|Manola's Professional Demise. Cartoon by Yours Truly, circa 2006.|
This week, this little ole blog celebrates ten years of good laughs, good cries and lots of adventures!
It all started 10 years ago over drinks at Segafredo on Lincoln Road. After one of my usual people-watching quips, a friend, who couldn't contain herself from laughing, said: "Oh my God, Maria, you're hilarious. Why don't you write all this shit down?"
I didn't even know what a blog was back then, let alone writing in the digital sphere. While putzing around in teh Googles, I came across an orange button with a funny looking letter B on it. The rest was history.
My, how far we've come. In ten years, I developed a whole new set of voices, met so many interesting people who've become dear friends, earned followers (yes, because like friends, you have to "earn" them, not "buy" them), worked with amazing brands without becoming a corporate shill and enjoyed the travel industry's support to make my nutty forays a reality. (Who else drives all over Florida looking for pirates?)
I still don't monetize this blog directly and probably never will. Yet, every single job I've gotten since October 2005 has been because of the blog.
One of my favorites was penning a sex and relationships column for City Link Magazine as Manola Blablablbanik. (Sex and the Animals was a hoot!)
But I'm still me, even through several iterations of pen names, while witnessing the lightning-speed evolution of social media over a decade. I count myself as part of a rare, old breed in the blogosphere -- dinosaur wordsmiths still plodding along as writer's writers -- while swimming along with the ever-rising waves of social technology. It's not that we're struggling against the current. We know better. Every surfer has to swim out to calm before catching the wave.
That's the beauty of it. Heck, I'm still sailing on my rickety old blogspot schooner and it has carried me over some stormy waters mighty fine. If it aint broke, don't fix it. I don't write for numbers, fame or glory. I write from the heart and with love. And I still tell it like it is.
And so it goes. Merrily we roll along.
Is this blog really a dinosaur? Nah. The good stuff lasts. Here's to one very sexy and smart adolescent.
This week, I'll be highlighting some of Sex and the Beach's top moments and capping it all with a shindig at the lovely Hotel Chelsea in the heart of South Beach -- right where it all started.
Stay tuned! Thanks for being part of this journey all these years.
In the meantime, visit some other places where I've wandered ...
Who can forget my role as social media and tech columnist at Miami New Times, where I once interviewed a Coral Gables literature nerd who serializes Proust's Search for Lost Time on Twitter? Silicon Beach eventually moved URLs and became Silicone Bitch. For Knight Foundation, I interviewed spunky Reddit founder Alex Ohanian, who should seriously consider bottling his energy.
Over at Miami Beach 411, I penned many stories, including 10 Things To Do in Downtown Miami, which was so good, I guess, that one Russian website decided to translate it lock, stock and barrel. (Eventually, they credited me.) Currently, I'm enjoying my role as contributor to a fresh, new online publication at The New Tropic. (My #miamischlep tweets are legendary.)