How many geeks does it take to set up a social networking site?
A new social networking site for Hawaii's technology community has drawn nearly 100 members.
Manoa-based Ikayzo Inc. started www.techhui.com as an experiment with new technology from Google that allows people to write miniature applications, or widgets, that run within a Web site.
The message boards of HawaiiThreads.com are a popular online hang for many folks from divergent backgrounds, but TechHui "is more like a Hawaii-specific Facebook or MySpace," said founder Daniel Leuck, who is also president of Ikayzo. More on the company in a moment.
Some social networking sites scare the bejeebers out of parents -- for good reason.
Some scare the bejeebers out of employees, once they realize the HR department has been trolling for, uh, non-resume-type information about them.
TechHui is populated by many of the local tech industry's usual suspects, but there are lesser-known names and out-of-state members, too.
The site features blogs, forums, interest groups, video and image portfolios and, refreshingly, actual member photos instead of avatars.
As with similar sites, members post information about themselves and can upload video and music on their profile pages -- and others can leave comments for them.
Techies are largely savvy about copyright matters, but pages are policed for problem posts. "We'll pull it down" and contact the member, he said.
The site is a work in progress, with members talking about features to add next. Local celebri-techie Peter Kay "suggested a collaborative events calendar, to highlight tech events around the island," said Leuck. It would be set up so that anyone can add events.
"It's important for people to understand that (we're) not trying to control it," he said. Ikayzo foots the bill for the site, however, "anybody that's got something of general interest to the tech community is encouraged to contribute."
Getting the word out that TechHui is the go-to-spot for such information, "will probably happen naturally. (The site) has a good amount of content ... I expect it will have excellent search-engine visibility."
Leuck has long taught free computer classes at schools, since before Ikayzo was established in 2005. Since then, he's spoken at UH, HPU and the University of Phoenix, but such instruction can begin earlier.
"You can teach computer programming to third- and fourth-graders," he said. He believes it should become a new fundamental, along with the three r's.
Ikayzo is not a household name, yet "Oracle found us, through a high-profile open-source project that we supported. (BeanShell) was created by Pat Niemeyer, a well-known Java guru" and TechHui member. That's computer-speak. It doesn't necessarily mean he drinks way too much coffee to gain enlightenment.
New York-based Bank of America is among its clients, as is ValueCommerce, a marketing and online advertising company based in Japan.
Leuck's wife, Mika, is an integral part of the Japan spur of the business, helping U.S. companies localize Web sites and software for the market. She's also the server administrator.
Ikazyo's boots on the ground in Japan are worn by Sasaki Hajime, but the company is looking to hire five to 10 more bilingual Java developers for the job.
It also has operatives in partner companies in Argentina and Russia, which it calls branch extensions.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com