Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#bmoretechb @aol /

This morning is the Baltimore Tech Breakfast

Agenda for May 2012 Showcase:
8:10 - 8:15 - Introductions, Announcements - Ronald Schmelzer
8:15 - 8:25 - - Jess Sadick
8:25 - 8:35 - Common Curriculum - Scott Messinger
8:35 - 8:40 
30 Second Lightning "Shout Outs"
8:40 - 8:50 - Splurge - Andrew Weltlinger
8:50 - 9:00 - Cinidex- Greg Gershman
9:00 - 9:05 
30 Second Lightning "Shout Outs"
9:05 - 9:15 - EatBmore (LocalUp) - Brian Sierakowski
9:15 - 9:25 - Open Data Part II - Shea Frederick
9:25 - 9:30 
30 Second Lightning "Shout Outs" & Last Words

The Tech Breakfast is the largest regular meetup for Baltimore Technology people.

Down4Lunch - Jess Sadick (jsadick AT

A Washington DC-based startup.

Meet new people for networking and career opportunities. Free, self directed professional networking at lunch and other workday breaks.

Nice integration with Facebook, Linkedin and GCal.

Accepting a lunch invitations requires membership of

Positive reviews get shared. 

Restaurant partners get placement on the site.

This is a Freemium model. There will be a premium option. Mobile Apps will be coming. Private domain options. Promote to conferences. is a competitor but you don't get the opportunity to choose who you will be lunching with.

Down4Lunch is looking for PHP Developers. Also looking for help for better integration with GCal. 

Common Curriculum - Scott Messinger

Teachers and Districts want to:
- Save time
- Plan lessons
- Find resources

Rescheduling lesson plans is a pain. Propagating this to colleagues, administration and students and parents.

Microsoft Word is inherently un-social for what is a very social activity.

Lesson Plans also need to integrate with District guidelines.

Common curriculum turns this upside down. It starts with sharing, syncing with dropbox.  

Competition: Betterlesson, ClassConnect, LessonSmith. All these are based around file uploading (typically from Word).

Future features: More robust commenting.

Splurge - Andrew Weltlinger

"Catalogs collected and curated."

Catalogs a $270B industry. 20B mailed by 20,000 companies.

How do you keep track of interesting items from catalogs for gifts.

Poor distribution of brochures, look books etc. 

Also environmental issue: 53M trees, 3.6M tons of paper, 38B BTUs.

Splurge will move catalogs to the iPad giving better distribution to companies globally.

Revenue model is upside down. Why would people pay for a brochure download when it is saving manufacturers on their mailing and publishing costs.
Cinidex- Greg Gershman

Watch something... (
Connects you to sources for movies. Index availability information. Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, HBO, RedBox etc.  
Provides comparative pricing and availability across multiple sources. 

Has TV Airing information and working on Movie Theatre showtimes too.

Currently 80,000 titles in their database. 

Currently a proof of concept, created by a movie buff.

EatBmore (LocalUp) - Brian Sierakowski

Lessons learned from launching (relaunching)

Going from Minimum Viable Product to New Version.

1. Stuff Done is > Stuff Talked about. (stuff done incorrectly is > stuff talked about)
2. Keep your ego in check (Perfect is the enemy of done)
3. Frameworks are good - Use Them. (Not just for development anymore - look at bootstrap)
4. Have a Product Manager (someone who is responsible for coordinating dev team and business needs)
5. Avoid Feature Creep (now is always the time for something, but not everything) - Stay focused.

- Eliminate outdated tech stack. (make easier to release new features)
- reduced checkout drop out. 

Old tech - Microsoft Web Forms. 
New tech - .Net MVC.

Bootstrap used for flexibility and ease of use for junior designers/developers.
Didn't look at Mobile as a reason for Bootstrap.

Open Data Part II - Shea Frederick (Back from AOL Ireland)

This is a follow up to an earlier #BMoreTechB presentation. by Shea:

check out for sources of Baltimore city open data.

The example used was bike lane data, blue light cameras (CCTV locations), public art inventory.

The public art inventory gives information on artists, composition etc.

Baltimore Open Data Hackathon is coming up on  June 8-10th.

What other data sources should the city release?

And if you are interested in Health come to DC on Monday June 4th for at Kaiser Permanente's Center For Total Health.

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