TechFuelLaunchMemphis’ latest TechFuel networking event was all about atmosphere.  This past Thursday, Memphis technologists, media, creatives and entrepreneurs assembled at the top of Clark Tower to meet old friends, make new connections and have a great time doing it.  The evening was graciously sponsored by MPACT Memphis, who share LaunchMemphis’ mission to promote growth in the Memphis entrepreneurial community.

The LaunchMemphis group has been hosting these networking evenings as part of its ongoing effort to bring focus to entrepreneurial activities in Memphis, TN, and to deliver new technology business startups to the economy.  The organization was very successful in making progress towards this goal last year.  In that spirit, they have designed a schedule of events for 2009 that will continue moving Memphis to the forefront of the business community.

Upcoming on the LaunchMemphis Calendar are:

MPACT MemphisSocialCamp Memphis – March 6 & 7
Location: Memphis College of Art
SocialCamp Memphis is an unconference focusing on Social Media and Social Networking.  Just imagine a conference where the morning is comprised of designated speakers/topics, and the afternoon is comprised of focused discussions and impromptu presentations that are decided on by the attendees.  There will be a networking event the evening of March 6th, and the main event during the day on March 7.  See more information at the SocialCamp site and Facebook pageRegister early!

Startup Weekend Memphis 2: Back by Popular Demand – May 29, 30, & 31
Location: EmergeMemphis and Mercury Launchpad
Startup Weekend recruits a highly motivated group of technologists and entrepreneurs to build a community and new business ventures in a weekend in a short 54 hours.  These motivated individuals come together form teams and decide what to make. Attendees are responsible for bringing the ideas, desire, and passion and walk out of the room with a brand new businesses launched or started.  Startup Weekend is a national program that has once again selected Memphis, TN as one of the cities that it will visit this year.  See more information and don’t forget to register.

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blogpost by lunaweb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Universe of Dreams Tweetup

January 30, 2009

Dave Barger and Neal ConanThe Social Media Expedition explored new frontiers in their last Tweetup at the Universe of Dreams concert at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre sponsored by LunaWeb. It was an evening of great food, and otherworldly experiences.

We kicked off the night at Rain, a new sushi bar in Cordova, TN, where we experienced beautiful food, and a great atmosphere. There was a lot of enjoyable conversation, and several of us had the opportunity to meet some folks we had only known from twitter.

SushiWe left Rain just in time to have wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by the friendly people at GPAC. We spent the hour before the show chatting in the green room and looking at photographs of some of GPAC’s most memorable performers.

The Universe of Dreams performance was the highlight and centerpiece of our Tweetup. An incredible performance (as always) put on by GPAC, that feautured NPR’s Neal Conan, Ensemble Galilei, and giant projected images from the Hubble Telescope. Conan read excerpts from some the greatest minds of the past several centuries, expressing their awe at the scope of the night sky, while beautifully displayed images gave meaning to his words. Thanks to all this and an incredible score of Celtic music, the evening proved to be a wonderful multimedia event, that was truly expeditionary.

Thanks to all who participated and made it such an enjoyable night. Join our Facebook Page to stay updated on future Expedition Tweetups.

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blogpost by lunaweb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Social Media Breakfast 9

December 4, 2008

smb9daveSocial Media is booming in Memphis, and we proved it at the December Social Media Breakfast!  50 guests, ranging from social experts to brand-new beginners, came to this month’s breakfast at Owen Brennan’s on Poplar.  Many of them were drawn by the breakfast’s recent mention in the Commercial Appeal.  This was the last breakfast of the year and it proved to be an incredible turnout.  The Memphis Social Media Breakfast is hosted by Dave Barger of LunaWeb.

The morning kicked off “officially” with a home-run presentation.  We were lucky to have Jason Orendorff from Mozilla as our guest speaker this month.  He showed us some great Firefox features and some very useful social tools built into the browser.  Jason also gave us insight into the intricacies of running a company like Mozilla using thousands of volunteers and a mere 150 paid employees.

smb9jasonAfter Jason’s presentation, we broke out into groups to discuss topics that were chosen by the audience in traditional BarCamp style.  Discussions included everything from “Social Media 101” to “What’s Broken on the Web.”  Several of the attendees left their groups with plans to meet again later in the month to continue their conversations.

We’re truly excited to watch our next project, the Social Media Expedition, evolve, and we foresee it bringing lot of positive growth to the Memphis business community and beyond.  If you were unable to attend, you can look for information on the next breakfast at our meetup page.  Make sure you’re there next month to join the Expedition!

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blogpost by lunaweb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

What is BarCamp?

