Pathable Acquires The Social Collective

Conference Mobile Event App and Web Sites | PathablePathable, the award-winning provider of social networking services for conferences and events, announced today that it is acquiring The Social Collective, a long-time competitor in the market in a cash-only deal. The terms of deal are not being disclosed, but the move continues a growing consolidation of the event-centric social media segment, following the closure of EventVue in February 2010.

“Pathable has built a very compelling experience for the event organizer, enhancing the attendee networking experience beginning months before the event itself and resulting in a sustaining community after it’s over,” said Pathable CEO Jordan Schwartz. ” The Social Collective has built a great reputation and business, serving world-class clients including Oracle and SXSW. But the needs of events are increasingly complex, and it’s simply better for everyone to have a single, combined effort to meet those core needs while we enhance and extend the existing solution.”

“We’ve always had a great respect for the solution Pathable has delivered to event managers, so we’re very pleased to be able to offer that to our customers today,” said Chris Bucchere, co-founder and CEO of The Social Collective.

We’re proud of the part we’ve played in revolutionizing how event attendees connect, and now consolidating efforts under the Pathable platform will be a boon to our existing customers and those to come.

The acquisition expands Pathable’s reach in the events industry, already firmly placed on the foundation of direct customers as well as reseller relationships with industry heavyweights such as Active Events (www.activeevents.com/), Cvent (www.cvent.com), Omnipress (www.omnipress.com) and Amiando (www.amiando.com) and heralds a trend toward a standardization of the experience.

Schwartz added:

When you’re going to a conference, you don’t want to be thinking about which social networking solution the host has chosen and whether it will be effective at helping you connect with the other attendees. You want that layer to be invisible and effortless. Our offering has always been focused on letting the event and its attendees take the spotlight.

There are over 200 million attendees at conferences, conventions, tradeshows, meetings and events in the US alone, according to the Conventions Industry Council. Social networking is becoming an in increasingly important component of serving them.


Pathable, Inc., a privately held Seattle-based company, was founded in 2008. Since that time, it has served hundreds of events, including those of Microsoft, SAP, GE Healthcare, Meeting Professionals International, and Dell, with a private, branded on-line event communities that allow attendees to connect, schedule meetings, choose their session schedules and visit exhibitors for months around a face-to-face event.

On Open Letter to the Java Community

java_oracleIn the wake of the Sun acquisition by Oracle, the much-lambasted Oracle vs. Google lawsuit over Google’s alleged JavaME patent infringement, and the rumblings I’ve been hearing at Oracle Open World / JavaOne / Oracle Develop 2010, I have a message to the Java community:

Quit your bitching and moaning and start doing something productive!

Now that I’ve offended all the Java fanboys/girls out there, let me explain:

  1. Why I’m qualified to give you all one big collective kick in the ass, and
  2. Why this collective ass-kicking is coming from a place of love, not hate.

My first experience with Java was in 1994/95, when Stanford started switching its Computer Science curricula from C/C++ to Java. After struggling with memory management, segmentation faults, horrific concurrency problems and the other ways I kept shooting myself in the foot, Java was a breath of fresh air. My first corporate experience with Java was working as a summer intern for JavaSoft (a former subsidiary of Sun) in 1997 porting Patrick Chan’s Java 1.0 sample applications (remember Hangman?) from JDK 1.0 to JDK 1.1.

I went on to join Plumtree. Originally, they were a Microsoft darling. I helped lead the charge to switch them from COM/DCOM, ASP 1.0 and SQL Server to Java and Oracle.

In 2002, I started a Plumtree-focused consulting firm, helping 50+ customers install, maintain and grow their Plumtree deployments. In all but a precious few of those accounts, I wrote all of the code in Java/JSP.

Since about 2008, we’ve been using Ruby on Rails for most of our software. When Rails hit the scene, I had a similar “breath of fresh air” moment similar to when I first encountered Java.

But this letter is not about Ruby or about Rails; it’s about Java. A language I’ve used since it’s very first iteration in 1994/95 and up to the present day. A language wherein I’ve written at least half a million lines of code, most of which still run in production today inside Plumtree/AquaLogic User Interaction/WebCenter Interaction, at major customer sites in the corporate world and in the federal government.

