bdg welcomes Michael Buckbee!

mike_buckbeeWe’re very pleased to announce that industry veteran, entrepreneur and Rails developer Michael Buckbee joined the bdg team today as CTO and Lead Developer on The Social Collective!

Mike’s career path is surprisingly similar to my own — in multiple ways. Fresh out of college, he joined a health industry startup called Aristar in 1999. They were acquired by SoftMed, which was then acquired by 3M HIS. (Recall that I worked at Plumtree, which was bought by BEA, which was bought by Oracle.) Unlike yours truly, who left Plumtree in 2002, Mike stayed on at 3M. As someone who just doesn’t know what it means to get bored, he also started several side projects. The most successful of these was Fabjectory, which could best be described as a 3D printshop that allows people to take their avatars (or other objects from the virtual world) offline and reincarnate them as real life figurines.

Again, our paths resemble one another, in an almost uncanny way. As I was toiling away on Feedhaus, Mike was building FeedMail, which essentially tried to allow people to read and respond to email from inside a feed reader. Like Feedhaus, the idea never really took off. However, some of Mike’s other projects — like Fabjectory — generated an amazing amount of buzz, including articles in the New York Times and WIRED. Prior to starting Fabjectory, Mike had yet another side project called Second411 which allowed people to search for virtual items both in-world and on the web. Second411 was purchased by ESC in October of 2006.

Never one to settle for just a few side-projects, Mike also worked on FoxyMelody, Watchlister, OneToFive, FeedSpeaker and an open source HTTP queue that runs on Google’s Application Engine. Here at bdg, we’ve long been in the business of throwing lots of spaghetti at the fridge and seeing what sticks, so obviously Mike will fit right in. Visit Mike’s blog and project page for more about his amazing career.

As Lead Developer on The Social Collective, Mike is already busy getting the site prepped for SXSW 2009, which will launch early in Q1.

Please join me and the rest of the bdg team in extending a warm welcome to Mike!

The Social Collective Debuts at RubyNation

We’re very pleased to announce that, together with the organizers of RubyNation, we debuted our social application “The Social Collective” today as a means for RubyNation conference attendees and other Rubyists to meet and interact with their peers.

This is a very similar codebase to what we deployed at BEA Participate in May, but without ALI or ALBPM. These BEA (now Oracle) products provided a great, scalable and flexible architecture, but we didn’t feel it was a good use of our resources (i.e. $$$s) to continue to use these products and we didn’t want to pass this cost on to RubyNation, which, BTW, is only charging $175 for two jam-packed days of Ruby awesomeness.

So, for those of you who have been following all this social goodness coming from bdg, there are now two distinct versions of The Social Collective: one that uses BEA/Oracle products and one that does not. This affects pricing (obviously), so if you’re interested in either, please contact us to find out more.

And in the meantime, if you’re as gung ho about Ruby as we are, sign up for an account and help us grow the Ruby community here in DC and beyond!