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#miamitech @ #sxsw

By David Notik
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Miami's tech and startup community has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, thanks to the tireless efforts of many committed people and organizations.  Every positive action helps -- big and small.

It was not even a year ago that our community didn't quite know which hashtag to rally around on social networks, which meant our collective presence in online chatter was scattered and therefore undiscoverable.  We were missing an important opportunity to amplify our efforts and our very existence as a community.  The obvious and straightforward choice was #miamitech, especially as a growing number of folks were using it for their sharing.  Today, that hashtag brings up a steady stream of community activity on Twitter and Instagram, all discoverable by the next entrant to our community, or investor, or big internet company curious about our tech scene.

MiamiTech.org, powered by the early stages of a "collaborative network" my company is building, quietly began last year to try and make it easier to discover the events, news, groups and other assets in our community.  We've indexed 169 groups (meetups, organizations, places, more), and 142 events were listed for February alone.  It made a lot of sense to take what our community was sharing and amplify it by inserting it into the conversation, a method we call "aggregate and disseminate".  These days you'll find us sharing amongst the #miamitech activity, and we've helped solidify the hashtag's use.

Mt_72dpiWhen the site began back in June, I threw up a quick logo based on the hashtag -- after all, the site's about everything #miamitech.  Today, I'm introducing a new logo and sharing that we plan to give our community and our cause a little grassroots exposure at next week's SXSWi in Austin.  We're making stickers and will spread the love across that funky little town, which will be swarming with tech, film and music geeks for the next few weeks.

 While in Austin for SXSW the past two years, I noticed the best growing tech communities had a strong presence.  This year's no exception -- I've noticed the Vegas tech communityCanada's efforts, the powerhouse New York tech communityIsrael's efforts, and so much more.  I know we've got at least .CO and WahWah representing, and I'm hoping that our stickers and promotion of the hashtag (and the site) will do their little part to bring some attention to the fact that Miami does indeed have a growing tech scene.  Perhaps some startup kids prefer the lifestyle here? In future years, I'd love to see more representation for Miami at SXSW, perhaps even a killer party, but this is a small action that I hope does some good.

If you'll be in Austin, I hope you'll find me.  And definitely stop by and see me at The LAB here in Miami.
I welcome your thoughts and I'm always happy to help wherever I can.


David Notik is the founder of Woven, a Miami-based startup that is building a platform to help groups coordinate their activities and propel their shared cause.  He runs MiamiTech.org, the place to find events, news and more in our burgeoning tech community.

Editor's Note: Starting Gate welcome guest posts from the SXSW! Email me at ndahlberg@miamiherald.com if you can contribute.