Thursday, June 28, 2012

Silicone Bitch: Social Media Day Miami 2012


An extraordinary thing has happened in Miami in these past three weeks.  A group of about a dozen folks -- bloggers, community volunteers and social media professionals as well as enthusiasts, have pulled together to create a kick-ass Social Media Day for Saturday, June 30 at Zadok Gallery in Wynwood from 2-7 PM, followed by cocktails at Wood Tavern nearby.

We come from all walks of life -- attorneys, realtors, writers, PR professionals, non-profit managers and more who are very involved in the local social media scene.


In 2010, Mashable -- the world's leading electronic publication and information clearinghouse on social media -- set June 30 as the day to celebrate the phenomenon worldwide. This year to date, there are over 1,000 cities across the globe with planned events.

But this isn't the first time Mashable and Miami have crossed paths on the social media radar. In 2008, the Magic City was one of the stops on the SummerMash Tour, which featured a swanky party at Opium Garden with Pete Cashmore on the step-and-repeat, as well as a full-day Social Media Camp at the Wolfsonian Museum.



Much has changed since 2008. PR and marketing companies are now more involved in promoting social media as a business to attract clients. Some of the original luster is gone and companies who sell social media aren't always deeply connected to the pioneering Miami social media movement, as was evident in this year's Social Media Week -- which was fabulous, by the way, no doubt about that. But Silicone Bitch has often noticed a disconnect between the two.

The original social media movement -- before it was a marketing buzzword -- coalesced in 2006 with the founding of the Social Media Club South Florida chapter.  Social Media Club founder Chris Heuer attended the first meeting at a now defunct restaurant on NE 2nd Avenue near Midtown Miami.  Since then, the community has grown to over 2,500 members and is one of the most active clubs in the U.S. with Alex De Carvalho and others at the helm.

In the past, events were just, well social and what we call "old skool" -- soft tech and social media types meeting up for drinks and sharing wetware with no business agenda. And then Miami enjoyed visits from high-profile events such as Future of Web Apps, three years in a row -- 2007 to 2009. In addition, entrepreneurs, social media types and startup founders have gathered at countless RefreshMiami, BarCamp and Social Media Club South Florida meetups.


In 2010, BRPR led the Social Media Day effort with an event at the Pelican Hotel. Last year, Social Media Day was a grassroots effort and focused on happy hour, which unfortunately turned into controversy after Carlos Miller posted about the venues at Miami Beach 411. His story didn't paint a clear or very pretty picture of what actually goes on in Miami regarding social media for social good or social media just for fun's sake.  Thankfully, charitable efforts like Philanthrofest and festive events like SxSe tell a different story.

This year, the spirit of the original Social Media Club -- "if you get it, share it" -- continues to grow in Miami. All the communities, including PR and marketing companies, local businesses, charitable interests and the not-so-loosely organized social group Miami Rat Pack, have come together in a most refreshing and positive collaboration the likes of which Miami has never seen.  This is a banner year and a milestone for Miami's social media scene.

And it's not just a social cocktail hour: Social Media Day Miami 2012 is a half-day of 18 presentations and features a blogger's lounge sponsored by Overblog with support from Red Bull.

The community response has been out of this world, or out of the continent, literally. Europe-based Overblog, a revolutionary new platform for combining all of social media and blogging content in one site -- let's face it, bloggers, micro-blogging is just as important as your macro posts for reaching audiences -- chose Miami out of other U.S. cities to support Social Media Day.

And the list of other pledged sponsors and supporters? It's too long -- from Knight Foundation to Miami Parking Authority to Philanthrofest to The Stage Miami, The Miami Herald and more are happy to help the movement.  Silicone Bitch can't list them all. We'll have a final recap after June 30, since pledges for support are dropping from the sky daily like manna from heaven.

Overwhelming. Amazing. Brilliant. Dazzling.  These are the only words Silicone Bitch can use to describe the tireless energy and effort of so many involved in putting this together.  Meet the team.



So bloggers, I am calling YOU!  Get to know Overblog. And out of 18 presentations, five will be focused on issues that are of particular interest to bloggers:

Alex De Carvalho -- Those Were the Days: Old Skool Social Media

Jewel Figueras -- Building Your SM Brand the Old Fashioned Way

Linda Hamburger -- Look Big Even if You're Small

Michelle Villalobos -- Shameless Self Promotion

And finally, yours truly will present From Jurassic to Freshtastic: A History of Blogs in Miami. We'll start with proto-bloggers like Hidden City, mention the re-branding of Stuck on the Palmetto to South Florida Daily Blog, the return of Critical Miami, the success of internationally acclaimed Photography Is Not  a Crime, the rise of Miami's newest darling, Beached Miami -- the list goes on and on.  It'll be a who's who of the Miami blog scene: blogs that aren't corporate or mainstream media but solid self-publishing efforts by creative individuals who cover everything from food, fashion, gardening, politics, travel, parenting and more.

And for bloggers as well as all others, there are presentations on B2B, Facebook Ads, brand disasters, cyber-bullying, and much, much more! Full schedule here.  Free beer, rum by Demerara, VitaCoco water, Cuban coffee, Red Bull and cupcakes will be available.  A cocktail party will follow at modestly-priced but very groovy Wood Tavern just two blocks away from the Zadok gallery.

Kindly RSVP at Eventbrite or just show up.  More information at Miami Social Media.

It's important to note that Social Media Day is not proprietary; anyone can host an event. For additional happenings in South Florida, visit Mashable's Social Media Day.

If you're an early riser, start your Social Media Day Miami at Preemo's Tech Bar in South Miami, 9 AM to noon. Preemo, a Social Media Day Miami sponsor, will host a complimentary breakfast. Play smartphone trivia games while noshing on bagels.  Head over to Wynwood by 2 PM.


Jackie Jimenez said...

Now I kinda want to go to both the FTL and Miami Social Media Day ;)

@jackiej04 on Twitter

Princess Martha said...

This was such a great read! Sorry I missed such a fab day....nothing better than meeting new bloggers, social media addicts and game changers when it comes to the way we communicate.
Thanks for posting!