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After Boston


Just wow.

I’m back home and I still can’t believe how amazing An Event Apart Boston was for me and everyone with whom I talked.  I knew going in it was a great lineup of speakers covering great topics.  I knew that we had a completely kick-ass staff in place, and amazing volunteers to help us out.  I knew that we’d have great support from the venue.

I knew all that, and I was still overwhelmed and ecstatic at how things went.  At least on one level.  On another, thanks to the aforementioned kick-ass staff, things went so smoothly that I almost felt like I was a speaker at someone else’s conference.  I had so little to worry about that it was sometimes hard to remember that this was all happening because Jeffrey and I, over breakfast at Las Manitas in Austin, decided to take a chance and put on a show.  In a way, I had to prod myself just a little to remember to feel pride in what we’d accomplished.

What required no effort to feel was a deep sense of humility and awe that so many people had come to support what we did.  Over five hundred folks gathered in Boston, drawn by the same love of the web and pride in Doing Things Right that drives us.  I see the attendees at AEA as the craftsmen and women of the web.  Sure, there are shops mass-producing sites, the way a factory churns out cheap clocks.  That’s fine if you just want something to put on your nightstand.  But if you want an elegant, finely tuned work of art that you’d hang in a prominent place, a clock that is as much a point of pride as a timepiece—you find a craftsman.  And that’s who came to Boston.  That’s who comes to An Event Apart.

What amazed me even more was the overwhelming wave of positive feedback that we got.  Marci, our event manager, told me that in 25 years of event planning, she’s never seen attendees so happy.  So many people came up to me and Jeffrey and Marci just to say, “Thank you so much for doing this”.  They were thanking us, which seems entirely backwards.  I did thank each of them for coming to the event, but let me state it here for anyone I didn’t get to thank in person.  Thank you so much for coming to AEA and showing that you know creating the web is much more than churning out code, and that you take pride in being a craftsman.  Thank you for making the show so amazing.  Without you, it couldn’t have happened at all.

Now I’m looking forward to AEA Seattle twice as much as before, and I thought I was already maxed out on anticipation.

Again: wow.  Thank you, one and all.

18 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1101
    Stuart wrote in to say...

    Hi Eric,

    Great speeches at the AEA conference, particularily found the tip you gave in the second speech to blow my mind. I had never seen Dean Edwards IE6 to IE7 hacks. Great tip! That alone was worth the price of admission.

    One thing, where are you going to post the universal selector code? Is that on your site somewhere? Or in the shownotes on the usb stick?

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1135
    AxsDeny wrote in to say...

    We have the universal selector code in use on our site at work. You can get it from the Yahoo API project. The file is called “reset.css” and is available at this url.

    Eric, I can’t reinforce enough all the things you’ve stated in this post. My coworker and I enjoyed ourselves so much. Spending time with true believers in the good fight that we are all in was something that I will never forget. I look forward to going to AEA again in the near future.

    As an aside, it was truly an honor to have lunch with you on the second day of AEA. Thanks again for so much.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1136
    AxsDeny wrote in to say...

    Well, I left a comment, but it got marked as spam because I linked to the Yahoo API for the reset.css as well as a flickr picture. Rescue it if you can. :)

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1234
    zeldman wrote in to say...

    @AxsDeny, the flickr photo you linked to is private; we can’t see it. M’waah! :*(

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1330
    Jeff White wrote in to say...

    Eric, I didn’t get a chance to talk to you at the event, but I wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and came away with a renewed interest in what I do everyday. Your presentations especially were amazing for me. Thank you!

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1341
    Dale Cruse wrote in to say...

    Eric, I had the pleasure of sitting next to you right after your presentation Monday morning. It was great to meet you and Jeffrey and Dan Cederholm and the rest of the crew. I’ve told many people that the event was outstanding – from the content to all the great food that was always available. If only every conference was this good!

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1348
    AxsDeny wrote in to say...

    Sorry about that. It’s opened up now and I added it to the AEABoston2007 group.

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Fri 30 Mar 2007
    • 1906
    melissa clark wrote in to say...

    You are a fabulous speaker! I so enjoyed your segments. It sounds like you had as good as time as the attendees. On the attendee only email link to your presentations your first presentation is not coming up and I so want to study your tables and code, I have quite a few projects that I would like to use it on. Any chance of getting that up on the AEA site or email it me.

