Strutta Struts their Stuff

Everyone knows that the Strutta crew works hard but knows how to have fun.  We are getting close to launching Strutta to the public.  Only 6 more business days until we go live.   w00t!

On Thursday afternoon around 4pm, the Strutta crew took a break to film our very first office lip dub.  We had so much fun picking out a song and filming this together that I think there will be more videos in our future.  Check it out and if you have one to share, send us a link.


Strutta is Alpha

We’ve been tinkering away at Strutta HQ building something pretty darn fun.  And now, we are ready to share it with our trusted compadres and get your thoughts.   Jordan’s so happy he can finally tell people what we are doing that his grin has grown an inch on both sides.  SEE:


Photo taken by Ariane Khachatourians

And if that photo isn’t enough to peak your interest,  then sign up for an alpha account and we will get you in soon.    Jordan’s not the only one, who is happy that we are almost there.  I am pumped too and can’t wait to hear what you think.  Thanks for your support and feedback as we grow.  Really. It means a lot.  The Game is …


LPV Planning

I am in the middle of planning the next Launch Party Vancouver, coming to a nightclub near you in March. Hoping to team up with another technology community, who is making some waves in Canada for our fourth event.
If the last 3 parties are any indication of turn-out, I need to find a venue that fits at least 200-25o for the end of March. The Lamplighter was pretty good the last time around but the music was too loud after 8:30, causing a few party goers to shred their voice. If you have any thoughts to share or suggestions on a venue, I would love to hear them.

Jordan Behan, Me, Danny Robinson and Dimitri Sirota at LPV3.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Shratter from 24hrs

The gauntlet has been thrown

Type in the words Vancouver Blogger on Google and local tech writer and photographer, Duane Storey is one of the top search results listed along with my friend, fellow chef and shark catcher, Boris Mann.

But another Vancouver Blogger wants to change that and recently wrote a post asking his readers for some link love to help him secure the #1 spot on Google before the Northern Voice Conference on February 23. Duane learned about this blog war post through some friends. And while he says he doesn’t give a stink about his rank most days, he will not be outdone this time around. I checked in this am and Boris is currently in 1st place, followed by Duane. The other guy isn’t even in the top 5 right now.


Duane is also offering a one-of-a-kind, 12×18 photograph(which just so happens to be the header on the Launch Party Vancouver website right now) to one lucky blogger, who supports his cause.

I want Duane, who recently helped me out by taking some photographs at LPV3, to beat this other guy down online. Strutta and Bootup Labs just moved into new office space in Gastown and the walls are pretty bare right now. This pic would look very nice on our wall.

Good luck, Duanelander.

Launch Party Vancouver 3 – January 25

It’s Sunday morning. I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground and unlike most Vancouverites, I wish there was more. I feel like curling up this am, catching up on some much needed family time and other homey stuff that I have not had a chance to get done lately.

Last week was quite the whirlwind as I prepared for an event I organize (along with Danny Robinson and Dimitri Sirota) called Launch Party Vancouver (or LPV, for short). This was our third event, held on a Friday, which is unusual because most LPV’s take place on Wednesday or Thursday to catch people before they take off for the weekend.

Here’s why this one was on a Friday and pulled together much sooner than originally planned:
3 Weeks ago, LPV 1 & 2’s headliner sponsor, Sun Microsystem’s contacted me to see if we could coordinate the next LPV with the launch of their new program, Start-up essentials. At first I said, “no can do…” It takes a while to pull these things together. We are also getting ready to launch Strutta and it was not in line with my LPV plan. But after a little more prodding, I realized how important it was for the Vancouver community. Sun was choosing Vancouver over Toronto to launch their national program. Why? Well, I already know why but I think it’s important that the rest of the world recognizes that there is a lot of things happening in the Vancouver tech community. These are exciting times in Vancouver and the whole reason LPV exists is to turn up the volume here so the rest of the world takes notice. This is true. I have no hidden agendas. People are always coming up to me at every event – asking me “why? we do this or saying “you could make money at this.” But I don’t want to and I think that would change this whole event’s reason for being. Every penny we raise goes into making each event as great as it can be. So, if by doing this event we could get people outside Vancouver to take notice, then LPV has done it’s job. Well, part of it anyway. The other part is just an opportunity for the community to get together, celebrate our accomplishments, support each other and let loose. (and we have no problem doing that…wOOt!)

There were a lot of great companies and people at LPV3:

The uber talented photographer/tech guy – Duane Storey (pictured below) captured some photos of the evening and groups shots of the Digital Media People to Watch in 2008 and Raincity’s list of Tech Women to Watch in 2008 as well. As soon as I see them, I will post the link to Duane’s photos here and on LPV. Here are a few snaps by podcaster, John Bollwitt:

Duane Storey, kk+, Kdon (Kim Cathers)

Rebecca Bollwitt aka Miss604 and Me

Raincity’s Dave Olson and Strutta’s Jordan Behan

A big thanks to LPV bouncer, Robin for manning the door and keeping the riff-raff out. You rock, Rob.

Oh, and I know who is bringing sexy back in 2008. If you are interested, check out this super secret vansexy blog I just received in my inbox. I don’t know who the blogger is yet (I have my suspicions but don’t ever tell!) or who the people are that have been mentioned in the LPV post but I love the idea. A sexy take on LPV3’s festivities.

Short and sweet is really something

Recently, I posted a job on Craigslist looking for a translator for my company, Strutta. I was overwhelmed by the number of emails and resumes I received within minutes of submitting my post. Many applicants seemed qualified for the job but were out of town or in many cases, out of country. Even when I was not interested for reasons such as these, I did my best to reply to almost, (if not all) of the emails I received. It was quick and painless (though a little time consuming) but after receiving a few replies like this to my “thank you for your interest but” emails:

Hi Maura,
I just want to thank you for the follow-up, I really appreciate it. If you ever need some help for translation and could use someone from outside, don’t hesitate to contact me.

All the best to you and your project.


It got me thinking…

I’m on my crackberry all the time (that’s an entirely different post), receiving emails, facebook updates and IM’s. Like yours, my inbox is overflowing these days. And despite installing super SPAM filters, unwanted messages from Escuela de Alta still seem to slip through the cracks. As a result, we have turned into artful scanners – skimming over names and subject lines to weed out what is relevant and real. Considering how wired and accessible we are these days, skimming is necessary to actually get things done. But I wonder, has all this skimming conditioned us to ignore the more genuine emails and requests (not including unsolicited messages) in our inbox? Is it really that hard to just say, “no, but thanks or I am too busy right now?” Doesn’t it feel good when you are the one asking a ? and you actually get a response, even if it’s not the answer you may have hoped.

I have read that people have come to accept no response at all (via email, phone, IM) as a way of saying, “not interested,” but it just makes me feel like we are losing the knack for common courtesy and customer service in a very connected world.