Etsy anthropologist headlines local web confab

A local software development company is behind an innovative web marketing and development conference coming in May.

Queen City Merge: Social media, marketing, design, development & winning, aims to give a 360-degree view of the latest web marketing and development trends, with an impressive lineup of speakers, including LB Denker, anthropologist of developer culture at Etsy.

"We've got lots of very talented individuals and companies right here under our noses, and I'm not certain we appreciate or even understand that fact," says developer Chris Moore of Blue Ash's Gaslight Software, the main organizer of the conference. "Our goal is to connect these folks so that we can help improve the local tech and startup communities."

Queen City Merge targets anyone who makes a living from the web: designers, developers, social media and marketing professionals and investors. The conference is less tech-oriented and more about creating inspiration and developing interaction among people, he says.

"Queen City Merge will be a Wifi-free zone," Moore says. "If you're coming, plan to leave your computer at home. We want you to hang out with lots of smart folks and enjoy conversation. You'll have time to update Twitter and Facebook when you get home, or if you must, there's still SMS. We want attendees to be engaged and conversant. We're all building solutions with technology across many platforms, but we don't connect as often as we should. We're out to fix that."

There will be two days of sessions, including "Top Ten Mistakes that Kill Companies" by Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP attorney Rob McDonald, Cheap and "Easy Customer Support" by CoSupport founder Sarah Hatter and "Design for Developers" by Relevance Web/Interface designer Jen Myers. There will also be sessions on responsive design and Denker, of Etsy, will speak on building online communities.

Other event sponsors include Ample LLC, Engine Yard, The Brandery, Rockfish Interactive and Cincy Coworks.

Queen City Merge takes place Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11 at the Contemporary Arts Center. After the Friday session, sponsors will treat everyone to the Reds vs. Nationals game at Great American Ballpark. Early Bird pricing (which ends April 14) is $199; standard pricing is $249. Organizers plan to make this an annual event.

By Feoshia Henderson
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