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Tuesday March 12, 2013

Rick signs off

Stuck on the Palmetto

Does anybody else remember November 2005? That’s when Rick started Stuck on the Palmetto. It was a blog in the old-school sense: updated a bunch of times a day, with one guy’s opinion about just about damn near anything that happened in South Florida (That’s what Broward folks call the greater Miami metro region). It got New Times “Best of” both years of its existence, and generally was the go-to thing. I was blogging this whole time, but the thing that was always impressive about Rick was his sheer consistency. He was always there, doing it, day in and day out. Always with the same point of view and mildly sardonic tone. Things went south at the end of 2007 — Rick had a way of pissing people off (he pissed me off All. The. Time.) and occasionally it got a little personal, and after one particular kerfuffle Rick yanked the blog down.

You can still read portions of Stuck on the Palmetto on Archive.org and once in awhile I’ll poke around there; it’s worth it. (No, the Archive doesn’t have the posts from the final days.)

Anyway, a few months after SotP shut down, Rick started South Florida Daily Blog. I still have no idea why he named it that. But he’s been going ever since, every damned day. 11,000+ posts by his own count (do the math, people: that’s 6 posts a day, day-in-day-out).

About a month ago came a nasty fight with another local blogger. I only ever read the two posts pertaining to that, but my impression is that Rick came out of that looking pretty good. The other guy was basically saying, “I don’t like what you wrote. Apologize, or I’ll write the nastiest post I can, with as much dirt as I’m capable of digging up.” I’ve had my share of fights with Rick, and I’ve often found him to be startlingly small-minded, but I think it speaks well to his integrity that he didn’t let himself be bullied by this. (Also, I would encourage people to note the difference between “anonymous” and “pseudonymous.”) But anyway, shit takes a toll.

Call it burnout, call it frustration, call it a desire to regain some of the health that I’ve lost somewhere along the way as I’ve spent countless hours hunched over a keyboard writing Sifts, Coolers, and other posts that total over 11,000 in number…but I think it’s time to move forward. I’ve expressed my frustration at how blogging has evolved from being one of the primary outlets for thought and discussion to just one of many platforms to get words out. Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook have become distractions to the blogosphere that have pulled readers and any comments they may leave away from the traditional blogs. I’ve watched my stats slowly taper off over the last couple years to a point where, on some weekends, I can barely justify the effort.

Amen to that. But I’m not too worried. Rick had another blog before SotP. I bet he takes a couple of months off and starts writing. Maybe it’ll be another blog, just one where he writes without this crazy hectic schedule. But if I were an editor at the Herald, I’d be in touch with Rick and offering him a column or something.

Just sayin’

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Monday July 9, 2012

I’m just over at this post Eye on Miami, debating whether Native Americans have the right to use the term “White Man” pejoratively.

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Wednesday April 30, 2008

New designs for Miami Art Exchange and Transit Miami, both modern and very nice. Congratulations, gentlemen.

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Tuesday April 29, 2008

Hmm.. Daniel Brody’s cat PJ has a blog called Meow.

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Monday April 21, 2008

The Herald has noticed Miami mayor Manny Diaz’s silly blog.

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Thursday April 3, 2008

Hallandale Beach has a blog. A deliciously snarky and weird one at that.

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More Yay!: Alex, formerly of Stuck to the Plametoo, finally has a spanky new blog: Miami & Beyond. Still chained to the bitch which is blogspot, with an almost criminally pretty header, but I’d forgive anything. This is one blog I have been waiting to read since gansibele began commenting around 2005. Congrats!

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Monday March 17, 2008

Damn, have y’all seen Wormhole lately? Get down with the MySpace-fabulousity, Jose!

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Monday March 10, 2008

miami.metblogs is “back,” with a curious new look and a new writer, currently serving up synopses of films at the Miami International Film Festival. Meh. Meanwhile, a more interesting writeup on the Miami Underground Film Festival (MUFF!) at Riptide.

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Wednesday February 27, 2008

Well well well… whadawe have here?

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Monday February 11, 2008

The Herald covers food bloggers and Daniel Brody is not impressed. (And yes, he really did write about Brunellos one week before Fred Tasker.)

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Tuesday January 29, 2008

Look here: Kyle, the proprietor of all-time best local blog Miamity, long ago shut down, has a new blog.

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The Miami Condo Investments blog is being sued for $25 million. Seems that an allegation that Developer Tibor Hollo went bankrupt in the 80s is the sticking point, along with some predictions that his current projects are headed for failure. Doesn’t this sort of alternate-revenue-seeking lend credence to the latter assertion, though?

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Monday January 21, 2008

Rick, the blogger formerly known as Stuck on the Palmetto, has got himself a new blog, the South Florida Daily Blog. It’s to come online February 4th (Dude sure knows how to build buzz — an e-mail announcement went out this weekend to a number of local bloggers, but sadly not me.), a “review and discussion of local blogs.”

