Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 9.42.28 AMLouisville must have a lot of digital talent.

Otherwise, why would there be all these web and social media conferences?

LDA has one coming up in October.

Now,  a national group is creating a new event this month billed as a “friendly, intimate web conference in the heart of Louisville with some of our favorite web designers,
all-star digital strategists working in higher ed & beyond.”

The event has serious sponsorship including Bravery Media, a development and design firm based in Austin; Atlanta-based email giant MailChimp; and Github, the hosting service/code repository based in San Francisco.

The Aggregate Conference, or #GGRGT, includes 19 national speakers, and is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 29-30 at the Louisville Downtown Marriott, Third and Jefferson streets.

#GGRGT is designed to “help keep your organization relevant, competitive, and resilient in the digital realm,” according to its unusually elaborate promotional website (which cost someone a lot of money for a one-time event).

The Aggregate Conference will provide training on tactics and digital strategy, as well as encourage networking with others tackling similar challenges. “#GGRGT aims to be a hub of education and collaboration for individuals working with digital,” or so states the website.

From the website:

Whether you are a seasoned director, savvy entrepreneur, or you’ve been tasked with leading a digital unit and don’t know where to start, #GGRGT will equip you with best practices and insight for developing, or even refreshing, a digital strategy that you can enact.

#GGRGT will feature 15-plus sessions addressing” the latest advances in digital strategy, social media, user experience, web development, front-end design, SEO/SEM, and more,” according to the website.

Speakers include:

Ann Friedman
Ma’ayan Plaut
Andrew Careaga
Ron Bronson
Mara Zepeda
Rob Engelsman
Sam Kapila
Joel Goodman
Lyzi Diamond
Livien Yin
Patrick Doyle
Nicole Sunstrum
Daniel Dudley
Jenny Mackintosh
Erik Schwartz
John Britton
Alaina Wiens
Lacy Paschal
Emily Alexandra

Sessions include:

• How to Ignore Your Haters & Thrive In A Brave New (Digital) World, with Ann Friedman

In the era of instant online feedback, we all have to deal with people who don’t like our work. Should we listen to our critics or ignore them? Who’s a hater, who’s got a fair point, and how do we tell the difference? And what’s the best way to forge ahead and keep creating awesome stuff without getting bogged down in negative feedback? Ann has some tips and tricks and lessons from her own career as a digital journalist with lots of opinions.

• How Design Research Leads to Design Decisions, with Sam Kapila

Making decisions in design can be subjective and arbitrary. How can designers, developers, and clients make objective decisions that are backed by valid reasons? In this talk, we’ll cover aspects of design research, integrating accessibility, usability, device technology, branding strategy and other factors in design decision-making that are right for the project’s user experience and interface.

• Making Data Meaningful: Stories in Civic Technology from Code for America, with Eric Schwartz, Livien Yin, Lyzi Diamond

While many civic technology advocates focus on access to government data, another common challenge is creating impactful products once you get it. This talk will focus on making data meaningful and accessible in order to support cohesive communities and enable the creation of projects with community-level impact.

• Speed, scale, solutions: The Story of Switchboard, with Mara Zepeda

Two practices cripple higher education: the multi-year decision making process and unnatural silos for students, alumni, faculty, parents, and staff. How can we learn from startup culture to move fast(er), break things, and give our communities they tools they need to solve the problems they face today?

• The Limits of the Web Platforms, with Rob Englesman

Social media has reached critical mass, and being heard is one of the greatest challenge facing brands today. In this session, we’ll discuss how to think differently about the capabilities and limitations of popular social platforms, as well as view examples from innovative people and brands that have found success on social by going against the grain.

There are at least 10 more sessions, and you can see them all here.

Tickets start at $50 for students, and a conference pass is $150. You can register here.

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Terry Boyd
Terry Boyd has seven years experience as a business/finance journalist, and eight years a military reporter with European Stars and Stripes. As a banking and finance reporter at Business First, Boyd dealt directly with the most influential executives and financiers in Louisville.