Refresh South Florida

July 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, marketing, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Tonight was Refresh South Florida, that’s right Refresh Miami and Refresh Lauderdale are playing nice together. This time around it was a joint venture between neighboring and symbiotic social media clubs.  The event was also different in that it followed the format of IgniteShow.com where presenters are only given 5 minutes and 20 slides, auto advancing every 15 seconds, to get their point across.

First to the platform was Jonathan Bradley of Afzet, Inc, home of Studdr.com. Studdr.com is a social networking site that allows you to post quotes, pictures and video of funny or interesting things that you witness or hear. He said that it is the kind of the site many people might use as bathroom reading material because of it’s short snippets of entertainment. I think the site has interesting potential, especially because a lot of my social media use is intended to entertain me in times when I need to see a funny comment or some content that allows me to get my geek on.

Mike Cuesta of Carecloud.com presented his company’s software that allows professional in the medical field the opportunity for a turn-key clinical, financial and administrative software manager.  Carecloud allows medical companies to streamline practices and move into a more lean of way handling all the data they collect on patients and their billing needs. Carecloud.com seemed to have the most practical and put together plan for profitability and company growth out of all the presenters. The software looks to have strong development and the potential to allow medical professionals to do more medical work and spend less time and money in secretarial duties.

Flavors.me, presented by Jonathan Marcus, is a site that allows users to build “an elegant website using content from around the Internet.” Flavors.me looks to be a good outlet for anyone who wants to put up a quick vanity page without needing much knowledge in programming. It sets itself apart from many theme driven design skins by allowing users to upload photos as backgrounds and adjust content along various paths – like Myspace, but less rigid in content structure.

After all of the companies presented individually they were invited for a short panel style question and answer session. Most of the questions centered around profitability, scalability, financial acquisition, and a few discussions about frameworks and development softwares and their role in creating an Internet based start-up.

All three companies are worthy of note and look to have a future online. The whole night was broadcast via socialchats.net to those who were not able to attend in their carbon-based form. For upcoming events, check out OEcalendar.com

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Fat Village – Walk’n with the Arts

July 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, Graphic Design, Illustration, networking, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Despite a tropical storm hitting to the south and the ever-welcoming South Florida heat, there was still a steady attendance at this month’s Fat Village Art Walk. New to the Art Walk were Brew la-la, Iron Forge Press, and Digital Art Wear. The Puppet Network put out a few show elements including a shadow puppeteer and projections of stop motion animation. Gallery 101 had a stronger showing compared to last month’s. The gallery had oil paintings of bulldogs by Drago Milic that were created with great color and emotion. While there I passed a few pieces made in different mediums that were very interesting – later I found out that they were all by Glauco Mendoza.

Overall it was a great night for the visual arts – puppets, printers, sculptures, painters and an entertainment company. The next art walk is scheduled for August 27th from 7 to 11 pm. See you there!

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ArtServe Red Eye 2010

July 24, 2010 at 3:04 am (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, movies, networking, News, photography, print media, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

ArtServe in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale hosted the reception for its 5th annual Red Eye event tonight. The purpose of the Red Eye event is to “create an innovative an exciting project that adds a twist to the conventional gallery exhibit” that “enmeshes gallery art with street art.” This year’s exhibit was on par with last year, with the exception of the graffiti. The graffiti, in my opinion, was better this year. This is not for a lack of technical skill; this year’s graf was more art piece verses last year’s predominant writer influence – I just prefer art over writing in graffiti.

This year’s event also played host to a fashion show that was previewed at Art Serve and continued at The Bubble in the IWAN facility (I did not attend this portion, but hope to visit IWAN before long). In the rear of ArtServe, live entertainment was playing and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival held a Short Film Premiere Section.

Red Eye continues through July 30th, so check it out while you can.

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LDI 2009

November 22, 2009 at 1:28 am (Design, Design Events, Florida, networking, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Live Design International invaded the Orange County Convention Center from November 16th through November 22. The show provides professionals from entertainment industries such as stage performing, theater, concerts, and any other live performance a chance to learn knew techniques, sharpen their skills, and see the latest technologies for live design.