    Thanks for the insight and inspiration!

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Sat 31 Mar 2007
    • 1631
    Rob Cherny wrote in to say...

    Hey Eric, no seriously, thank *you* for the fantastic event. It was great to get to meet you and see all the presentations. Truly a world class line-up. (I’ll nervously consider the “East” side of Cleveland next time I’m on the “West” side visiting my sister, lest there be a knife fight of some kind — ;-)

    So, I’ve heard this from so many people — but the single track format was very cool, keeping tough decisions about what to see and what not to out of the air and enabling great discussions with people that you just met about prior sessions. Also, it draws you into sessions you might ordinarily not attend.

    Keep up the awesome work! I couldn’t agree more that it was wonderful to see so many believers in true craftsmanship collected in one place.

    The CS3 drawing was a welcome end to an awesome two days for sure!

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Sun 1 Apr 2007
    • 2153
    Liz wrote in to say...

    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for such a wonderful conference. This was my first time ever to a tech conference, and I am so glad that AEA Boston was my first :) It was so informative and helpful, I enjoyed all the sessions, and I am glad it was a one track so I wouldn’t have to choose between sessions. I was fighting off jet lag during the morning sessions, but there was no way I would miss a session so I did my best to stay awake. At first I was a bit intimidated by you all, but you guys seemed so nice and friendly and well, I love this community even more :) Thanks for everything.

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Mon 2 Apr 2007
    • 2155
    (Another) Liz wrote in to say...

    Eric, the conference was truly amazing. I’ve attended several (though this was the first on web development), and never before were the speakers so personable and so available for conversation througout the conference. The best part of AEA Boston for me was getting to meet so many accomplished designers and developers in person, and to see how just genuinely nice everyone is.

    And you gave out the best swag, hands down!

    • #12
    • Pingback
    • Wed 4 Apr 2007
    • 1214
    Received from Jeffrey Zeldman Presents : From Bulgaria With Love

    […] Meyerweb: After Boston […]

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Thu 5 Apr 2007
    • 0357
    Tim Beadle wrote in to say...


    AEA sounds fantastic. Do you have any plans to bring it to the UK? Or would you be competing with FOW[AD] and @Media? :D

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Sat 7 Apr 2007
    • 1207
    Robin wrote in to say...

    Hi Eric,

    I finally have a quiet afternoon to look over my notes and companion “slides” from AEA in Boston. I am particularly interested your second presentation about fixing bugs in ie6 now that ie7 has been released. Since I raised my hand as a web designers who uses the underscore for hacking (bad advice when I did a web search for help!), I need to not only go back to my old sites and fix them, but built them correctly from this day on.
    However, I am truly struggling with exactly how to do this with the Dean Edwards javascript (which I downloaded) and the conditional statement (from the presentation). Maybe it is because I have an art background, and no programming skills whatsoever, but something is prohibiting me from taking the leap from my notes to my real world html page. I searched the web for help, but nothing is out there.
    I know you are busy, but is there anyway you can do one of your step-by-step approaches that show exactly how to do this? I know where the statement goes (one down), but I fall apart after that.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for whatever help you can give me.
    (P.S. I have AND read all your books)

    • #15
    • Comment
    • Tue 10 Apr 2007
    • 0321
    Asbjørn Ulsberg wrote in to say...

    Give us an AEA Europe!

    • #16
    • Pingback
    • Wed 11 Apr 2007
    • 0220
    Received from Filter for 11/4 2007 - Felt

    […] Eric Meyer: After Boston Where’s AEA Europe? […]

    • #17
    • Pingback
    • Thu 12 Apr 2007
    • 1317
    Received from green galoshes » An Event, Truly Apart (Day 2 recap)

    […] In the comments for Eric Meyer’s AEA Boston followup post was a reference to the “universal selector” code that I mentioned last time. This reminds me, I need to look closer at using the YUI Grids CSS next time I do a layout. His presentation on day 2 covered the use of CSS selectors for debugging in IE7, as well as Dean Edwards IE7 scripts. […]

    • #18
    • Comment
    • Tue 17 Apr 2007
    • 1326
    Mike Caskey wrote in to say...

    Come to Denver! (Or perhaps Boulder) We would love to have you here. We need good web dev and des events like this. When can you make it? :D

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