So, fast-forward to today, this is what I’m hearing about Java, in a nutshell:

  1. Oracle’s going to kill/close-source/fuck up Java
  2. Life’s not fair!
  3. Blah blah blah

Twitter _ Jock Murphy_ @oracle I love Java, I do .All of this bitching and moaning starts right at the top with Java grandfather and CEW (Chief Executive Whiner) James Gosling, who is showing incredibly poor leadership, lousy judgment and massive immaturity with his totally irrelevant, outdated and hateful anti-Oracle bitch-fest.

Twitter _ Marcello de Sales_ Solaris 11 to be contI’ve heard people whining about everything around them that’s not running on Java: mobile applications, web sites, conference tools, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Twitter _ Paweł Szymczykowski_ @dendro Awesome thaI even saw someone complain on Twitter that the Black Eyed Peas, who Oracle paid an undoubtedly handsome sum of money to entertain your sorry asses last night, gave a shoutout to Oracle and not “The Java Community.” Seriously? Give it a rest, folks!

There are lots of choices of development stacks and people are free to choose the one that works best for them.

Embrace that freedom; don’t fight it.

And the word Oracle doesn’t mean “database” anymore. It is an umbrella term that could refer to thousands of different products.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of Oracle owning Java.

With respect to OpenWorld, the Java Community got:

  1. Your own conference with around 400 sessions
  2. Your own tent
  3. Your own street closure (Mason Street)
  4. Invited to OTN Night, one of the best parties at OpenWorld

More importantly, with Oracle Corporation, the Java community gets:

  1. Cemented into the infrastructure of nearly all of Oracle’s products, meaning that nearly all of their customers — most of the Fortune 1000 — are now Java shops (if they weren’t already)
  2. Stability, stewardship, thousands of really bright engineers and nearly unlimited resources
  3. One of Corporate America’s most powerful legal teams backing you up
  4. A secure and promising future, including a just-announced roadmap for JDK 7 and 8

And, with all that being said, guess what?

Java is still open source.

Do you know what that means?

Let me answer that question with another question: what brilliant phoenix rose from the ashes of the debacle that was the AOL acquisition of Netscape in 1998?

It was Firefox, a free, open source-based browser that literally revolutionized the massively screwed up browser market and gave the dominant browser (IE 5, and later, IE 6) a true run for its money. From wikipedia:

“When AOL (Netscape’s parent) drastically scaled back its involvement with Mozilla Organization, the Mozilla Foundation was launched on July 15, 2003 to ensure Mozilla could survive without Netscape. AOL assisted in the initial creation of the Mozilla Foundation, transferring hardware and intellectual property to the organization and employing a three-person team for the first three months of its existence to help with the transition and donated $2 million to the foundation over two years.”

IBM’s symbiotic relationship with Eclipse is another great example.

So, dear Java community, to ensure your own survival, please, in the name of Duke, stop complaining and start thinking strategically about how you can “pull a Firefox” here. You’re all brilliant engineers, so start putting all the effort you’re wasting in complaining toward something productive.

I love you all and I love all your passion and energy, but I hate your bitching — use that energy to go save the world, Java style!

Where to Find Us at Web 2.0 Expo

Chris Bucchere is attending the Web 2.0 Expo this week, where Crowd Campaign is making its debut as the question suggestion and voting platform for Tim O’Reilly’s interview of Beth Noveck, Deputy CTO of Open Government for President Obama.

On Wednesday the 18th and Thursday the 19th of November, 2009, Crowd Campaign will be exhibiting on the expo floor in Long Tail Pavilion Booth #2. Come by and say hi!

Today, Chris will be attending sessions and keynotes and, as is the case with every good conference, having great hallway conversations with his peers. Clinton Bonner, SVP of Sales and Business Development for Social Collective, Inc., will be joining Chris on Wednesday in NYC.

Crowd Campaign, The Social Contest Builder

(I-Newswire) November 16, 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CC_Glossy_Side2.pdf (1 page)New York, New York – November 16th, 2009 – At Web 2.0 Expo today, Social Collective, Inc., the company behind the hosted social networking and scheduling software that powered SXSW and Oracle OpenWorld, announced the launch of their newest product, Crowd Campaign. Using Crowd Campaign, Twitter users can easily launch cost-effective branded online contests.

With the power of Twitter and the social web, people who enter these contests, vote on entries, or make comments help propagate their viral spread via easy-to-use sharing tools that facilitate posting contest updates to a multitude of different social networking sites.