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Tuesday January 8, 2008

You people had better watch out: Hugo has a blog.

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Thursday December 27, 2007

En vivo y en directo tracks 30+ reactions to the SotP closing, about as good a tribute as I can think of. Comments here.

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Thursday December 20, 2007

Sites gone from the Miami scene that I’ll miss as much, if not more then SotP: Category 305, Boom or Bust, Miami Vision Blogarama. What the hell is going on here? Update: Celeste responds. Long story short, lots of snafus, but the archives of C-305 will be back up at some point.

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Comment moderation at Herald.com?

Storm clouds gather around the reader comment situation at Herald.com. It seems that the future holds a registration system and/or comment moderation for the Herald, and with the ratio of useless/offensive comments that currently plague the site, I can’t say that I see this as a particularly bad thing. But I would also encourage the Herald to borrow even more liberally from how comments work on blogs. For example, the few comment excerpts at the bottom of articles never correspond to the articles at the top of the comments page. And why have a separate comments page, anyway? But more importantly, there is a glaring fallacy here:

The number of visitors to MiamiHerald.com in November was up 66 percent from the year before, according to Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal, and registration might slow or even temporarily reverse such strong growth.

With all due respect, Mr. Schumacher-Matos, the Herald’s Ombudsman, is getting himself very confused: what’s putting the breaks on Herald.com readership is the registration system required for reading the site, which is not only invasive and tedious, but broken — I’ve personally repeatedly re-registered for the site, only to have it forget me after a couple of months. I’m back to using bugmenot to access it, which of course does nobody any good (like the slipshod “data” they collect with the system had a hope of being of any use to the Herald to begin with). The obvious non-controversial solution is to make the site as easy as possible to read, and require registration for commenting. Throw in a few simple social-networking features, and your offensive comments will decline drastically, and be much easier to enforce.

I do appreciate the difficulty of the Herald’s position here, though — deleting comments is tricky, because once you take an active role in comment moderation, you are more responsible, both in a commonsense way and in a legal way, for the comments that remain on the site. And of course journalists prefer to error on the side of free speech, reader-friendliness, and (more recently) “interactivity.” Of course in this situation, those three ideals stand somewhat in opposition to each other.

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Wednesday December 19, 2007

The SotP fiasco makes the Herald. A fairly ho-hum rundown of things, with quotes from Rick, CL Janh, and Val. Update: And some juicy speculation from Carlos Miller. For the sake of coherence let’s keep the comments here.

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Monday December 17, 2007

Stuck on the Palmetto is dead. Rick chose not just to stop blogging, but to take all the old posts off the internet. No idea why. I’m very bummed out about all this, as plenty of others. Update: Carlos Miller weighs in.

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Monday December 10, 2007

What's up with an outing?

Stuck on the Palmetto So, I’m a little bummed that many readers of Stuck on the Palmetto are going to think I had a hand in Rick’s threatened retirement/hiatus from blogging. Here’s what happened: Rick did a post with some stupid, pretty offensive shit in it (nothing new there). Bob Norman posted a response, the gist of which was, not only is this politically incorrect, it commits the even worse offense of not being funny. In the ensuing discussion, Bob said the following:

Otherwise, he’s a decent blogger — works his ass off on SotP, that’s for sure. By the way, Rick, who pays your salary to blog all day?

Having always wondered about this, I seconded the question. And here’s where it gets interesting: through some presumably long-ago private conversation, Bob actually knows who pays Rick’s salary. This caused Rick to interpret Bob’s question as a Threat to Out him. He promptly put up this post, and hasn’t been heard from since. It reads, in part:

The Daily Pulp’s Bob Norman, who knows exactly what I do for a living, has made, what I perceive to be a threat to that anonymity and today, Critical Miami’s Alesh Houdek piled on.

Now, I don’t doubt Rick’s sincerity — he seems genuinely spooked. But isn’t this a little of adding 1 + 1 and getting 4? Why in the name of the lord would Bob want to out Rick’s identity? And if he did, why would he threaten to do it, first? And even if he did want to make the threat, is simply asking the question, even winkingly, a threat? Frankly, I just don’t see it.

Many of the commenters at SotP seem to see it (or maybe they’re just empathizing with Rick’s alarm). Nobody has been able to really explain it but whatever. Listen up! Bob hasn’t outed anyone, not even close. All he’s done is made a remark that, were it not for the subsequent drama, would be transparently seen as off-handed. Also: I did not, do not, and have never known what Rick does, so the statement that I “piled on” just baffles me. Rick recently had a feature where he invited his readers to ask him personal questions, and now he’s freaked out by a personal question? And I’m being fingered as a secondary cause of his temporary (and make no mistake, it is temporary) quitting from blogging? Go figure.