At 10 am on Friday, November 20th the ribbon was cut and the show floor opened. The floor showcases products for any type of live event production. Vendors carry everything from truss and rigging equipment to special effects gear. If you need extension cords, custom fabrics, staging, safety devices, or AV equipment, then the show floor was the place to be. Some exciting new products were on hand this year including VER’s 3D LED screen – this was a surprisingly smooth portable 3D display, flexible LED panels in a variety of resolutions, and battery operated, DMX controllable, LED theatrical lighting elements. One of my favorite new products, though ultimately unnecessary, was the DMX512 controllable blender presented by Doug Fleenor Design (apparently Doug just built a house that is fully DMX controllable). Some of the most notable projects from this year were the lighting for the U2 360 tour and Jimmy Fallon’s stage for eco-friendly design.

Rose Brand hosted a great presentation by Martin Valentine and Herrick Goldman called Creative Influences in Design. The two Lighting Design Directors shared their film inspirations (of course Blade Runner made it onto both lists) and how films have effected the way light used in their respective medium – architectural lighting and theatrical lighting respectively.

Some of the most important and useful information came through the ESTA classes on rigging safety; it’s good to be reminded that the entertainment industry is (probably) the only industry in the world who suspends temporary structures with moving parts into the air, and asks people to work on top and walk underneath these structures while someone operates them in the dark. We viewed structural failures, fires, and other mishaps within our industry from the last 100 years, and discussed how to prevent them.

Social media has even creped it’s way into LDI. 4Wall Entertainment Lighting set up #LDIHunt – in order to win a prize from the company you had to complete a photo scavenger hunt and post the pictures to twitter. There was even a tweetup over the weekend (though I found out about it afterward).

The funniest part of LDI this year happened at the New Technology Breakfast on Friday morning. In a space filled with entertainment techs, lighting designers, and AV gurus one of the four projectors failed to work. By the next day it was fixed, but the humor was apparent.

The weekend was a great learning experience and a good time for all involved. Next year’s LDI show will be held from October 18th through the 24th in Las Vegas. I hope to see you there.

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Social Media Never Tasted So Good

October 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, marketing, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Twineup2

Last night’s Himmarshee Twineup Take 2 at Himmarshee’s Side Bar in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale was a “pairing-and-pouring adventure!” The event featured three wine flights paired with passed appetizers, and was sponsored by Matthew Horbund, @mmwine, and Jan Idelman, @janIdelman.

If you’re looking for a classy alternative to the normal tweetup setting, this is an idea for you – wine, food, friends. There were prizes given away sponsored by PokenGirl and Pickchur, and along with the price of the tasting everyone received a coupon for $20 off of a $60 food or wine purchase at the venue.

To start the evening we had a 2008 Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County. This light, crisp wine paired well with the petit crab cakes with pickled habenero tartart and island spiced shrimp and yucca croquettes with drunken mango salsa.

The second flight was an Australian born 2005 Hope Shiraz. This Shiraz was more fruity and less peppery than most tend be. The pairing for this was amazing! It was a duck confit & sweet potato empanada with vanilla-shiraz macerated cherries.

The final tasting was a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Tahuantinsuyu from Mendoza, Argentina – one of my favorite regions, especially for Malbec! This was paired with mushroom & cambazola toasts with oil cured campari tomatoes.

The evening had a mix of good food, good wine, and good conversations – what more could you ask for? It was nice to meet @PamRockSoFl @enzobalc, @stacykinney, @SisterMary, and thanks to @mmWine and @jidelman for hosting the event! If you missed this twineup, information on the November one will be posted at A Good Time With Wine.

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Cool Beans – A Tale of the Coffee Tasting Tweetup

October 15, 2009 at 12:05 am (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Caffe_Rustica

Are you tired of attending tweetups for the masses? Here’s a new spin on the twitter universe – a coffee tasting tweetup. Think of a wine and cheese paring party, but with coffee and cookies. And what overworked designer, developer, geek, or business maven doesn’t like a good cup of coffee? The best part of an event like this is that there is a smaller turnout than many other social media events allowing for more chances to meet and converse with new people.

If you don’t follow what I’m saying, imagine this: you’re a social media newbie, maybe more introverted than some, and decide to go to a social media event. You stand in a corner doing your best wallflower impression and don’t know how to break the ice with people who are part of the “in crowd.” I mean you don’t want to linger like an awkward stalker outside of an ongoing conversation, and busting into someone’s chitchat that you don’t know can come off wrong or just seem rude. An event in a more intimate setting with a small group is a great way to expand your social circle and your comfort zone in unison. So why not hold smaller gatherings to help welcome newbies and make new friends

Tonight’s event was held at Caffe Rustica next to the Gateway Theater in Ft. Lauderdale. The coffee shop was like the Cheers bar, Wings café counter, and Central Perk from Friends all combined into a charming little spot with less drama and better coffee. If they didn’t know your name when you came in, they knew your twitter handle when you left.

