Two years ago, I got an email from a friend/ex-coworker about a new website launching in Miami and that they were looking for an editor. The name of the website was DailyCandy, a daily e-mail sent out to subscribers highlighting everything from a new restaurant to a woman who will give you a wax in the shape of your bf's initials. Or something. I had never heard of it before, but when I went online to check out other city editions (NYC, LA, Philly, etc.) and started reading the sassy, witty prose, I knew we would be a perfect fit. The DC ladies thought so too, and so DC Miami was born.
Fast forward to present. In the past few months alone, similar city websites/newsletters have launched, including UrbanDaddy (kind of like a DC for dudes); Thrillist (a more gender neutral DC); and Yelp, a website totally run by its users - leaving reviews of everything from bars to dry cleaners. Oh yes, and Miami.com. Not to sound like a doo-shay, but when anyone asks me who our competition is, I say no one. We're not an email, and we're not totally run by our users. I like to describe us as an online city mag/user review hybrid. The staff AND the patients are running this asylum.
But despite our differences, however slight they might be, the one question I've discussed with the editors of several of the aforementioned sites is: is Miami the kind of city that can sustain all these what's-hot, interactive websites? (Same goes for local blogs, which seem to come and go quickly or boast a readership of four.) Miami, after all, is not New York (where most of these sites started). We're not L.A. or even San Francisco - places where everyone seems to a) find being "on the pulse" important and b) like sharing their opinions. Most people here seem to be oblivious to the fact that these websites even exist. Or maybe they just don't care. Of course, maybe they just haven't been around long enough for anyone to notice yet. After all, Miami is at least a year behind other metropolitan cities when it comes to trends. That's right: we're on the trend short bus.
As for sharing opinions, we're quick to share them when it involves someone else's bad driving. But a bad meal at a restaurant? Not so much. I'm not sure why this is, either. It's not like we're any busier than the average New Yorker. In fact, I usually feel like I'm the only one who actually works in this city. At least when I have lunch on South Beach. (Maybe I should eat in Brickell more often.) Perhaps it's our transient population - that no one stays here long enough to take the time to leave a review of a place. Or maybe it's our lack of "community." Even in NYC, people are very entrenched and enamored with their respective neighborhoods, and thus they feel it's their civic duty or something. Or maybe residents of other cities are more excited about participating in the democratic process.
Of course, our cyber indifference merely reflects our real world indifference. We can't even be bothered with throwing our newspapers in a different receptacle than the trash. Heck, sometimes we can't even throw away our trash (I know, I didn't realize the Earth didn't just absorb my Starbucks cups, either. Crazy!). I have no solution to getting Miamians more involved. Sexier garbage collectors? Free tequila shot for every review you leave on Miami.com? Hey, that's the best idea I've had all day. Seriously, though. Wouldn't you like others to know you found a hair in your food at that hot new steak house? Or on lady's day a certain car wash offers a free wax ? In the shape of your bf's initials, no less.