Someone relatively new to all this asked me today about the beginning of the “arch-rivalry” between me and Rick. The truth is I don’t know. I think we both just enjoy arguing, and can find the few requisite things we disagree about. But honestly I’ve never felt anything like malice or hatred towards him; frustration is about as far as it ever goes, and my real reason for sparring with him is that it’s usually fun. The first blogger get-together was after one of the first of these apparently “vicious” exchanges, and we got along great then, so I’ve generally assumed that he feels the same. I’m bummed that he seems genuinely upset now, and I hope he realizes he just mis-read the situation, and hops back in the saddle soon.

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Monday December 3, 2007

Carnival Cruiselines is claiming that John Heald’s Blog “has consistently ranked in the top 25” of blogs, which I find pretty amusing, considering that Technorati ranks it #121,630.

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Thursday November 8, 2007

Vote -- So You Can Bitch

SotP takes a swipe at Coconut Grove Grapevine.

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Wednesday October 17, 2007

I’m now officially 3 for 3 of friends in China with blogs: Ariel, Ross, and Silvia (sad kitten story here). Good job, China team! (Anyone seeing a bunch of question marks just needs to install a Chinese language pack.)

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Wednesday October 10, 2007

Now I’m getting all verklempft: two Broward Sherrif’s officers bought a bicycle for a boy who had his stolen and broken. I’m glad the BSO has a blog to keep us up to date on their deeds. No mention of the rubber bullets incident, but you can get a kick out of those who think this excuses any future police abuse. That’s right Rick, you remind us about this incident every time a cop tases someone for hogging a microphone or beats up a kid for riding a skateboard.

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Tuesday October 9, 2007

Ipanemic: easily my new favorite blog. Weird, passive aggressive, and ultra-local. At first when I saw this I was worried that I had MPD, and this was the blog of one of my alternate personalities, and while I’ve ruled that out, well, I mean, geez — the thing where he went to Tantra by himself? Just genius. Please take the time to click around and really explore the site, because it does not operate like any other website in the world. I mean — huh?? — Since when is a ham sandwich a variation on pb&j.

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Monday October 1, 2007

The Florida Springs blog.

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Monday September 24, 2007

It never ceases to amaze me how many frickin blogs there are. Behold Miami Drums, dedicated to . . . well, drums in Miami. You’d think it’s new, but you’d be wrong: been around for over a year. No cheesy blogspot address, either. Update: Also — a list of Miami food blogs.

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Wednesday September 12, 2007

How come this took so long: a new local blog called Daily Cocaine. Apparently not that daily, but check out the post about Camellia Street Grill in Everglades City, with a salad made almost completely out of vegetables grown behind the restaurant, an old house by the water.

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Monday September 10, 2007

I hereby order you to love the Good News Social blog. Behind every good city there are good people, networking, and making things happen. This is their site.

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Friday August 17, 2007

Whatever else we may take away from the recent CG Playhouse post, we learned that the South Florida theater scene has a blog(!): South Florida Theatre Scene. Three months of archives, nine (count ‘em) contributors, and no silly “blogroll” (whatever that is). Good job guys! (But note: you’re spelling “theater” wrong.)

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Wednesday August 15, 2007

2 Live Looks gets the grand profile treatment from the Herald’s Jaweed Kaleem, including photos of the guys in action and a narrated slideshow. Congrats. (Oh, and I get quoted.)

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Friday August 3, 2007

Good evening. Please note that Miami Nights now has an RSS feed. Thank you, gentlemen.

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Thursday June 28, 2007

2 Live Looks

2 Live Looks

Discovering new “Miami” blogs and websites is becoming a daily occurrence in these muggy and rainy days of Summer, as peoples retreat into their air-conditioned rooms and behind glowing terminals.

The new street fashion blog 2 Live Looks is different, because Matthew actually has to leave his house to gather material. “Websites similar to this one have long existed for other cities, with Miami conspicuously missing.” Sure enough. The question is whether Matthew can keep up the post-a-day pace he seems to have set for himself. (Remember Miamity?) I sure hope he does.

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Thursday May 31, 2007

Congrats to Stuck on the Palmetto, named best local blog by New Times Broward/Palm Beach for the second year running.

