces were all slick and professional looking!

DemoCampEdmonton4

I think my “demo of the night” goes to ODIL’s Surveyor. I really like the interface, and the application itself seems pretty solid for something so early-stage. ElectionBuddy and Edistorm also had great demos, and have lots of potential. I think PureInbox could have been a great demo, but unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of the app itself. The History Books was entertaining, but as I said on Twitter, it seemed like something that came out of a few late night domain name purchases. Grant did a wicked presentation, showing us eight different projects that his Flash design firm has been involved with. He was definitely the most captivating presenter.

Tonight was also the first public announcement for Edmonton Code Camp! It’s going to take place on Saturday, November 29th at the MacEwan campus downtown. You can find more information here, and the domain will be http://www.edmontoncodecamp.com (working through some DNS issues currently). We’ll share more details soon.

The venue worked well again this time, and once again I had Free Wifi going (though it could have been a bit more reliable). I live-twittered the demos, which you can find at Twitter Search along with updates from others in attendance.

I think lots of people like DemoCamp just for the networking opportunity afterward, and again we had a full house at The Windsor Pub. Was great to see a bunch of new faces in the crowd too! Thanks to Smibs for sponsoring tonight’s event.

If you’d like to be notified about future DemoCamp and BarCamp events in Edmonton, sign up for the mailing list here.

See you at DemoCampEdmonton5!

DemoCampEdmonton4

democampedmonton October and November are shaping up to be fantastic months for tech events here in Edmonton! Our next DemoCamp will take place on October 29th at 6:30pm, once again in ETLC on the University of Alberta campus. DemoCamp is always lots of fun – if you’ve never been to one I really encourage you to come check it out! You can read about our previous events (1, 2, 3) to get an idea of what they’re like.

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks afterward)
Location: E1 017, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free

Add your name to the wiki page to let everyone know you’re planning to attend (or if you’d like to demo). We’re also looking for help spreading the word:

We’d like to challenge everyone to tell a few people about DemoCamp and physically bring at least one new person to the event.

Additionally we’re looking for volunteers to help us target different groups of people in a more organized fashion. If you want to help us spread the word to schools, media, demoers or service providers, let us know.

Anything you can do to help would be great! We’ve got events on Facebook and Upcoming that you can send to people also. Be sure to tag things with democampyeg so that they are easier to find.

I also wanted to point out the interview that Peter Urban of Smibs did with Cam Linke. Smibs was “demo of the evening” at our first ever DemoCamp, and Cam is of course the driving force behind DemoCamp here in Edmonton. Check it out!

DemoCampCalgary10 & National Digital Media Day

Yesterday afternoon I made my way down to Calgary for DemoCampCalgary10. I went to their BarCamp in June, but before last night had never attended a DemoCamp there. I was happy to see some familiar faces and meet some new people also. In a way DCC10 was like a mini-tweetup, as there were quite a few Calgary twitterers in attendance! Appropriately, I put “@mastermaq” on my nametag. It was great to catch up with everyone.

DemoCampCalgary10DemoCampCalgary10

There were four demos. The first was SpeakLike (didn’t catch the presenter’s name) which is some sort of translation service and software. Their demo didn’t really work, so it’s hard to say anything about it. Next up was Kent from AllianceOne. They are building a cell phone plan management system for businesses. Third was Marcus from SharingBooks, a way for the authors of children’s books to publish faster. The final demo was Matt from Curve Dental. They are working on new clinical software for dentists. I didn’t find any of the demos very strong, but I’d say Matt’s was the best because he actually demoed how the software works (despite the fact that he started with a slide!).

Yesterday was also the first ever National Digital Media Day. The goal is to raise the profile of the digital media industry. Lots of events were planned all across Canada, and DemoCamp was Calgary’s. You can find out more about NDMD at I Refresh For Content.

Here are my photos from DemoCampCalgary 10. The next DemoCamp in Calgary will take place on October 23rd.

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton3

It’s hard to believe that nearly four months have passed since our last DemoCamp here in Edmonton! Of course, we did have BarCamp back in July, but our last official DemoCamp was in May. It was about time for another one! Tonight’s event went very well, with an audience made up of both familiar and new faces.

DemoCampEdmonton3 featured six demos:

  1. Adam & Andy from dub5
  2. Aaron from SpatialQ
  3. Michael & Brendan from Edmonton Free Library
  4. Darren from Playerrs
  5. Kerri from Tynt
  6. The U of A’s Autonomous Robot Vehicle Project

I think every demo was slightly under the 10 minute mark, which meant more time for questions. Tonight was a night of firsts! Kerri was our first female presenter ever, and ARVP provided us with our first hardware demo. Very cool stuff.

DemoCampEdmonton3

For those of you who couldn’t make it: Dub5 is a calendar/scheduling application that hopes to play well with existing applications and services. It features an SMS interface, which made for a neat demo. SpatialQ is a solution for geospatial search, a way to associate data sets with geographical information. The Edmonton Free Library project is a community site for sharing books, music, and videos. Playerrs is a sports analysis and research site which makes it easy to track your favorite teams. Tynt is a browser plugin that lets you annotate and share the web. And finally, the Autonomous Robot Vehicle Project is a research project at the U of A (with a fairly self-explanatory name).