We were a little late, so we had some catching up to do. The tasting had started with India Mneb it was like a strong tea, more refreshing than you get from your get-out-of-bed in the morning variety joe. Next up was Brazil Morenhina Formosa made with the Raisin Process – Jim the owner/barista is very knowledgeable in the art of beverage preparation and shared a little about the history, roasting style, and background of each brew. Third tasting was Guatemala Acatenenango Gesha a little stronger than the others, but still very good. The final flight was the strongest (and favorite of mine – the 3 cup-a-day drinker) Ethiopa Bonko made with a Wet Process. This coffee was much more robust than the others, some might say it’ll get you up in the morning and give you a shave, but I just think it was a good strong coffee.

Between flights and after all the rounds had been finished the small group of coffee lovers sat around discussing a variety of interesting topics from camera equipment to anecdotes of everyday life. My favorite conversation centered around Starbucks’ new instant coffee. The most insightful part of the discussion came when someone quipped that they didn’t know what Starbucks’ taste testing ads were supposed to prove. Are they raising the bar for instant coffee or lowering the standard by which we hold our $8 sugar infused creation of fast food-like coffee? If you think about it it’s either one or the other. It’s like up-selling your product while simultaneously devaluing it.

I’d like to thank @CaffeRustica for hosting the event and @MoreWillie for organizing it. It was nice to meet @DavideDiCillo, @ggadventures, and @stefaniwhylie, and apologies to those who I didn’t get your handle. I look forward to the next foray into the world of the caffeinated arts, whenever that may be.

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Visionary Expo 2009

October 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm (Art, Florida, Miami, networking, social event, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Visionary-Expo

This weekend the DoubleTree Miami Mart Hotel & Exhibition Center played host to Visionary Expo. What is the Visionary Expo you may ask? Here’s what the website tells us: “Visionary Expo is the first tattoo and art festival of it’s kind concentrating on visionary art, tattooing, music, and performance art. The world’s finest tattoo artists and painters will be there fused in live painting sessions…”

As soon as you approached the entrance of the exhibition center the hum of tattoo machines let you know what this expo was about, but throughout the weekend the show had several other artistic expressions featured. Artwork by Chet Zar was shown in one booth, and local graffiti artists Crome, and MSG Cartel were on hand with Eazy Street Gallery. In the back of the room painting seminars went on all weekend. There was a fashion show, contests, core suspension show, and even ongoing circus performances by Cirque Du Macabre from Florida Circus Art School,LLC.

The show included tattoo artists from around the globe, including Taiwan Tattoo. South Florida was represented very well with artists Federico Ferroni, Miki Foged, Dicky Magoo, and shops like Chico’s Marked 4 Life, Black Sparrow Tattoo Company, and Salvation Tattoo Lounge among others.

The show was an interesting experience. I only attended on Sunday, so I missed some of the more interesting performances. Next time they have a show I’ll have to check it out before the last day.

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Art + Design Night – October

October 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm (Art, Art + Design Night, Art Event, Branding, Design, Design Events, Florida, free, Gallery Opening, Graphic Design, Illustration, Miami, networking, News, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Miami-Art+Design

October’s Art + Design Night in the Miami Design District proved to have something a little different this month – live entertainment with tribal drumming, classic violin, and spoken word poetry. While walking toward 101/Exhibit to see the Insomnious exhibit by Jason Shawn Alexander we heard the melodic chant of Dismas Gestas. They were standing on a corner with a gathering crowd who was watching them chant, play, and dance with fire.

In the Buena Vista building two new shows had their opening night. “Transcience”, a photography exhibit by Chris Kircheimer opened in Emena Spa, and “Beyond Wonderland” by Orhan Cileli debuted in suite 120. “Beyond Wonderland” had some great artwork inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Each piece was beautifully executed with dramatic detail and twisted humor. Suite 120 also featured the work of Enrique Machad. His pieces demonstrate great kinetic energy by showcasing wave patterns created by multicolored silicone forms laid over a colored background. The Buena Vista building also played host tothe exhibit: Bad Brilliance Miami featuring “The Faces of People He Met There.”

