Business of WordPress Conference in Atlanta – June 22/23

June 23, 2010

The conference is targeted at non-technical business decision makers about how WordPress is becoming the defacto platform for business websites and also how companies especially SaaS companies and even large businesses can leverage the installed base by offering “plugins” that drive their business objectives. Think of strategies that leverage WordPress plugins being B-to-B strategies whereas iPhone Apps are often B-to-C strategies.  Name a large company in Atlanta and I can probably explain a reason why they would benefit from offering WordPress plugins for business users of WordPress.  Name a SaaS company and I can almost certainly name a useful strategy.

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The Cost of Cloud Computing

May 30, 2010

Yes, I know, price isn’t everything, it’s not the only thing, but enterprise computing costs do matter!  If you don’t think so, then just imagine the conversation you will have with the C-level/VP/Director/Manager person when you go in and ask for X percent (say 10, 20, 30 or more) of this year’s Cap-X budget to fund the hardware  for your latest and greatest project (and don’t forget to include the support costs).  Oh yea, that will be a ‘fun’ conversation.

Cost of Cloud Computing Resources
Late last year (2009) Amazon, Google and Azure lowered their published pricing for reserved computing instances (computing cores).  Amazon’s rate for a single CPU, continuously available cloud computing instance was little as 4 cents an hour (effective hourly rate based on 7×24 usage) for customers that sign up for a three year contract.
Single year contract rates were about 20% higher.  Pricing for on-demand instances (no upfront payments or long-term commitments) was about two and a half to three times the three year contract rate.
A rough calculation says that a cloud data center of 10, single core servers (at the three year contract rates) could be operated around the clock under $0.50 an hour, or just under $3,500 a year (that includes servers, data center facilities, power, cooling, and basic operations). That’s about $350 per server per year – pretty impressive!

Commoditization of Cloud Computing
And if the costs of cloud computing weren’t low enough Amazon announced pricing for EC2 ‘spot instances’.  This pricing model will usher in the beginnings of a trading market for many types of cloud computing resources: support services, storage, computing power, and data management.
Under the old model you had to pay a fixed price that you negotiated with a bulk vendor or a private supplier.  Now in the new spot market you can look that the latest price of available cloud capacity and place a bid for it.  It your bid is the highest, then the capacity is yours. Currently this is available from Amazon’s EC2 Cloud Exchange.


TAG Enterprise 2.0 Society – March 2010 Meeting

February 25, 2010

Burn the Ships! Forging Ahead in the Web 2.0 World.

Registration: goto the TAG Enterprise 2.0 Society Home

Web 2.0 is here to stay, but evolving the Enterprise to respond is no small feat. What can we do to ensure that we’re leveraging the conversation to the best end? Using Ariba, Inc. as a case study, let’s talk about assembling the tools, troops and know-how that will position us as industry leaders and offer the greatest value to our customers. Presentation highlights include:

– Selecting and leveraging the right technologies
– Listening, engaging and facilitating the dialogue
– Addressing resource constraints and IP concerns
– Social Media measurement and ROI

Bio
Elizabeth Hill is director of internet marketing for Ariba, the leading provider of SaaS spend management solutions. She leads the teams responsible for Ariba’s websites, search strategy and Web 2.0 programs. Elizabeth has spent 15 years learning about all facets of doing business on the web. She has extensive experience building and optimizing both consumer and B2B websites and a deep background in SEO and web analytics.


AWSome (ATL Cloud Computing) March 2010 Meetup

February 25, 2010

AWSome March 2010 Meetup

“Cloud and Virtualiztion Security”
Taylor Banks
Owner at KnowThreat

“More Cloud Security”
Special Guest

Who should attend?
Anyone who is working for startups that is thinking about using the cloud should attend.
The cloud has removed the barrier to entry to own a data center.  However it has not removed the need for control and management of resources or the need to secure enterprise data.


Live and eLearn – WebChallenge 2010!

January 28, 2010

 
Attention Georgia math, science and technology educators:
It’s time to assemble your teams for the 2010 WebChallenge. The Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative (TAG EC) is once again challenging high-school students to work in a team environment to develop a web-based application that makes a difference in their community.
 
Last year’s winning students earned $21,000 in college scholarships—and their schools received extensive recognition statewide.
ALL students participating learned teamwork skills, and gained valuable technical knowledge. This competitive forum is a great way to get your students involved in a real-life development experience—and to help meet our state’s STEM education goals.
 
