Friday, June 4, 2010

mass innovation night

Last night I attended Mass Innovation Night for the first time. It was well worth tackling Rt. 128 at rush hour in a thunderstorm for!

I wanted two things out of the night:
  1. a chance to try out my new spiel on how my tech writing skills can help startups
  2. to see cool techie presentations on new ideas
I satisfied both of those needs.

The spotlight was on IBM SmartCamp winner Sproxil, a mobile application developer. They're developing technology to help consumers in developing companies identify counterfeit pharmaceuticals using their cellphones. According to Ashifi Gogo (I hope I got his name right), fake medications are a big problem in developing countries. This was the coolest thing I heard. I wish he'd been able to into more detail to satisfy my geeky curiosity.

The other presenters were Jumper Networks, Rate it Green, and I really responded to Jumper Networks and Rate It Green.

My inner geek really enjoyed Steve Perry's presentation on Jumper Networks' new kind of personalized search. I love the idea of users tagging content and creating a search community around content. I was already starting to imagine how this type of search strategy would help both with developing technical documentation and with getting the right information to the right audiences -- the goal of all good tech writers.

My inner "I want to put green roofs on everything in sight" perked up for Allison Friedman's Rate It Green, an online community for folks interested in green building. I especially liked that it was born out of Friedman's own frustration when seeking green building resources. I can't wait to get on there and see what I can find for resources on growing things on roofs.

I also got in lots of good networking, had a great conversation with Bill Scher, one of the Experts of the night, who provided useful feedback on my tech writing pitch, and learned about IBM's developerWorks online community. Not a bad night! I definitely intend to attend future Mass Innovation Night events.

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