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Tuesday April 10, 2007

Miami blogger receives bizarre letter from lawyer of Miami Herald columnist

Here’s something! Last November Henry Gomez did a post about Marifeli Pérez-Stable, an FIU professor and Miami Herald columnist. The post links to a report and quotes an e-mail by an Indiana University professor that makes some pretty serious accusations against Pérez-Stable:

In 1993, I wrote an academic study entitled “Academic Espionage: U.S. Taxpayer Funding of a Pro Castro Study“ for the Institute for U.S. Cuba Relations in Washington, D.C. The report was translated into Spanish and published in Miami’s “Diario las Américas” newspaper. I used only one quote from the Pérez Méndez debriefing, which indicated that one of the participants of that project, Professor Marifeli Pérez-Stable, “was a DGI agent who responded to Cuban intelligence officials Isidro Gómez and Jesús Arboleya Cervera. Pérez-Stable, who had organized another DGI front group called the Cuban Culture Circle, was receiving $100 for every person that traveled to Cuba through that organization. According to Pérez-Méndez, Pérez-Stable replaced DGI agent Lourdes Casal after her death in Havana, and the DGI and ICAP prepared the yearly plans for Pérez-Stable.”

. . . wherein DGI is the Cuban intelligence agency. Good, right? Well, I guess word was slow to get around, but two weeks ago Henry got a letter from Pérez-Stable’s lawyer basically claiming that posting the accusation consisted of slander, insisting that it be taken down, and making veiled references to monetary damages:

Please provide me within thirty days of receipt of this letter or April 28, 2007 the name of your insurance carrier with information of all available limits.

Oh, and the letter came headlined “Not for Publication.” Henry, to his credit, talked to a lawyer who assured him that not only did he not have to take down shit, he could go ahead and post the letter, because NfP requests are just that — requests, not legally binding.

Now, I have no idea whether Pérez-Stable is guilty of any of this — I rather doubt it. But I think baseless accusations are best answered with openness and information (possibly information along the lines of why your accuser might have other motives), not with legal threats. It sounds to me from reading the EFF FAQ on Online Defamation Law that Henry is very much within his rights here:

A public figure must show “actual malice” — that you published with either knowledge of falsity or in reckless disregard for the truth.

Obviously Henry made it clear that he was repeating the words of somebody else, and that individual would seem to have at least reasonable credibility. What’s this lawyer thinking, anyway?

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Friday March 9, 2007

Manola Blablablanik has her debut sex column in this week’s CityLink. Congrats Manola! (Hopefully they’ll fix the link to her blog at the bottom — who you got working in the control room over there, Dan Sweeney??)

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Tuesday January 23, 2007

Refresh Miami is, um, “a community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of New Media endeavors in their areas.” That clears it up. I guess they’re tech-people. You know, geeks. See also Monica Betancourt’s blog.

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Friday January 19, 2007

WTF Transit Miami?

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Monday January 15, 2007

Talk about microblogging: the Justice Building Blog, about the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building.

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Thursday January 4, 2007

You could spend hours drinking Prosecco and talking smack:” a couple (literally) of promising new writers at Metroblogging.

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Tuesday January 2, 2007

New blog: Coral Gables View. Lots of news clippings with interesting observations. Looks promising.

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Thursday November 30, 2006

Stuck on the Palmetto and Babalu: a reverse chronology of escalating hostility

header imagez

But first some background.

Babalu is Miami’s most famous, most widely read blog (especially if you don’t count Drudge). It’s been around for over three years, and is widely read and internationally respected as the premiere online voice of Cubans in exile. It’s a group blog, but editor Val Pietro is close to a celebrity, having frequently appeared on the radio and in print media.

Stuck on the Palmetto just celebrated its one-year anniversary, and what a year it’s been. It’s become Miami’s most-read omniblog, and, as the sidebar prominently reminds us on every visit, was named New Times Broward’s ‘Best Blog’ for 2006. It was a one-man shop until just recently, and is officially written anonymously, though Rick and Alex’s anonymity extends pretty much just to the point of leaving off their last names.

It may or may not be worth pointing out that Babalu’s Technorati stats are about an order of magnitude higher then SotP’s. Linkfight (possibly skewed by SotP’s blogspotness). Anyway, here’s the escalating clash of these two giants, in reverse order:

A fight between two inconsequential bloggers is not very interesting. A fight between two prominent bloggers is . . . well, still not very interesting, but interesting enough to make it worth collecting all these links in one place. Personally, I like them both, but I disagree with both often enough to make it utterly impossible to try to pick a favorite or assign any blame. It’s just two guys who don’t see the world the same way, and it’s all on the record. At least until Blogger crashes once and for all!

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Tuesday November 28, 2006

Lolo has two new blogs: Sweat Records and Meatless Miami.

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Monday November 27, 2006

What's up with a deleted comment?

screenshot from Babalu: [ED: A PORTION OF THIS COMMENT WAS DELETED BECAUSE IT WAS COMPLETELY INAPPROPORIATE.]OK, so a disgruntled former employee storms the Herald, takes a hostage, and then surrenders. The blogs jump all over it, of course. But one particular thing struck me during all this: a comment left on the Babalu post about the event. Here it is:

“Warning: The Attorney General Has Determined that working at the Miami Herald Is Dangerous to Your Health.”

