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Notacon: Not to be Missed

In just under a couple of weeks, the fifth annual NOTACON will be held right here in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio.  You’re going, I know; you’re super-über-cool like that, and you don’t need to be reminded of your coolness.  But I’d like to mention the show here for posterity, so that our descendants will know just how completely they missed out.

Notacon straddles, like a Colossus built entirely out of recycled motherboards, backtech chips, and loops of soldering wire, the middle ground between regular conferences and BarCamps (though Notacon predates BarCamp by a couple of years).  It’s not free to attend, but it is very inexpensive.  What it lacks in slick advertising and corporate sponsors, it makes up ten times over in raw, unfiltered geekiness and fascinating material.  This is the kind of event where presenters will hold forth on the depths of digital security, the physics of wireless networking, homebrew chip architecture, the coolness of HyperCard, online society dynamics, and more.  There’s a running contest called Anything but Ethernet, where you get bonus points for having one of the links in your network architecture incorporate barbed wire.

Yeah.  It’s like that.

The speakers will be as wildly diverse as the audience.  The lead engineer for the C64 Direct-to-TV (a C64 in a joystick!); the man behind The Daily WTF; some of the folks putting out 2600 magazine; the woman behind CrochetMe.com; and many more.  I’ll be there as well, talking about the bleeding edge of CSS and web design, ripping apart some recent projects of mine at top speed while discussing where I think we’ll be in three years.  Plus Drew Curtis of FARK fame will be back, as he always is, this year sponsoring a FARK party.  The mind fairly boggles.  Boggles!

As you’re no doubt gathering by now, it’s hard to describe Notacon in a quick, concise summary—and that’s a big part of what makes it so awesome.  For my contemporaries: see you there!  To you future historians: okay, you missed out, but drop everything right now to find out when the next one is and I’ll see you there!

Speakers Galore

I know it was only yesterday that I mentioned the opening of registration for An Event Apart New Orleans and the other 2008 shows, but there’s already more to share: later that same day, we announced the speakers for the other three shows of 2008.  Incredible lineups, every one.  We’re beyond excited.  Check ‘em out!

An Event Apart 2008 Lines Up

The new year is here, and to celebrate, we’ve announced details and opened registration for An Event Apart New Orleans, to be held April 24–25, and opened early registration for the other three events of 2008:

  • Boston, June 23–24
  • San Francisco, August 18–19
  • Chicago, October 13–14

Now you can pick the show that best fits your schedule, fiscal year, or both, and book your seats early.

One of the things we’ve always striven to create is top-notch events for (as the motto goes) people who make web sites—covering design as well as code, architecture in addition to scripting, the big picture along with the nitty-gritty.  Focusing on that vision served us and our attendees very well in 2007, and it continues in 2008.  Just check out the list of speakers and topics for New Orleans:

  • Andy Clarke, author of Transcending CSS, presenting “Underpants Over My Trousers”
  • Aaron Gustafson, co-author of AdvancED DOM Scripting, presenting “Progressive Enhancement with JavaScript”
  • Robert Hoekman Jr., author of Designing the Obvious, conducting “On-the-Spot Usability Reviews”
  • Cameron Moll, author of Mobile Web Design, presenting “Good vs. Great Design”
  • Brian Oberkirch, Publisher of Like It Matters, presenting “Kick it Like Pelé”
  • Jason Santa Maria, designer at Happy Cog, presenting “Good Design Ain’t Easy”
  • Dave Shea, co-author of Zen of CSS Design, presenting “Living, Breathing Design”
  • Stephanie Sullivan, co-author of Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3, presenting “Design Challenges, Standards Solutions”
  • Jeff Veen, design manager at Google, presenting “Designing the Next Generation of Web Apps”
  • Aarron Walter, author of Building Findable Web Sites, presenting “Findability Bliss Through Web Standards SEO”

And, as always, your hosts:

  • Eric Meyer, author of CSS: The Definitive Guide, presenting both “The Lessons of CSS Frameworks” and “Debug / Reboot”
  • Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing With Web Standards, presenting both “Understanding Web Design” and “Web Standards: The Return of the King”

You can get more details on the New Orleans event page, including descriptions of the sessions and details on how to get the special room rate at the conference hotel, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

While we don’t yet have speaker lists nor schedules to announce for the other three 2008 shows, we’re working to finalize them and hope to have at least some information out shortly.  I can already say that all the shows are at the same high level, though of course each event has its own unique flavor.

Those of you who attended one or more of our shows in 2007 (yes, we did have some repeats!) may be wondering if the shows will be the same, especially since we’re returning to some cities we visited last year.  The answer there is “not at all”.  Every show of 2008 is a mix of new and returning speakers, and we’ve done our best not to repeat speakers within a given city between 2007 and 2008.  The exceptions are myself and Jeffrey, of course, but we’re both doing new talks this year.  Simply put, if you loved AEA in 2007, we’re pretty confident you’ll love it even more in 2008.

Staging The World Over

Despite my best efforts to cut back on travel, the 2007 world tour seems to be continuing apace.  In addition to my sessions at An Event Apart in San Francisco at the beginning of October, I’m due to hit (at least) three four other stages before the year is out.  Here’s the skinny:

  • I’ll be doing a short bit on microformats at the Cleveland Web Standards Meetup.  If you’re in the area and interested, please do sign up for the group!  We’ve been growing quickly and, having shifted our meeting place to the Tri-C West campus, now have room for a lot more growth.  We’re also moving beyond simple gathering, with some great ideas for helping out local organizations and sharing knowledge and skills.  Even if you can’t make this month’s gathering, you should still join up so you’re in the loop.

