A plug for New Orleans

~ 13 March 2008 ~

Due to SXSW and travel, I’ll be posting Part III of the Extensible CSS Series next week rather than this week.

This is a good time to pause and put in a plug for An Event Apart New Orleans, April 24–25. Join Jeffrey Zeldman, Eric Meyer, Jason Santa Maria, Aaron Gustafson, Jeff Veen, Dave Shea, Andy Clarke, Brian Oberkirch, Aarron Walter, Stephanie Sullivan, Robert Hoekman Jr., and myself for two full days of banter and enlightenment. (I’ll be presenting a reprise of Good vs. Great Design. Use code AEAMOLL and you’ll save $50 off the purchase price.)

For me, this particular conference is important for two reasons: One, after three years of speaking at nearly two dozen conferences nationally and internationally, I’ve scaled back my speaking in 2008 considerably. AEA New Orleans is one of just two major events I’ve chosen to speak at this year.

Two, the location couldn’t be better for a gathering of individuals who share a special concern for the needs and wants of others. By “others” we typically mean “users,” but for this event I hope we broaden that label to include members of the New Orleans community, as well.

Got any ideas for how I, and possibly the other speakers, and possibly even the attendees, might give back to the community during our stay?



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1   Jason Armstrong ~ 13 March 2008

I’m going to be there an I’m really looking forward to it. It will be my first design conference and I’m ready to learn from some of the best!

As far as a way to help out the local community, how about an auction of vendor-supplied items (software, books, swag, etc.) I’m sure a very worthy and deserving charity (or two) could be found to give the proceeds to.

2   Matt Munsey ~ 13 March 2008

I will also be there. I am really looking forward to it. It is sure to be a great time. Just like Jason, this will also be my first design conference. Can’t wait!

P.S. Don’t forgot about Andy Clarke! :P

3   Cameron Moll ~ 13 March 2008

Crikey! Good catch, Matt. Added.

4   Matt Munsey ~ 13 March 2008

Anytime Cameron. Anytime!

5   Benjamin Reece ~ 14 March 2008

Greetings from NOLA!

When you come to New Orleans for a po-boy- don’t go to mothers, its a tourist trap- go to DOMILISE’S on annunciation st. Also, big als seafood is good for large groups (also on annunciation, close to the warehouse district).

For a nice dining experience, you could always go the mainstream brennans or, you could go to Clancy’s in uptown.

As for walking around, if you have time, I would definitely take the street car (it’s not a trolley). Or the Algiers point ferry, and then walk along the Algiers levy.

For drinks (if you are into that sort of thing): Bridge Lounge is good for a big group, The Saint is a real dive, and St. Joes has a decent mojito.

As for how you can give back:

We have a real need for social entrepreneur leadership. Young people have a desire to make change, and many work in the tech/creative fields, but we lack the leadership to give us direction.

Furthermore, the non-profit I work for only allows one conference a year (I went to SXSW). So, a chance to win a pass to A event apart - would be nice.

Thanks so much!

6   Jonah ~ 14 March 2008

I think I can speak for most of us when I say our little web development community here in New Orleans is very excited about the choice of our fair city to host the next AEA.

I also salute your decision to help out in the broader community. Although for the most part we’ve come a long, long way in our recovery, many inhabitants are still struggling with their homes and many of our schools are still in great need.

Below are some of my suggestions of how you can help.

Consider a monetary donation to any of the following:

New Schools for New Orleans

Global Green New Orleans

Make It Right

Greater New Orleans Foundation

Or consider doing a volunteer day for attendees and speakers with any of these organizations:

Habitat for Humanity NOLA

Common Ground

United Way of Greater New Orleans

7   Ryan Rumsey ~ 14 March 2008

An excellent choice of city, not only for the amazing experience that is New Orleans, but that weekend marks the beginning of Jazz Fest. One of the premier music festivals year after year, headliners for the weekend of the 25th-27th include Sheryl Crow, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Buckwheat Zydeco, Dr. John, Billy Joel, Keyshia Cole, O.A.R., Irma Thomas, Tim McGraw, Al Green, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint…just to name a few. :) If you plan on attending AEA, stay an extra 2 days and take in this great event. Jazz Fest is put on every year by the non-profit New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, a group dedicated to “promote Louisiana’s music and culture through numerous cultural, educational and economic development activities”.