Here’s what you need to know about the 2010 WebChallenge:
 
Theme:
This year’s theme is Live and eLearn! Students will develop an application that helps other students learn about science, math and technology.
 
Resources:
Your 2010 WebChallenge team will have free access to business eLearning technologies (appropriate to the age group of participants).
Free instructional design support will be available to facilitate the application of these technologies.
Consultation will also be available on a no-cost basis—more than 30 technology companies and corporate eLearning departments have volunteered their time.
 
Criteria:
Teams must employ original content in the areas of math, science and an open topic, using technology referenced above, as well as other commonly available technologies (i.e. PowerPoint, social media, cell phones and other mobile devices).
Teams will be judged based on learning outcomes. The effectiveness of their eLearning solution must be measurably demonstrated.
Judges from the technology and eLearning community in Georgia will select winners.

For more information goto: http://www.tagforstem.org/web-challenge-2010


Sustaining Start-Ups: How the Local Business Structure Impacts Growing Companies

February 14, 2009

Here are some thoughts on the Nobody Told Me posting on Lance’s Force of Good Blog (that Lance posted regarding Mike Schinkel’s Startup Atlanta #OnStage event).

I believe that the best part of all of this is the number of conversations that have started and continued (see Scott posting on The Answer is Blowing in the Wind).  Some may say/think that all of this chatter is keeping us from getting ‘real work’ done, but I would not agree.

Whether you’re a Fortune 1000 company or a couple of guys in a garage, or basement or down at Ignition Alley – the business of business is relationships. Those relationships do not happen in a vacuum. They happen when like minded people meet, dialog, and connect (find a common interest or purpose).

With the exception of a few people, groups and organizations, I have found that Atlanta’s technology and startup communities are not very well connected – not as well connected as they could/should be.  And I am not alone in that opinion.
Last year Dan Breznitz presented the results of his study the ‘communal roots of entrepreneurial-technological growth’.  The study showed that the leaders (board members and C-level/SPV exces) of the Atlanta’s technology companies are not well connected.  The leaders had few, if any, significant business, personal, fraternal relationships with leaders in other organizations.  And this included local ‘technology’ law firms/lawyers and venture/angle capital firms.
The key premise of the study/presentation (and much of the questions and discussions) was that ‘unless a local high-technology industry develops rich multiple, locally centered social networks (which embed companies in the region) [technology] cluster development will stagnate’.  Furthermore, those factors are more important to the development and growth of technology clusters than ‘factor availability’ such as the supply of highly educated labor, availability of capital, infrastructures and environment.
You may not completely agree with the conclusions of Dan’s work, but his premise and argumentation were compelling.

I do agree with the observations that have been made by Lance, Paul and others that we need to focus on “things like creating products, getting customers, and building companies” and on “the nuts and bolts of building startups”.
However, when we have our sleeves rolled up, our heads down and are burning the midnight oil we need to bear in mind that the success of our endeavors depends as much on the wise cultivation and utilization of our personal and business relationship as it does on our own creativity, ingenuity and industriousness.


TAG WebChallenge 2009

November 18, 2008

This is just a summary of the 2009 Contest – for more information please go to the WebChallenge 2009 Web site at: http://www.webchallenge2009.org/

 

There are so many free web-based tools available, used by students every day.  But some of these tools like email, texting, and more, can be put to greater use.

 

 

The 2009 Webchallenge, “FREE YOUR COMMUNITY!” is about using free and/or open source technologies to benefit your local community.  Some examples are:

·        build a website for a student group or local non-profit

·        create an online newspaper for a support group

·        use text-messaging to broadcast to adults about job opportunities

There are 3 categories of competition, for all levels of technology developers:

 

Free Tech:  Gmail, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Google Maps, Blogger and more.  You can find plenty of examples where people have used one of these tools to create something that their community benefitted from.

 

Open Source:  Websitebaker, Moodle, Joomla, WordPress, etc.  These are softwares that are free to download and install.  Technically more challenging, but they can be put to use without knowing how to program anything.  An example of this could be a school newspaper, such as the local www.northgwinnett.com/blackandred.

 

Custom Code:  Using the listed technologies or creating programs from scratch, participants in this category would create customized applications to serve their community.  While all 3 categories will have a priority on the effectiveness for the community, this category will also recognize the technical sophistication of the product.