It’s unfortunate that Jose Varela did not seize the racist Tom Fiedler. Had he done so, Cuban exiles would have erected a monument to Varela at the Cuban Memorial Plaza.

Pretty outrageous comment, and Rick and Bob both picked up on it; at some point in the meantime, the second paragraph of the comment was deleted, presumably by Val, the owner of Babalu. (Rick has thoughtfully archived a pre-deletion screenshot here.)

I find that comment outrageous, maybe even bordering on offensive, but for the life of me I can’t see how it rises to the level of needing to be censored. Now, Val runs a great blog, and I’m not trying to suggest that he can’t do anything he wants with his comments section. But I think the deleting of this comment deserves a little discussion. Many people in the Cuban-American community in Miami hate Fiedler. Heck, many Miamians of all sorts of origins hate him — this is a guy who’s claim to fame is sinking Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential campaign.

But nobody believes that the comment was a serious suggestion that someone harm Fiedler, nor can the “racist” comment possibly be viewed as a factual allegation. This poster was voicing serious dislike of, and doing it in an irreverent fashion. It’s not like joking about violence is considered out of bounds; check out Wonkette’s reaction to this very story:

We hope this is the start of a trend, and expect to see Tom Toles firing warning shots out of Downie’s office window by the end of the year.

And that’s a post, folks, not a comment.

OK, so comments get deleted all the time, right? What’s the big deal? Well, for 99% of the comments that get deleted from blogs, it’s because they’re abusive to the process — we delete spam, commercial messages, and abusive language directed at other commenters (ie “trolling”), which undermine the conversation. We do not, generally, delete comments simply because we disagree with them. But wait a second, if we take the gist of the comment to be that Fiedler is an ass, then presumably the editors of Babalu agree with the sentiment.

So what does it mean that this comment got deleted? That Val actually likes Fiedler? That he thought there was a genuine incitement to kidnap him? Or was it that he didn’t want that comment up because it made his blog’s community look a little nutty?

If it’s the latter, then the implications are troubling. Are they that, once again, the Cuban-American community is supposed to speak with one unified voice? That “extreme” comments are encouraged so long as they stay within certain prescribed lines (note that a regular commenter is named “KillCastro”)? Or that the line between flippant comments and violent actions is still dangerously thin for some?

Again, my intention is not to tell Val how to run his house, or what he can and can’t delete. But unlike zapping a piece of spam, deleting this particular comment had meaning, and it’s worth wondering what that is.

Update:
. . .and a not unpredictable brawl ensued in the comments below. I want to thank Val for correcting a couple of my points and sharing his perspective on this issue. To wit: (1) I was wrong about KillCastro being a regular commenter on Balabu; I randomly came across some old posts that led me to that conclusion. (2) I obviously wasn’t clear enough in saying that I think the comment should have stayed. (3) the comment was deleted by George, after consulting with Val (not a major point IMHO).

But let me jump straight to what I think is the most significant issue, and one which everyone in the comments seems to be ignoring: The comment was deleted to avoid (further) criticism from Rick. What’s up with that?? As much as I think the comment should have stayed, I think the reason for its deletion is even worse. We all have strong opinions, and we have blogs so we can hash out our intellectual differences. So why delete a comment to avoid an argument, if it’s an honest argument?

The rest of my thoughts are more relevant to what’s being discussed in the comments, so I’ll continue there. Thanks to everyone for participating — it’s a little bit of a flame war, but there’s some good exchange of ideas, too.

Update: This comment says something very important. Thanks, Manuel.

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Friday November 24, 2006

Poor Metroblogging Miami. Half their posts are promises to cover a given topic along with a call for experts to do the actual writing, I. Ambrosia, their only writer worth reading, is posting less frequently all the time, and now this: Some twit from D.C. does a post about not knowing the difference between Ice Cube and Ice-T. They all look the same, huh Don? Thanks for dropping in and idioting up the place.

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Wednesday November 22, 2006

New Times vs. ignore

New Times Clarification re ignore

If there’s one thing ignore’s good at, it’s handing out a dissing. Last week New Times gave them the opportunity, and they brought their blog out of a month-long hibernation to take NT down a peg:

Hey Jean, why do we keep receiving inquisitive calls from Lara Coppola every time she sees her name (and, more scarily and ethically dubious, misquotes attributed to her by you) in your column? Why does Ms. Coppola think that “we must have talked to you” because, well, she hasn’t? According to Lara, she has never spoken to you. She doesn’t even know who the fuck you are, just like Wikipedia, which recently erased your self-posted entry because you were deemed, we shit you not, “irrelevant.”

We’re guessing someone will soon be calling the big doggies in Colorado…again.

At issue is this article, which, um — borrows — images, and possibly the whole concept, from a months-old ignore feature about Kareem Edouard. Here’s a link to the blog rant, which also includes a swipe at Miami Nights.