Other things of note were Doug Bloodworth’s amazing oil paintings and the music of Amereida outside of Art Fusion Gallery. We did not make it to the district in time to see WHIRL CRASH GO! at Locust Projects, but it sounded very interesting: “The TM Sisters will present a novel production including their personal athletic skills in synchronized swimming and roller skating.” – I would have liked to see how synchronized swimming and roller skating combine, but we will be left in the dark on this one (unless someone posts a comment to explain.) We also missed out on getting to  Swampspace to see Jukebox, an installation of hand-cut collages created on the back of vintage 60’s and 70’s LP sleeves

The Art + Design Night Gallery Walk is always an interesting experience. Many of these exhibits will be up throughout the month, so encourage you to go. Gallery Walk occurs the second Saturday of each month, making the next one November 8th from 7 to 10 PM. Check the website for details.

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Can’t Email That Important Client? Facebook Them!

October 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm (marketing, networking, News, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Rose Brand's Crystal Series at the University of Tampa

Rose Brand's Crystal Series of stretch fabric at the University of Tampa

Through my blog and twitter updates I have cited many case studies of social media as a networking and branding tool, way to maintain community involvement and policing, and even a case or two of how it can make you unemployed or put in jail. But I saw a tweet on September 25 that gave social media a true business-to-business validation. The tweet came from @Rosebrand and simply stated,  “Just used facebook to communicate with a client regarding an emergency order. Was not able to connect via phone or e-mail but FB worked!” This got my attention.

Here’s the back story – who is Rose Brand: “Rose Brand is the leader in flame retardant fabric, theatrical draperies and production supplies for entertainment, schools, events, exhibitions and houses of worship.” If you have attended a concert, corporate event, tradeshow, or theatrical performance, chances are you’ve seen their work.

…And now for the story: Toward the end of the day on a Friday a member of the Rose Brand West sales staff received a call from a major scene shop in Las Vegas. They had ordered a large amount of NeoFlex, which can be considered a specialty item due to the specific parts and pieces needed. Unfortunately the contact information on the order, and the contact for the project were not one in the same. Thus conventional communication methods – phone, fax, email, smoke signals, semaphore, etc – were rendered moot. Due to the time difference the East Coast office was closed, and the original sales person was unable to be reached. In addition to these communication problems, the item in question was only available from the New Jersey warehouse. Rose Brand operates two warehouses, one on each coast, but they have a vast inventory so some items are only available through one warehouse.

So how does social media come through and save the day? The client contact in this case is a “friend” on Rose Brand’s Facebook Page, and happened to be online at the time. A quick message was sent via Facebook that explained the predicament. That message led to the acquisition of the proper contact information and then a call from the client – 5 minutes later, problem solved. As a Rose Brand representative stated: “In this case Facebook proved to be invaluable. As the end customer was on location and time was running short, it might have been impossible for the client to be reached during normal business hours.”

Social media for the win!

In early 2009 Rose Brand created a Facebook page and Fan page. The company, and members of its staff, are connected to TheatreFace, ProLightingSpace, LinkedIn, and other social media forums. Like many other companies Rose Brand is finding that there is no exact science to the way social media is used, but the real-time learning and conversations that it provides proves invaluable in the day-to-day, business-to-business world.

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RefreshMiami

October 1, 2009 at 1:37 am (Design Events, free, marketing, Miami, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

refreshmiami

Tonight’s RefreshMiami was a little different. Apparently the hotel it is normally held at is under new management, and ill informed of the tech community’s monthly meeting. Luckily Windisch-Hunt Fine Art Gallery stepped in and allowed the group to use their beautiful art gallery for the evening.

The goal of tonight’s event was to answer three questions:

  1. I’ve got an idea, now what?
  2. I’ve got a company, who can fund it?
  3. I’m up and running, now what?

So in the adaptive spirit of our newfound meeting place we all sat around for story time.

First up was Startup 101 with attorneys Gaida Zirkelbach, Esq. and Nicholas Robbins, Esq. of Gunster, Florida’s Law Firm for Business. Together they discussed what is needed to start and protect a business and other intellectual property. We discovered the difference between ©, ® and ™, the different types of investors, and parts of contracts, privacy statements, etc.

After the legal discussion the guys from Worsterer.com took the reigns and told us about their company, and how three former Yahoo employees formed it. They dispelled some good tips about defining a business plan, checking your software, and testing your product.

It was a good and informative meeting. Thank you to all the presenters, and especially Windisch-Hunt Gallery for letting us use their space. Hope to see you at one the next events: Southwest Florida Code Camp, Wodpress Meetup, and Twineup Take 2

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