Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Famous Miami Bloggers

Famous Miami Bloggers
Is there a blog in there?

Last month, five of us cool cats (yes, I said it) got together at Morada Bay in Islamorada for the first ever South Florida tweetup, a gathering of folks who are on Twitter, including Devbear, Douge, Fanless and Dearyvette. We're hoping to do more planned and/or spontaneous get-togethers, so stay tuned. We had a grand old time and I hope you can join us in the future.

I was just thinking about this the other day -- 99% of my LOCAL real world friends are people I met online. It's simply amazing, perhaps stating the obvious for some of you, but it's not something I take for granted. Since I started blogging two years ago (October 10th was this blog's birthday), I have met many wonderful people who have given a damn about me in real life and I've had the honor to give a damn about them.

I'm not talking about "friends" in a Robert Scoble facebook 5,000 "contacts" sort of way -- which is totally cool and serves its purpose, that's all fine and well -- but people who make a real difference in my life, which is a blessing, because I've been a reclusive writer for the last two years and all of my "old school" friends have left Miami. (Why have my friends left Miami? That's another matter to discuss entirely.)

In my favorite movie, Casablanca, Rick may have told Ilsa "it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world," but imagine how that screenplay would've been written today? Yes, the problems of three little people still don't amount to a hill of beans, but the difference is that with technology, three little people can move mountains.

Results in meatspace is the true power of social media and it's something I definitely don't take for granted. Old friends are still very much so in my life and new friends have taken root in this topsy-turvy world.

Quite recently, my brother announced to the family that he and his wife are moving to Hawaii. This upset my father because the traditional Cuban family physical center was already detached enough with my brother's setting up life in Los Angeles. I can understand why my parents would feel bereft, "losing" a son to the city of angels, since they had to give up everything they ever knew to exile from that little island off the Caribbean Sea. You see, there hasn't really been any grounding in my family; we always came from somewhere else and have been rather nomadic for several generations.

But on the other hand, I'm very lucky to live in a generation that knows no boundaries. What does it mean to not have a proper home? What do we really "own" anyway? I'll tell ya, the beating heart is the best mortgage you'll ever invest in. Besides, there is no such thing as distance anymore and there are certainly no more excuses.

Imagine just for a moment what it would've been like to live without cheap long distance, email, instant messaging and of course, twitter. Yes, it used to be called book learning, but not many people, let alone women, had access to education.

The distance between two hearts is a fiction we create within ourselves, which is why I've always assumed the internet was modeled after God (my sense of God, admittedly) and compassion. "Connect, always connect" is my favorite quote (E.M. Forster) and applies in mysterious ways. Broadband is a blood vessel, a life line, an umbilical chord. The heart beats, the body moves and spirit is called to action.

Don't twitter? Here is a primer I wrote for Simplr. My friend Stephanie is using twitter to chart her weight loss journey. If you like, you can follow me here (Manola is a separate but inactive account).

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The Hen said...

It's a lovely post, mamasita...funny thing is I just wrote about blogging quietly, without telling my friends. So you tell me about Twitter. I just did Facebook and LinkedIn. Too tired to connect anymore!

Anonymous said...

Manola: I think your blog is very funny. we put on the Mango Strut Parade in Coconut Grove every year and could use some "new blood". You should thnik about getting involved...Just your kind of humor and you would probably add a lot...Promise we won't hurt you unless you "die from laughing"

Celisse said...

This is a really great post. I've been in the social mediasphere for a long time (in different ways and with different names for roughly 2 or 3 years), but sadly haven't connected with anyone local here in Miami. I guess I just travel in different internet circles :P

But your sentiments echo my own and I'm glad to find someone else in Miami who appreciates the connectedness of this generation as much as I do.

Salome's Mom said...

I hope your Dad starts feeling a little better about your brother's move. Hawaii is beautiful, now you have an excuse to visit often. Still, I know how hard it can be on Cuban parents.

I too have found a commonality in cyberspace. Great post Maria. I enjoy your writing, your sense of humor and above all, your compassion.

Verticus S. Erectus said...

Nicely said.

Ann Nonymous said...

Hey Manola, In my real life I actually teach the writings of Bradbury once in a while and his entire phobia of the disconnected man by means of technology. I argue that technology is a means to an end. You find people online with similar intellectual pursuits and then you and meet them, making a strong connection. We eliminate meeting tons of people who are mismatches and we have basically upped the efficiency of making true friends. So here's to your Islamorada Twitter Meet Up!!!


(if this is posted like a million times...please delete the extraneous repeats)

Geno said...

Hey, Lady - well-written and thought-provoking, as usual.
The more I use Twitter & FB, the more I appreciate the difference in their "personalities". To me, Twtr is like sitting on the traditional "front porch", and watching the world go by. Sometimes, I venture a comment or say "Hi", or marvel at something that floats past.
FB seems more permanent to me: I can post a message or greeting, and it will eventually reach the intended. FB might be like the coffee get together or a beer at the local biker bar (had to throw that in). There's more of a time-line to it.
Thanks, oh Sexy/Beachy one -
-- Geno