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Tuesday October 24, 2006

The Corruption in Surfside, Florida blog. Wow, sounds serious. (thanks, Ed!)

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Friday September 29, 2006

Sometimes a comment really hits home, and provokes a lot of reflection, as this one, suggesting “wow, alesh why don’t you tell us what you ate last night.” Not a bad idea, and so here pleased to be presenting: i eat food, my new blog. Updated probably maybe twice a week or so, and sporting a design which I consider to be an homage to Preshrunk, though with more red.

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Tuesday September 26, 2006

The funniest thing I’ve seen so far today: In a recent online poll, 81% of the respondents thought online polls should continue. (Rick thinks I’m a spoilsport to suggest that online polls are a waste of time, even “just for fun.”) Update: Everyone agrees that I’m an ass for “making a big deal” out of this. See Fanless and the entire argument in the comments. BTW, I like to “click on buttons and look at graphs” as much as the next guy, and in that spirit I offer a link to the implicit association test at Harvard.

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Friday September 15, 2006

Henry, of Cuban-American Pundits, has started up Herald Watch. He began right before the Marti fiasco perfect timing. This should be interesting.

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Monday August 7, 2006

Spankin’ new: Miami forums at 411. A classy effort, but if my experiments with the Miami Wiki are any indication, it’s difficult to get readers to do anything more then scroll and click.

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Um, no, sorry, the Miami bloggers will NOT be gathering

I got a weird e-mail link to this weird invite yesterday, and I ignored the living shit out of it. This morning, when Christian and Rick have posts about it (and so do probably a bunch of other bloggers I haven’t looked at yet – Fanless is my first stop when he has a new post, and Rick is comprehensive, hence my checking there to see if anyone else noticed it), I dug it out of my inbox trashcan and took another look.

So, yes, hi guys! I agree with Rick: this is a great idea. I also agree with Rick that it’s mainly great at getting your restaurant, vineyard, or whatever it is, some inexpensive publicity. Clever.

But no. You don’t get to throw the big party where all the Miami bloggers finally get together. Too many of us are anti-corporate, some of us are adamantly anonymous, and most of us have an aversion to the 33139 zip code. I have hung out with a few of the Miami bloggers, and I’m sure we’ll have more things where more of us get together. But when it’s organized by some out-of-town corporate interest, I don’t think I’m the only one who’s going to be able to find something more interesting to do.

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Thursday July 27, 2006

Miamivision Blogarama

worlds tallest proposal

I don’t normally link to fresh new blogs, on the grounds that they’re often here today, gone tomorrow. But Miamivision is too good to pass up. Witness the picture above, from this post about the proposed Empire World Tower. No idea where they got the rendering (which is a year old in any case), but it sure is impressive.

Even more impressive are the observations about on the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts:

Architect Cesar Pelli was forced to keep [the Sears tower] in his design by well-meaning but misguided preservationists who went epileptic when they found out that it might get nixed in the plan. Although it is not a great example of the Art Deco style, it seems it was the only example of Art Deco architecture left in Miami. Too bad there isn’t any money in the budget to hire Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen to turn it into a giant flashlight pointing skyward. That would give Miami that elusive signature piece of art or architecture it sorely lacks because no matter how grand the design and effective the acoustics are, Pelli’s buildings would be hard to pick out of a lineup of concert halls.

[ . . . ]

”...it connects with a past that was precious to many people.” [Pelli] As someone who grew up here, that statement reeks with irony. It was in the Sears tower that I was first exposed to the Jim Crow laws of 1950’s Miami. I was probably five or six when I made the mistake of going to the wrong water fountain. . .

Snap! And there’s much more: a proposal for the soon-to-be gentrified Overtown, a tribute to Churchill’s Pub, and more more more. See also the original site, a mecha of (flash) weirdness. (via Transit Miami)

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Monday July 10, 2006

Larry Lebowits interviews Gabriel of Transit Miami and rounds up local transit-related blogging. Cool! (Hopefully the Herald will fix the hilariously messed up links by the time you read this.) Herald readers landing here, if you’re really only interested in transportation click ‘Traffic’. And here’s that Metrorail anagram. Update: Yes, they fixed it.

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Monday June 19, 2006

It’s a funny thing about RSS readers: they track everyhing going on at your blog. So even though Miamity is dead [sob!!], I can tell that Kyle recently updated the Filling Out The New Times Poll post. No idea what he changed, but it’s still worth reading.

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Friday June 9, 2006

South Florida Commuter Services has two blogs(!) – Diary of a South Florida Commuter and Diary of a South Florida Vanpooler. They seem pretty infrequently updated, and might (?) make for interesting reading, if they weren’t #EEEEEE on #FFFFFF (that’s light gray on white). (via Greener Miami)

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Wednesday May 17, 2006

The blogacious hipster politics

new times spread out
I’m writing this drunk, and it’s about silly shit, and life is short, and you’re probably better off skipping this post. Count yourself warned.