  • I’ll be delivering the keynote at the first annual CIW Partner Conference in Destin, Florida, at the end of September.  No official title for the talk as yet, but the general theme will be how we’ve gotten to where we are, what I see as the best ways to train the next generation of web designers and developers, and the best tools currently available to current designers/developers.  I may also participate in a panel, depending on exact scheduling.

  • In mid-October, I’ll be on stage at the first Voices That Matter: Web Design conference in San Francisco (which will make my second trip to the city in the space of three weeks).  We’re looking to do sort of an open “Conversation With…” format with lots of audience questions and commentary, which is a little unusual for me.  Jeffrey and I did a conversational session with Brian Alvey at ‘Meet the Makers’ back in the day, but I haven’t really done a Merv Griffin since.  Should be fun!

  • Then, in mid-December, I’ll be doing three hours of CSS at Web Design World Boston.  It will pretty much be like it was last year: a mix of deep dives into obscure (yet important) corners of CSS, assessments of current trends, fun with cutting-edge techniques, and open-format Q&A.  We’ll have three hours (with breaks) to play around, so that’ll leave plenty of time to wander into the weeds and come back mostly intact.

I’m starting to do some rework on the sidebar here on meyerweb, and a “coming soon” list is one of the things I have in mind.  Those of you who actually do drop by the site will probably notice the sidebar mutating over time, since I’m going to do my reworking live and in public.  That sounds so much more grandiose than the reality of fiddling with markup and making mistakes, doesn’t it?  It’s editing 2.0!

London Workshop

So while I was off indulging in the extravagance of an extended vacation/family reunion/road trip, seats went on sale for a two-day CSS workshop in London, starring yours truly and run by the fine folks at Carson Workshops, which will run 13-14 August.  The seats are something like half-sold already, so if you want in, don’t wait.  Sorry I didn’t say anything sooner, but, you know.  Family time!

To those who do decide to attend, I make this pledge: I will not wear the blue-shirt-with-tan-slacks combo again.  This I swear.

AEA Seattle 2007 Now Open

Limited seating is now available for An Event Apart Seattle 2007, June 21-22, at Bell Harbor International Conference Center on breathtaking Puget Sound. Spend two days with leading designers, developers, and accessibility experts including (in alphabetical order)…
  • Tim Bray, father of XML, director of web technologies at Sun Microsystems, and Tim Berners-Lee W3C appointee;
  • Andy Budd, user experience lead at Clearleft, co-founder of d.Construct, and author of CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions;
  • Mike Davidson, founder and CEO of Newsvine, former art director and manager of media product development for ESPN and the Walt Disney Internet Group;
  • Shawn Henry, director of education outreach for W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), research appointee at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and author of Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design;
  • Shaun Inman, award-winning designer and developer, inventor of Inman Flash Replacement and the curiously successful stats package Mint;
  • Jeffrey Veen, designer manager at Google, founding partner of Adaptive Path, and W3C invited expert on CSS before most of us knew the acronym;
  • Khoi Vinh, design director at NYTimes.com, author of Subtraction.com, and former partner at Behavior LLC;
…plus Jason Santa Maria, Eric Meyer, and Jeffrey Zeldman. A complete schedule is available for your perusal. The two days of design, code, and best practices, including lunch on both days and parties on both nights, go for $795 (reg. $895) if you register by May 21, 2007. An Event Apart Seattle 2007 will be our only show in the northwest this year. Seating is limited to 300 attendees and will sell out fast—they’re already going like hot cakes—so nudge that bean counter and come join us!

South by… What Was I Saying?

For me, SXSW 2007 was over almost as soon as it started.  That’s because my one and only panel, “A Decade of Style”, was in the first Saturday morning slot.  It seemed to go pretty well, thanks to the great folks who agreed to be on the panel and some sharp audience questions.  Now I have nought to do but attend the sessions that seem the most interesting and catch up with some folks I haven’t seen in quite a while.

It’s great being here, and I love seeing everyone, but in all honesty I’m starting to think about leaving a day or three early.  I miss my wife and daughter.  A lot.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone I inadvertently ignored, insulted, or misidentified on Friday.  I was dead tired, having had to get up at 3:30am to catch the first leg of my trip to Austin.  As I’m sure you know, when the alarm goes off at 3:30am, it isn’t ringing at the end of a full night’s sleep.  In my case, not even close.

So I spent yesterday in kind of a moderate-functioning daze, and kept mistaking people for other people.  Three times (that I know of) I put the wrong name to a face, and these are people I’ve known for a while.  Seriously, at one point I identified Brian Alvey as Aaron Gustafson.  After I introduced him to someone else as Aaron, I then proceeded to talk with him about what he’s been doing at AOL and about his house in the suburbs of New York City.  After he excused himself to go grab something to eat, someone asked me who it was, and I told them it was Aaron and that I worked with him on A List Apart.  I swear this all made perfect sense to me at the time.  There was absolutely no sense of mental discontinuity whatsoever.

It was only two hours later, when I ran into Aaron at the Big Bag pickup desk, that I realized what had happened.  What went through my head was pretty much, “Hey, you’re… not who I was talking to earlier.”

So if I did something like that to you, I’m really sorry.  I got a ton of sleep last night and am now back to my usual level of not being able to remember people’s names.

AEA Boston Full Up

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news to any potential AEA Boston attendees, but we sold the last available seat just before noon yesterday.  You can still get in touch to request a spot on our waiting list. if you like.  If not, there’s always the Seattle show coming in June, with tentative plans for two more shows by the end of 2007.

Some of you may recall that I prophesied, a few weeks back, that we’d sell out on February 28th—and so we did.  Go me.  I feel like a regular Edgar Cayce.

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