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Mike Flynn Archive
Too far west to be East Coast, too far east to be West Coast, too far south to pick up the crumbs of Chicago and too far north feel the warmth generated by the yearly Austin attention bon fire. As the landscape of technology goes, St. Louis seems to sit paradoxically in the middle of everything and the middle of nothing. However, despite the lack of action on our local convention calendar might lead you to believe, there are signs of binary life in our town.
The blogging community is a strong one. Along with the many interesting personal blogs we also have a good mix of “topical” blogs like UrbanReviewSTL, a blog about St. Louis’ urban planing and politics, STLHops, St. Louis’ very own beer blog, Punching Kitty, my very own St. Louis humor and gossip site, and of course the award winning video blog about our music and culture, LO-FI Saint Louis.
The developer/hacker scene in St. Louis seems to be growing consistently as well. Probably the biggest user group in town is the Lambda Lounge which bills itself as “an open forum to examine new advances in programming languages and libraries.” Also worthy of note is the work the Arch Reactor group is doing to get a full fledged “HackerSpace” set up in the St. Louis area.
Of course all these developers need a place to work and other than the “old-skool” big companies like Boeing, MasterCard, and Savvis we do have a growing number of tech startups.
BusyEvent, and their parent company Panamedia Group, is one such company. BusyEvent is self-described as “a product that provides event producers with a suite of tools for planning, executing and evaluating their events, and enables them to apply the resulting data to their operations throughout the year.” The privately held company was founded in 2006 and according to their LinkedIn company page, they are currently sporting around 8 employees.
Announce Media is another example of St. Louis’ growing tech startups, with a focus on online communities and information resources. Founded in 2006, much like BusyEvent, they began to create products that allowed for consumers to get the information they needed to make important purchasing decisions. Announce Media current has about 50 employees spread between their headquarters in St. Louis and a second office in Mountain View, CA. (full disclosure: I was recently hired on as a developer at Announce Media)
Despite it’s low profile, St. Louis does in fact have a technology scene that seems to be growing every day which is evident in the amount of promising start ups along with a very active social media scene. There is little doubt that at some point soon, St. Louis will change from pit-stop to destination on the technology road map of the United States.
Mike Flynn is a web developer by day and blogger by night. His current project is PunchingKitty.com, a blog that takes aim at the news and various gossip of St. Louis. You can also find him on Twitter.