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December Chicago Dreamweaver Meetup Wrap-up

We are truly blessed.

No, I’m not getting religious. As a web professional, we here in Chicago are truly bless.

Yes, many of the mainstream web shops are on the west coast. And yes, most of the web conferences hit either coast (though I unfortunately missed An Event Apart in Chicago this year, damn). But Chicago is a mecca of its own. A fella by the name of Jason Fried and friends operate 37 Signals right here in the Windy City, and provide some of the best, most depended upon online products in the industry (can you say Basecamp, Backpack, Highrise and Campfire?). Jim Coudal and team over at Coudal Partners deliver world-class online experiences. And I’m sure there are many more that I’m just not aware of.

There’s one other individual I’d like to call out. And that is Chris Coyier. I’ve been following Chris (not in a stalking kinda way though) since discovering his website css-tricks.com over a year ago. I immediately became attached to Chris’s screencasts on various web methods and technologies (of course including CSS). I developed whatever skills I have in theming WordPress blogs & sites today due to his series of screencasts. I also appreciated his enthusiasm in sharing his knowledge and experience, something that is many times lacking in the world today.

When I learned (through Twitter) that Chris was relocating from Portland to Chicago, I immediately thought about how our web-related meetup group could benefit in having Chris present.

That plan became reality last night when Chris Coyier presented on cool CSS methods at the December Chicago Dreamweaver Meetup. Mind you, the name is a bit misleading (we’ve not actually mentioned Dreamweaver in several months). We discuss all things web to a very diverse group; from print designers making the switch to online design to web techies almost put off by basic talk of HTML & CSS and everything in between.

Chris covered some cool concepts, primarily around art direction. A simple idea in concept and implementation, it has powerful potential for those with unique needs per page. Jason Santa Maria was one of the first to leverage this method of communication by styling each post on his site differently. With the Art Direction plugin for WordPress, you can add styling specific to the post or page (not limited to styling, think Javascript as well). Chris demonstrated how he could change the design of one of his pages while leaving the rest of the site untouched. If I didn’t describe it to impress, view Chris’s latest screencast on the technique. Chris covered several other CSS-related topics in his typical no-holds-barred manner.

What I actually enjoyed even more was the discussion and socializing after the formal presentation. After getting Chris to mention his recently released book on theming WordPress, several attendees showed interest in its release. But the discussion also hit every topic from working in a small design agency to meeting the leaders in web design and the standards movement like Eric Meyer (knew of Chris’s work, way kool) and Jeffrey Zeldman.

I think we’ll hear about Chris for years to come. His passion and enthusiasm for the web will lift him to new heights and hopefully bless us with more educational and inspirational nuggets in the future.

So, like, why weren’t you at the Chicago Dreamweaver Meetup? Hope to see you in 2010.

Chris Coyier presents at the December Chicago Dreamweaver Meetup

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  1. [...] December Chicago Dreamweaver Meetup WrapupThoughts from Dennis after my presentation Tuesday night. [...]

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