When setting up a contest, Crowd Campaign offers the ability to customize the contest’s subdomain, upload a logo and background image, write a Terms & Conditions page, set colors and styles, insert Google Analytics tracking code and change all of the contest rules and other marketing copy. Contest winners can be decided by popular vote or by an “expert panel” or some combination of both. Contests can include text entries, photo or video submissions and links to other content such as blog posts or web sites, meaning that Crowd Campaign contests can be used for any type of competition. Crowd Campaign also offers a rich set of entry management tools for removing offensive content, merging duplicate entries and tallying entries, votes and page views. Crowd Campaign offers a free version for contests containing no more than 10 entries and/or 100 votes. To increase these limits, contest managers can pay as little as $95 up to $4,995 for a one-year unlimited-use license.

Crowd Campaign is used by ad agencies, event managers, social media marketers, small business owners, popular authors, independent film makers and musicians – anyone who wants to leverage the power of the social web to build a brand. Any type of contest can be set up in 10-15 minutes, limited only by one’s imagination and federal, state and local laws.

During the private beta period that ended with today’s launch, hundreds of Crowd Campaign sites were created, including these prominent contests:

http://w2e.crowdcampaign.com — Ask Beth Noveck, Deputy CTO of the US Government a Question: Tim O’Reilly will pick from among the top questions and ask Noveck the best one during their Web 2.0 Expo Keynote later this week. The winner will also receive an autographed copy of Noveck’s book, Wiki Government.

http://w2e.crowdcampaign.com — Search for the Best LinkedIn Profile: Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff will feature the top five vote-getters in O’Neil’s new book, Rock the World with Your Online Presence.

http://expoexpo.crowdcampaign.com — Ask Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, Rick Calvert, Ann Hamilton and David Rich a Question — the panel moderator will ask the panel the top question at Expo! Expo! in Atlanta in early December. The winner will also receive an autographed copy of Kawasaki’s book, Reality Check.

http://techcocktail.crowdcampaign.com — Enter a DC-area startup company and Frank Gruber and Eric Olson will give the top vote-getter a free Bronze Sponsorhip at the next TECH Cocktail DC event (a $999 value).

http://digitalmarketingmixer.crowdcampaign.com — Suggest an idea for MarketingProfs’ Digital Marketing Mixer: the winner of a random drawing will receive a free registration to MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2010 in Boston, MA (a $695 value).

Mike O’Neil, who launched a Crowd Campaign contest in support of his book, Rock the World with Your Online Presence, said:

“With just weeks from start to finish, we embarked on a partnership with the folks at Crowd Campaign to see how we could find and refine applications for [online contest] technology in social media.”

O’Neil launched a very successful contest centered around finding top LinkedIn profile pages and featuring the winners in his book, which is “something that money can’t buy.” O’Neil remarked on how powerful it was for CrowdCampaign to “create a following around the pop culture image we represent with social media, networking and music.”

About Crowd Campaign

Crowd Campaign is a social tool for building brands. It’s used by ad agencies, event managers, social media marketers – anyone who wants to leverage the power of the social web to build a brand. Easy to customize and manage, you can launch a Twitter-powered contest including a branded promotional site in minutes from your desktop. It’s FREE to get started and there’s no sign up or credit card required. Start a contest today by visiting http://crowdcampaign.com

For more information, contact Clinton Bonner at Social Collective, Inc., [email protected], 860-608-9074

Procrastinators Rejoice: OpenWorld’s Social Schedule Builder is Live!

If you’re attending Oracle OpenWorld and you’ve waited this long to build your event schedule, boy do we have some good news for you!

You can use your existing Oracle Mix credentials to access a brand new social schedule builder powered by our flagship product, The Social Collective.

Of course we did plan to launch this a bit earlier, but due to many factors outside of our control, we ended up launching it the day before the conference. Well, better late than never! Now you can build your schedule in a social context, seeing who in your Mix network is attending each event so that you can make more informed decisions about what content you want to see at OpenWorld.

Your Mix login and password will get you in and there’s no need to re-add anyone to your network — all the work you’ve spent building up your Mix profile and social network will carry right over in our product. In fact, unless you look carefully at the URL, it’s hard to tell that you’re even leaving Oracle Mix.

Many thanks to the peerless (and tireless) Oracle Mix team: Marius, Tim, Hassan and Phil and to Chirag, Eric and other dedicated folks who run the Oracle Single Sign On partner application registration team (among other things) for all their support, help, patience and dedication. We couldn’t have done it without you guys.