I’d have to say that my “demo of the night” goes to dub5. The ARVP demo was really neat, especially to see the robot in action, but dub5 was both entertaining and impressive. I definitely think they have challenges ahead, but they seem like a smart group with a good idea and lots of passion.

We had over 80 people attend tonight, and roughly 30 of those people made it out to The Windsor Pub afterward – an awesome turnout, thanks to everyone who came! Also, thanks to Reg and the Zigtag team for getting that all arranged. I think the venue (ETLC) worked really well tonight – everyone could see and hear the demos with ease. Another positive tonight was that we had free wifi, provided by the Free WiFi project. Despite some initial connection issues, I managed to get our WiMAX router working properly! We had fairly consistent usage through the evening.

You can see my photos of tonight’s event here. If you’d like to be notified about future DemoCamp and BarCamp events in Edmonton, sign up for the mailing list here.

See you at DemoCampEdmonton4!

Upcoming Edmonton Events: Pecha Kucha 2 & DemoCamp 3

Attention all “creatives” in Edmonton – two popular events are happening again in our city in September that you don’t want to miss!

The first is Pecha Kucha Night 2, taking place on September 11th. The first Pecha Kucha in Edmonton took place back on May 1st, and it went very well. Essentially a dozen or so presenters will each have the opportunity to show 20 slides at 20 seconds per slide. Typically the content is arts & design.

Date: Thursday, September 11, 2008
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: TransAlta Arts Barns, Westbury Theatre, 10330 84th Avenue (map)
Cost: $5 at the door

You’ll need to RSVP to nextgen@edmonton.ca. You can find more information here.

The second event is DemoCampEdmonton 3, taking place on September 17th. Local entrepreneurs and developers will show off real stuff they’re building. You can read about our first two democamps here and here.

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: E1 017, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free

If you’re planning to attend, add your name to the wiki page.

Should be a couple of great events. See you at both!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton2

Tonight was Edmonton’s second DemoCamp – an opportunity for local startups and entrepreneurs to show the community what they’ve been working on. The venue and overall vibe of the event tonight was a bit different than the first DemoCamp, but I think it’s safe to say that DemoCampEdmonton2 was a success.

Again, we had six demos:

  1. Boris Djordjevic from Frontier Solutions
  2. Jack Newton from Clio
  3. Bruce Johnson and Scott Montgomerie from Zigtag
  4. Scott Winder from Boreal Systems
  5. Toby Spendiff from nForm
  6. Patrick Lor showed us a.viary.com

Frontier makes a product called SiteGears that helps companies bring products to market by integrating with businesses at all levels of the product lifecycle. Clio is a practice management service targeted at small law firms. Zigtag is in the social bookmarking space, and see themselves as the “future of search” in the long-run. Boreal Systems make an operations management application for companies in the energy industry. nForm makes a SharePoint add-on called Midori that helps small teams manage projects. And last but not least, a.viary is bringing the power of Photoshop to the web.

DemoCampEdmonton2

My “demo of the night” goes to Clio, with honorable mentions to both Boreal Systems and nForm. Clio’s app is very slick looking, and you can tell they’ve done their homework. They’re focusing on lawyers right now (Jack said that roughly half of the 1.2 million law firms in North America need something like Clio) but it’s easy to see how the app could be applied to other types of practices (like accounting). What I liked about Boreal was that although their app didn’t feel very modern at all, they had good reasons for doing everything they did (such as keeping the concept of a whiteboard schedule). And finally, nForm actually changed data live. They showed Midori actually working…that rocked!

Here’s more on DemoCampEdmonton2 and the participating companies:

  • My initial headcount was 61, but I suspect the final number was closer to 75 as people continued to trickle in all evening long.
  • Two demos used Windows XP, two used Windows Vista, and two used Mac OS X.
  • Clio, Zigtag, and a.viary are all hosted/SaaS solutions. Boreal Systems and Midori are both traditional host-it-yourself solutions. SiteGears is a combination of both.
  • SiteGears is primarily Java, Clio is Ruby on Rails, Zigtag is primarily Java, Boreal is almost finished migrating from PHP to Ruby, Midori is ASP.NET, and a.viary is Flash and Flex.
  • Again, we had a very diverse crowd. John Bristowe and Patrick Lor made it up from Calgary. James Matsuba, who won the Student Business Plan competition at this year’s VenturePrize, was in the crowd. Investors included Spencer Ord and Ken Gordon. Was great to see lots of new and familiar faces alike!

As I mentioned, the vibe was a bit different than the first DemoCamp which was held at the U of A. Choosing a bar as the venue makes for a more comfortable evening (with food and drinks) but it was a little harder to hear the presenters and questions. Another downside was the lack of free wifi, which kept me from liveblogging the event on Twitter.

One of the highlights of the evening was when Patrick Lor got up to present. Cam shared with everyone that Patrick was the driving force behind DemoCamp in both Calgary and Edmonton, so it was good for him to receive a round of applause as thanks from the Edmonton crowd.

Speaking of Calgary, Patrick mentioned that BarCampCalgary is happening on June 14th, so mark your calendars!

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight – see you at DemoCampEdmonton3! You can see some more photos of the event here. This post also appears at Techvibes.

UPDATE: For a more descriptive recap of the demos, check out Eric’s post.