I second @Jonah’s list as well. You’d be amazed at how much work can be done if everyone volunteers for just 1 day.

8   humidhaney ~ 14 March 2008

If we are AIGA members do we receive a discount? I know of many members and students that wish to attend but can’t afford the 900.00 price tag.

The price is a bit high for locals I am hearing.

Especially considering Jazz Fest is that weekend. Jazz Fest is 50.00 a day + shows and food, etc.

Just sharing.

9   Carissa ~ 14 March 2008

I will be there too, and like Matt and Jason, it’s my first web design conference. I am very excited about the line-up!

humidhaney, you can find discounts if you look. It seems like all the speakers are offering $50 discounts, but if you look, you can find bigger ones. I don’t know about the ethics of reporting discounts to strangers on someone else’s blog, but someone posted a code on twitter that would be worth finding.

If this is not appropriate, please delete this comment. I promise, I won’t cry!

10   Benjamin Reece ~ 15 March 2008


Good point- There is a SXSW code that saves 200 bucks, but even then, I cant afford a 700.00 ticket. Two suggestions:

- A contest for locals or,

- A meetup/Discussion with conference goers for locals @ the bridge lounge :).

11   Jacob Sibley ~ 15 March 2008

Hello, my name is Jacob Sibley, and I am a student at Tulane University in NOLA. I have been a longtime reader and admirer of you blog, and would love to meetup with you during your visit. I am very familiar with the city of New Orleans and its nightlife. I would be happy to show you around, and guide you through some of the amazing, world-exclusive experiences available in our unique city. I am a member of NOMMUG and I am currently studying new media communications and international relations.
Please send me an email, and we will discuss schedules.

12   Dominic Dagradi ~ 15 March 2008

Longtime reader– New Orleans local. I hope you get the chance to enjoy Jazzfest while you’re there. I also highly recommend going to the clubs on Frenchmen St. right outside of the French Quarter and supporting our local musicians! It’s the best place to enjoy some real local culture, all crammed together in one place.

Also, Jonah’s got the right idea. Volunteers bring invaluable help to our community, and I hope you and/or other AEA attendees get a chance to contribute to the rebuilding.

13   Cameron Moll ~ 17 March 2008

Enjoying everyone’s suggestions, both about giving back but also enjoying the city (which inevitably “gives back” in a way, as well). Keep them coming.

14   Christien Louviere ~ 18 March 2008

New Orleans native…many of the comments nailed it. Enjoy the city and tell your friends. Tourism supports the city tremendously.

Thanks crew!

15   Ron Domingue ~ 18 March 2008

Well one way is to coordinate efforts with AIGA New Orleans I spoke to the programming director and the president of the New Orleans chapter and its still not listed on the AIGA New Orleans site. Oddly they weren’t familiar with ALA and when I mentioned the conference to them I had to try explain the significance of it.

Obviously AIGA New Orleans should support this event it may take someone with more clout than myself to make them realize this.

16   Peter B ~ 18 March 2008

Yet another local very excited by the decision to host the first AEA of 2008 in New Orleans, and we look forward to hosting such a wel respoected group of people in the web design/development community.

Another way to make an impact when you are here (beyond simply being here, which in itself makes an impact) would be to work with one/some/any of the charter schools that have poppped up to replace what was a failed school system wiped away in the floods. Many of these schools need help with web and have little to no budget to do so.

As someone mentioned above, for those locals who can’t afford or can’t make the actual conference, having an unofficial event during the conference sounds like a great idea.

Looking forward to going myself…hopefully.

Startup New Orleans


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