Posted on August 16, 2008 at 02:30 PM
After months of secrecy and posting scant details on their project blog, Dusty Davidson and his band of interns from Omaha software development company Brightmix, release BetterOmaha.com, their web app aimed at improving the way Omahans find local news.
This project spawned from the need to have a news source that aggregates everything happening in Omaha without subjecting a user to seizure inducing page layouts, pop-up ads, and ridiculous peel down advertising (*cough* Omaha.com *cough*).
Here is a pic of Dusty presenting BetterOmaha.com:
What is BetterOmaha.com?
The site will scrape all Omaha news sites and aggregate the information in one convenient, well designed place. Users can setup profiles with custom RSS feeds that will deliver the news from the sources they specify. Users will also be able to search for local news via BetterOmaha.com and find archived stories that one might not be able to normally find (i.e. Omaha.com only allowing search on their site from the last 7 days of news). Think Google News but custom tailored to the exact needs of people looking for Omaha based news.
This blog is looking forward to checking out BetterOmaha.com and will post a more in depth review in the near future.
Congratulations to Dusty, Kevin and the rest of the team at Brightmix.
As of this writing BetterOmaha.com isn't live yet, might be due to DNS issues, but the site should be live soon. BetterOmaha.com is now live. Note that the service is still in private beta in which you'll need an invite code to use the site. Dusty handed out a bunch of beta codes after his presentation of which I grabbed a few and will be willing to send out some codes once the site is active.
Posted on August 16, 2008 at 10:41 AM
Today I'm live at the first ever Barcamp held in Omaha. If you don't know what a barcamp is, head over to BarcampOmaha.org to learn more about today's event or visit the main Barcamp website to learn how you can start one in your neck of the woods.
I'll be writing a few blog posts throughout the day about topics I sit in on and will also be providing updates via twitter. You can follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/joeschmidt.
Also be sure to check out pictures from Barcamp Omaha on Flickr. Attendees will tag their photos with barcampomaha.
Posted on June 29, 2008 at 07:27 PM
Aromas in downtown Omaha's Old Market district Saturday night was the site for the first "official" Omaha Tweetup. What's a Tweetup you ask? In a sense, it's a networking event, but more importantly it's a chance for local Omaha Twitter users to meet face-to-face, find out what other Twitter users do and where their interests lie. Last night's Tweetup saw 13 people in attendance including one Twitter user who came all the way from the great state of Texas to be with us.
An essential part of any Tweetup is the name game, where everyone goes around and talks about who they are, what they do, and why they came to the Tweetup. Other parts of the evening revolved around discussing Omaha's first Barcamp and the creation of a new co-working space in Omaha, which are two exciting projects on the Omaha horizon.
So who attended the Tweetup? Here's a rundown of the 13 in attendance last night (in no particular order, of course)
Blaine Buxton - a software developer from Omaha who works for IBM but also runs the Omaha Dynamic Language User Group and also has a passion for creating music. You can read more about him at his blog blog.blainebuxton.com. Follow Blaine on twitter @bbuxton
Matt "Java Pants" Secoske is also a software developer. He owns his own software consulting company called Nimblelogic, he blogs at blog.secosoft.net, and also created a website called tweight.com that will help you track your weight loss via Twitter. If that isn't enough, he is also organizing Omaha's first barcamp - barcampomaha.org. Follow Matt on Twitter @secos
Jeff Slobotski works by day for the United eWay but seemingly spends every other waking moment getting people in Omaha motivated about creating Omaha's first major co-working space. Jeff also runs Silicon Prairie News and a site called Packs of Promise which collects donations to buy homeless in the Omaha area backpacks with essential items that help them get through the long cold Omaha winters. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jjsnyc
Eric Downs is an Omaha Graphic Designer who is the Art Director for Metro community college. He is currently working on his new site - EricDownsDesign.com - and also organized tonight's Tweetup. Follow Eric on twitter @downsdesign
Dave Nelson runs a successful Omaha based design boutique called Secret Penguin. Dave told us the story of how he went from covering the skateboard scene, to becoming a designer, to starting his company who works with the likes of Mtv and the NFL. Dave's house took a major hit from last Friday's storm, so it was nice that he was able to make it out to the Tweetup. Follow Dave on Twitter @secretpenguin
Maren Hogan is a marketing professional for an Omaha company called HCI that recruits technology professionals. She also blogs at Big O Recruiting and contributes to FistfulOfTalent.com. Follow Maren on twitter @marenhogan
Sandie Law just started a business called MacaroniAndPeas.com which is devoted to showing families how they can integrate healthy eating into their busy lifestyles. You can follow her on twitter @sandielaw or @macpea
Erica Tesla is finishing up her degree in Physics from UNO and also works for the Department of Defense. She could have told us more, but then she would have had to kill us all. Follow her on Twitter @etesla
Sam Tesla, husband of Erica, is another software developer who works for a Ruby-on-Rails hosting company called EngineYard.com. He also writes at blog.alieniloquent.com/. Follow him on Twitter @stesla
Roby Fitzhenry was our long distance traveler who came to us from Bryan,TX. He is currently collaborating with Eric Downs on a few projects and just happened to be in town for tonight's Tweetup. He gave the group some valuable insight on the creation of co-working spaces, Barcamps, and Refresh events he has helped to organize. He blogs at robyfitzhenry.com and runs a brand and web development company called Always Creative. Follow Roby on Twitter @robyfitzhenry
All in all it was a great night of discussion and I look forward to more Tweetups in the future. If you couldn't make last night's talk be sure to check out the Omaha Tweetup Invite page or follow @OmahaTweetup on Twitter.
Thanks to all for a great night.