Now, if you’re one of the nearly 100,000 people attending Oracle OpenWorld, what are you waiting for? Come on in and get social with your conference schedule . . . you have 24 hours, so get moving!

My Oracle OpenWorld Sessions

I’m going to be speaking in two different Oracle OpenWorld sessions on Sunday. They are OOW-S312303 — Enterprise-Enable Dynamic PHP, Ruby, Python Apps: Oracle WebCenter Interaction and OOW-S312304 — Enterprise Ruby on Rails: Rolling with JRuby on Oracle WebLogic Suite.

Here We Go Again: SXSW 2010

SXSWPanelPicker-lgI know it feels like we just put the wraps on SXSW 2009, but Panel Picker Voting is already live for 2010! This year they’re using the Panel Picker to crowdsource session proposals for all three conferences: Music, Film and Interactive (whereas in the past it has only been used for Interactive).

As you well know, Social Collective, Inc., a company I started to serve the conference industry with better and more social software tools, provided the official social network and schedule builder for SXSW 2009. We’re on tap to provide that service again this year — in fact, the site is already live at my.sxsw.com. We have some exciting new features planned for this year, so stay tuned for announcements on that front as we get closer to the event.

So, even though we’re intimately involved with SXSW, I still have to EARN the privilege of speaking there. 30% of that is decided by YOU, the voters. So, in the name of shameless self-promotion, I must ask you to vote for my proposed talks (if you think they’re worthy):

SXSW Interactive: Developer from Mars Takes on Designer from Venus
Every great project needs a designer and a developer. Yet sometimes working side-by-side can be about as fun as pulling teeth. A veteran developer and a veteran designer use real-world anecdotes to spar on the dynamics that make it challenging for people in these two disciplines to collaborate effectively.

Neo-patronage: Can It Save the Music Industry?
Starting with the idea that all recorded music should be free (as in beer), I will explore the idea that a system of “neo-patronage” — think of the way European artists were commissioned during the Renaissance — can help reinvent the beleaguered music industry to ensure that artists can get fairly compensated in a world where music is free for consumers.

You have until Friday, September 4th at 11:59PM CST to cast your vote. Thanks for your support and see you at SXSW!

The Social Collective to Provide Social Media Software for Experient’s e4 Conference

e4-sphere_bigger.gifToday we are pleased to announce that Experient, Inc., a full-service solution provider for conferences and events, has chosen The Social Collective as the social networking platform for Experient’s 2009 e4 Conference. Here at Social Collective, Inc., we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to help Experient fulfill their brand promise of “delivering the total event experience” by adding a social networking component to their wide range of pre-existing services. These services include everything from scalable registration to a suite of event logistics solutions, and on to amenities that make for much happier attendees and much more profitable exhibitors. Experient has been a trailblazer in the events world since its inception. In their quest to be recognized as a thought leader in the events space, Experient continues to seek out and provide its clients with the best event services in the industry.

The Social Collective is a white-label conference social networking suite and social media aggregator which will serve as the event-centric networking community for Experient’s 2009 e4 Conference. The e4 event is the annual gathering of Experient’s clients and select sponsors. The typical attendee of e4 is an association executive or an event management professional. Each year, Experient chooses an overarching theme that is most relevant to the times the industry is facing. This year’s theme is Networking and the Infusion of Social Media into live events and their surrounding communities.

According to Karen Watson, Director of Strategic Events at Experient:

“Our goal is to simplify the social media experience for our e4 attendees and by using the Social Collective white label platform, we should create more opportunity for interaction before, during and after e4. Our ultimate goal is to create a community for our attendees to connect and interact with their peers year-round.”

At Social Collective, Inc., we’re looking forward to this opportunity to serve Experient and their e4 2009 conference. We’re excited about ushering this vibrant community of attendees and sponsors into a new era of inter-connectivity and social networking. The e4 gathering — taking place between August 2nd and 5th in National Harbor, MD — will showcase how physical meetings are evolving through the use of new technologies and techniques. As a result, the meetings industry can continue to grow by enhancing attendees’, sponsors’, and exhibitors’ experiences leading up to, during, and well after the physical event has taken place.

Visit http://www.experient-inc.com for more on their suite of professional services. Visit http://thesocialcollective.com for more information on how to build a thriving year-round community for your next event or follow The Social Collective on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nowgetsocial.