October 23, 2008

With BarCamp Memphis less than 3 weeks away, it seems time to answer the question, once and for all, “What is BarCamp?

Let’s begin by deciding what BarCamp, most definitely, is not. BarCamp is not every other conference you’ve ever been to. The ones with cold coffee and colder speakers discussing topics that have been decided, possibly months in advance, with little or no audience input. It is not something you go to planning to sit still, look straight ahead, and try not to cough… or snore. It is the un-conference.

BarCamp is interactive and user-generated. There are pre-chosen topics interspersed throughout the day to help start things off. These topics are things that every BarCamper can use (programming languages, social media, social networks). After that, it’s all up to you. Anyone and everyone who comes to BarCamp can come with a topic in hand, prepared to share it with their fellow Campers. When it’s time to begin, you get to vote on exactly you want to hear that day. The result is the most relevant, informative, and interesting conference possible for you, today. Said simply, BarCamp becomes exactly what you want it to be.

BarCamp will have rooms set aside for open discussion on the topics that matter to you most (i.e. the ones you choose). There will be panel discussions throughout the day on those subjects where two (or more) heads are better than one. Even the traditional presentations are more exciting when you get to pick them yourself.

It’s time for bloggers, techies, entrepreneurs, and geeks to unite! Join the conversation at BarCamp Memphis 2008!

Last night’s TechFuel event with Sarah Lacy was one to remember!  The latest stop on Sarah’s User Generated Book Tour, which brought her back to her hometown, started at 5:00 at the EmergeMemphis building downtown and didn’t end until the last of the crowd dispersed at 10:00.

After some initial meet-and-greet time, the evening started off with some quality time with the internet celebrity.  Sarah spent about 20 minutes talking about her experience in Silicon Valley, sharing moments from her book, Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0, and answering questions from an eager assembly.  After that… the party started.

The group dispersed to the next room over to mingle over drinks and food, while Sarah signed books and gave advice to some very eager Memphis Entrepreneurs.  For 3 straight hours, with the support a single Heineken, Sarah spoke to every single person who approached her at the event.  Some of these conversations were simply humorous anecdotes of Silicon Valley personalities, while others were filled with unflinchingly delivered, hard, straight-shooting advice to entrepreneurs who willingly took the kind-hearted criticism she delivered.

The next LaunchMemphis event will be with PR guru Geoff Livingston at the Quetzal coffee shop on Monday the 22nd from 7-9 p.m.  Geoff is the author of Now is Gone and high-profile blog writer.  Join the Facebook event for more details!

Protect Your Face

September 16, 2008

The advent and prevalence of social networking has torn down many of the personal barriers that were once considered universal social norms.  It has redefined what we consider to be personal information and what we will publicly post on the internet.  This has allowed people to create real connections that, just a few years ago, distance and technology would not have allowed.  It does, however, raise some security concerns that demand we exercise social responsibility when taking advantage of what Web 2.0 has to offer.

Over the course of its existence, Facebook has been a benchmark for security among social networking sites.  However, within the last few months even Facebook has fallen victim to the worst of the web… SPAMMERS! Now that we have your attention, please refrain from spiraling into a panic, deleting all of your social accounts, and retreating into the mountains.  Not only is Facebook fighting back against would-be evil doers, but there are simple actions you can take to protect yourself while out in the social spheres.  These are straight from the security experts over at Facebook.

  • Remember, Facebook will never ask for your password in an email, Facebook message, or any medium that isn’t the login page. Though you will need to re-enter your password when you set a security question, change your contact email, or send a virtual gift.

  • Be extra aware of weird Wall posts. Don’t click on any links—on a Wall or elsewhere—if you don’t know where they go.

  • Set a security question for yourself on your Account page. If somehow something malicious shuts you out of your account, you will need the answer to that question in order for our User Operations team to let you back in. (If you’ve already set your security question, you won’t see a prompt for it on your Account page.)

  • Be extra aware of what website you are using to log in to Facebook (and other websites). Phishing websites can be made to look like other websites (like the Facebook log in page), and might try to disguise their urls. Be smart: http://www.facebook.com.profile.a36h8su2m8.info/login starts out looking like a legitimate Facebook website, but that a36h8su2m8.info part means it’s fraudulent. Set and use a browser bookmark to make sure you always log in from facebook.com

  • If you see a Wall post that looks like spam on a friend’s Wall, tell the author to delete it and reset their password immediately.

  • Use a modern web browser to benefit from anti-phishing protection

  • Check out opendns.com. This is another method for blocking specific domains that host phishing sites.

If you think you’ve been phished or find a phishing site,

  • Reset your password on your Account page.

  • Report the issue to Facebook here.