Item #1 is this ignore post, wherein our heros (a) make fun of this event for being sponsored by Toyota (“where does it end?” I don’t know, but it ended a long-ass time ago if you’re going to eschew anything with corporate sponsorship, guys. Also, and I really really do love ignore, but you guys using “hipster cunt” as a put-down is kind of like a bulldozer calling a forklift yellow, isn’t it?) and (b) totally go off on Crispin Porter + Bogusky, because they found out that someone at the company left an ignore-insulting comment on Miamity (Kyle is pals with ignore, so he prob. gave them the IP). Also note this, and also that said comment was left under the name “newtimez,” which brings us to . . .

Item #2 So the New Times’ best of issue named a TV station’s web site Best Local Website, which is great, except that (#1: the Associated Press style guide demands that “Web site” is two words, and #2:) the logic that got you to that selection, taken to its obvious logical conclusion, leads you to name herald.com the “Best local Website” every year henceforth. Still no big problem, except that they then say something like “the loozers in Bloward can have a ‘best blog’ category, but we in daD3z know that blogz are, like, sooo 2001; we ain’t even w’dat, yo” (check the link above, in case I’m mis-remembering their quote a little (and also, btw, a belated congrats to Rick, who got the best blog nod in da BPB)), with which I just have the slightest of problems. Blogs, to me, are a format, not so much a cultural entity in and of themselves. In other words, a particular blog can be good or bad, cool or uncool, but to call blogs in general uncool is equivalent to someone in the 1920’s saying that the talkies are a silly fad, or (as I put it here) someone in 1460 saying that books are “so 1455.”

OK, so the New Times said something dumb. Appropriately, tNFH makes fun of them for it, as does Franklin (in tNFH’s comments), as does Kyle, and as I would like to . . .

The problem is that NT is supposed to be a “fun” publication, and you can’t possibly be a “fun” weekly without shooting from the hip, and without saying some stupid shit from time to time. The problem is compounded in the case of the “Best of” issue, wherein the staff is required to make up all this shit in all these specific categories, and make it make sense, and be fun to read, and not be the same thing year after year, and, well, who am I to get upset if all those requirements get in the way of not saying stupid shit from time to time. Not to mention the fact, and let’s face it, that that everyone knows what the best blog in MIA is (and let’s face it: the only reason you’ve read this far was to see if I was going to go there, and now you know).

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Wednesday May 10, 2006

Let’s hear it for Miami moms blogging!

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Tuesday May 9, 2006

Speaking of Rick, he’s all exited because M****st (I will not link them in a house. I will not link them with a mouse. I will not link them here or there. I will not link them anywhere!!) linked to MB411. Whatever. And for the record, I have been to an auto show. It was when I was 14. They had a mock up of the A-Team van, with a mounted machine gun. It was great.

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What's up with the Daily Pulp?

pulp

Our story so far: Bob Norman launched the original Daily Pulp back in January, with a pretty decent splash. Word spread, and by March, the New Times brass took interest, and made him move it to their own domain. So far, so good. Then, on May 3, after months of posting every single weekday, the blog goes dark. Rick, along with most of the journalists in SoFla (who read the blog with some combination of delight and dread) are like, “wtf??” Then, on May 9th (yesterday, to those of you who are following along), a post appears on the Pulp from Tony Ortega, New Times editor, which cryptically begins “Bob’s busy with an investigation, so I thought I’d fill in . . .”

So, yeah, wtf? Well, rumour has it that it’s all about a beef between Bob and the New Times brass. A post (presumably the one intended for May 3) was vetoed by NT Lawyers, resulting in what must have been one of those legendary newsroom arguments. Lawyers and editors tend to win those fights, though, and the post never saw the light of day. So Bob goes off and writes another post, describing the whole incident (and probably using some choice words), and now they won’t let him put that post up, either. Now thoroughly pissed off, Bob stops writing the Pulp. He’s either sick of the whole damned thing, or it’s some sort of a stand-off.

If true, it’s disappointing but not unforeseeable. The New Times plays all punk-rock, but it’s a big national corporation, so it needs its ass covered. Maybe it’s impossible to do a blog like the Pulp under that kind of environment? In any case, if anyone has any other info on the situation, let’s hear it.

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Sunday May 7, 2006

Cuban connection

A follow-up to the Herald blogging post is really not necessary, since most of the blogs, while based in Miami, are not really about Miami. (There are, by the way, two new ones.)

Oscar Corral’s Cuban Connection is interesting sometimes. He recently posted about breaking up his blogroll into pro-Castro and anti-Castro, which just comes across as weird: the Herald’s blog on Cuban issues is “neutral” about whether Castro is good or bad?! To top that off, he refers to the “irreverence” of some of the anti-Castro blogs. Robert actually had a pretty good-natured response to that comment, which I’d have been pissed off about if I were him. Also, babalú gets oddly snubbed.

