Ignite Portland

Went to Ignite last week, it was pretty sweet. The premise is a bunch of presenters get up and talk about something presumably interesting for a little while. The catch is that they have exactly five minutes, 20 slides (power-pointish), 15 seconds each, and they roll automatically. That keeps things moving and keeps you on your toes. And from experience (not at Ignite), talking about something for five minutes can be tough. It’s about two minutes longer than is comfortable, and you could see that. After about three minutes, almost every presenter went through a change, momentum slowed, the words didn’t come as easily. But they all remained stoic, and the presentations were really good.

My favorites were how to be an undercover prostitute and the one about eating sushi. But that’s because they’re the ones that apply most directly to my life. Depending on what you’re into, you may relate best to a discourse on pepper, the history of stick figures, wtf is biodiesel, or venture capitalism in portland. Or one of the others.

I was a bit surprised, as I’d expected there to be a bit more of a technical focus. But this was fine, I love random stuff too. But what I don’t love is lines. And there was a huge line to get into the place. Getting off the bus I ran into a fellow nerd-buddy heading to the event as well, so we walked the line down thirty-seventh, and took a left on Clay where the line bent, and continued nearly to the end of the block. As we walked, blowing off the show and grabbing a pint sounded like an increasingly good idea. Some lady friends remained in line while we went to Oasis Cafe for some tasty malty beverage. They called us when they got in to say that it looked like there were still seats. The line still extended into the distance, so we continued sipping our pints. We finished and decided that we’d give it a shot. They had stopped letting people in, but we were queued up near the front and with a little luck and conniving, we were able to join our friends on the “inside”.

The event was around two hours, for the most part is was good. Informative and/or entertaining. It’s still young, so I imagine that things will get smoother. I think they should do away with the free food part. It’ll help eliminate freeloaders and fence-sitters. That or move it away from the center of the city. The size is good, the energy is great, I’m excited to see where Ignite goes.

UPDATE: added actual link to the event.

  • http://portland.daveknows.org Dave

    Thanks for this excellent recap Rick. I was clueless – I’d heard about this Ignite thing but never saw any decent description of what the heck it was until this post!

  • http://www.veganfabulous.com VeganFabulous

    I have been wanting to go to Ignite for a long time but haven’t had time :( I too thought it was a technical forum but those topics you mentioned sound really interesting to me. Maybe I can go next time and meet you both!

  • http://coultertorin.blogger.com Ojingo

    How are you always so in the know?

  • rick

    Yeah, it’s pretty neat. Sorta like Paidea on speed (Reed thing). N’s got her finger on the pulse of stuff like this all over PDX, and I try to stay fairly abreast of tech stuff, so this one wasn’t too much of a stretch.

    VF- totally. Or we could even checkout some eastside joint for vegan-friendliness…I like food. There’s the vegan pho joint I mentioned, but many many other places.

  • http://beervana.blogspot.com/ Jeff

    I would like to have seen the event, but they scheduled it on SUPER TUESDAY. A wee bit of bad timing, that. Jon Perr did something, and it must have killed him to be missing the returns.