Accident on Mt. Hood

Woke up this morning to quite the scare, hearing that friend and colleague Aaron, one of the four in Fourio, and his friends had been in an accident on Mt. Hood yesterday. I just talked to him and he was in good humor (I’m sure the pain medicine helped that), with a broken jaw being the most serious injury. I know Aaron and his team are very experienced climbers, and I’m sure that training helped prevent further problems.

Here’s wishing Aaron and Jeremy a speedy recovery.

NetworthIQ in Business Week

Business Week

Fresh off the buzz of the Innovation Map, we turn our attention back now to NetworthIQ. This is an exciting time at NetworthIQ headquarters (virtual headquarters that is) as this week’s issue of Business Week features an article (free right now) on personal finance blogs and NetworthIQ is mentioned. Needless to say, the rest of the Fourio team and I are pretty happy to get this level of exposure. First the NY Times and now Business Week. Two big wins with barely a penny spent on marketing (ok I ran a couple of Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing experiments). Maybe there’s something to this viral marketing thing.

It’s really funny too, because I was heading on a vacation to Sunriver (central Oregon) when the NY Times article ran and I’m heading back to Sunriver tomorrow for the weekend. I should really get to Sunriver more often if this keeps happening.

The article is free right now, though I don’t know for how long that usually lasts:

What’s with the IOs? (some history about Fourio)

Seeing that Edgeio is getting some pretty good buzz this week and ready to launch in a few weeks, I thought I’d comment on the name and it’s similarity to our company name, Fourio. Not that anyone would ever confuse the two. Because of who’s behind it (and its potential), they’ll be getting more press than we dream of and we won’t be competing or anything. But, I want to make it clear that Fourio is an original name.

Fourio, the name, was created by Todd almost two years ago now. He put it in the header of our team blog, and at first the response, to Todd’s dismay, was a bit underwhelmed. I thought it was the name of the WordPress theme. But, after hearing that it was the company name, I was like, “hey, that’s pretty cool.” Very unique and appropriate. The name sums up the fact that there were four of us (then three, now four again), taking ideas (input) and creating apps (output). Back then, there was a lot of input, but not much output, as is often the case when building stuff outside of your day job. With NetworthIQ and the Innovation Map, the output finally started to pick up and with the next project moving towards a prototype, we’re downright sprinting right now ;-). So, that’s how we came to be known as Fourio.

Web 2.0 Innovation Map

Introducing the Web 2.0 Innovation Map. We all know Silicon Valley is hot when it comes to web startups. But, what about other areas of the country? Are there any hidden hotbeds of web talent? What other groups were in the northwest along with Fourio? These were some of the questions I was looking to answer. Now, Web 2.0 can be visualized, using what else, but the Google Maps API and Yahoo Geocoding API.

I’ve taken 200 applications, tracked down their addresses, geocoded them, and placed them on the map. With some help from Todd on the design, this map was put together in the last week. It was much more work than I thought it would be to track down the addresses. Without a good (open/free/structured) WHOIS API, most of the address lookups were manual. And don’t get me started on sites not listing a contact address. Fortunately, my geocoder app worked great, so getting lats/longs was fairly painless. Then it was just a matter of exporting the Excel data to a JavaScript array and hooking it up to the map.

On a side note, I’m not here to debate the “Web 2.0” term. For this application, Web 2.0 is simply defined by the explosion of internet applications that have come out over the last year or so. I’ve used other people’s lists to compile the apps to be mapped.

The map isn’t completely finished (what web application ever is?). I’d like to add descriptions, include company information, and maybe add a little thumbnail of the site. But, I like to release early and see what kind of interest there is before investing too much time. Any feedback is appreciated.

If anybody knows of a good source for WHOIS data, or has a well structured (XML preferably) list of web apps with the name, url, and brief description (along the lines of an API for eHub or TechCrunch), please let me know.

Thanks to Adam Trachtenberg’s eBay Motors & Google Maps mashup for being a great example of how to do a mashup. It’s one of my favorites as far as implementation goes and was a big inspiration for the innovation map.

I see that TechCrunch has added an OPML file, which is a very big help. The one problem is that it points to the TechCrunch post. If there was something similar that pointed to the actual site’s URL, that would be awesome.