In any case, the comments section looks completely unmoderated, and an unhinged argument ensues.

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Thursday April 27, 2006

Right back at ya, SunPost

sunpost cover Tiffany Rainey’s article on Miami blogging is out in this week’s Sun Post. A pretty great rundown of some of the more prominent local blogs, illustrated by the totally awesome Chris Meesey.

During the art blogging panel, and in a few other conversations I’ve had with journalists, the supposed merging of blogging and journalism comes up often. But the conversations I’ve had with Tiffany, and other journalists, lead me to believe that the opposite is true: what I do looks a little like journalism, but the process is almost the exact opposite. Journalists are usually assigned stories (maybe sometimes they suggest them, but still there is editorial input at every stage), do a whole bunch of research, place phone calls, gather facts, and present a balanced piece that conforms to a previously established format and length. I, on the other hand, write about whatever the hell I feel like, at whatever length I want, and my research, if any, consists of a google search. I could count on one hand the number of phone calls I’ve made to gather information for CM. More then that, though, there is a distinct lack of planning about the whole thing – the average length of time between an idea for a post and the “publication” is maybe an hour. My saving grace is being able to cast a wide net – everything from personal experiences to a long-ass list of RSS feeds (some of which are extremely secret) makes it relatively easy and fun keep finding stuff that’s interesting to me to write about.

Oh, but and so I wanted to talk about the SunPost… I first read the Post a few years ago, when it was sort of shit. It was around the same time CM started that I noticed it getting more fun to flip through, and my first post about it was back in June of last year. Since then much of the Post’s core reporting staff has turned over, and the new team, consisting of Tiffany, Omar Sommereyns, Rebecca Wakefield, and Alfredo Triff (the latter three are all, curiously, New Times transplants), along with a few others, are pushing the rag in a new direction, more community-oriented then the New Times, yet much hipper then ‘straight’ newspapers. The paper has also expanded it’s reach (previously, it was limited to only a few sections of Miami/Dade), and updated its look (some fancy design firm thing).

What’s missing is a modern web site. I’ve railed on about the lack of proper permlinks on numerous past occasions, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg – the Post’s site insists on attempting to duplicate the feel of reading the “real” paper, sacrificing the benefits of the web. And no RSS feed? Give me a break: the Herald has close to 200 different feeds. But whatever; they’ll figure it out, and the SunPost will continue to be an asset to the community.

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Friday April 7, 2006

Artblogging panel

The panel was fun. There was a little of an information gap, but overall, my worst fears were not realized. To wit: I wondered, since the five of us are obviously articulate in writing and perfectly fine expressing whatever we need to on the blogs, whether there would be about this forum that would add to that. The answer turned out to be “yes.” And while I’m sure there were moments that were painfully dull for the audience, there was also some good back-and-forth. The library didn’t close promptly at 8 pm as was threatened, and so the conversation was allowed to run its course very naturally. One of the questions that came up afterwards was “so what do we do for part 2”? The answer seems clear to me now: different bloggers!

One of the points I found myself making was how different blogging is from journalism (this was particularly apparent during a great chat I had with Omar Sommereyns and Tiffany Rainey of SunPost at the post-panel chowdown at Parilla): a journalist starts a story with an idea, then goes to gather the facts through phone calls and research, then fits it into the space allocated, and into a fairly well defined “story arc.” As a blogger, my approach is almost the reverse of this – I start with experiences that I’ve had, and things that I’ve done or thought because of my personal interests, then fit them into posts; in a sense, the “idea” for the post comes last. I can write as much or as little as I want, and I can do it whenever I want. So, well, it’ll be interesting to see where this stuff is 10 years from now, when blogs and newspapers have gone through whatever integrating they’ll go through, and the percentage of human beings with blogs has plateaued, and this stuff’s place in society is established and not feared.

Oh right, the panel… Well, KH and Alfredo got into a little back-and-forth with Franklin, but there was too much love for real sparks to fly. Helen Kohen was a great moderator; she approached it with the freshness of an outsider (who, as a journalist, did her research!), and was very good about passing the [proverbial] mic around.

Oh, and so Rebecca Carter liveblogged the first hour of the talk (and summarized much of the rest) at Greener Miami, and I think caught much of the more interesting content (the photo above is also hers). Nice work, Rebecca! Meanwhile, over at this Artblog thread Jack gives his assessment at comment #18 (note to Jack: at the dinner after the panel, someone suggested checking Artblog to see what you’d said about it, so we all saw your comment moments after you posted it, about an hour after the end of the panel).

Update: KH has some reflections here and here.

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Tuesday April 4, 2006

Second-to-last Tuesday

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