Welcome to the Grapevine

News you can use. - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Who is willing to take up the mantle?

I see by all the comments here and on Facebook that so many of you are mourning the demise of the Grapevine. Wish I had known how you all felt before this.

But regarding the demise of the Grapevine, it's just time. I need to move on. I'm not leaving town, I'm just doing other things. I don't want to say I'm burned out, because I'm not. I just need a change.

This decision to end it all (the Grapevine, not my life) is not new, I've been considering this for quite a few years. I met with many people who wanted to take it on over the years, but when they saw the work entailed the shied away.

Many of you have ideas to keep it going. Some others reached out to me and asked to take it over, but let's be honest, if you were serious, you would have started another blog by now and I wish you would. It's easy to set up. It's the work that is the issue - covering meetings and events, endless emails and press releases coming at you  - sort of like Newman describes the mail to Seinfeld, "The mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. There's never a letup, it's relentless. Every day it piles up more and more, and you gotta get it out, but the more you get out, the more keeps coming in!"

But it is rewarding and it is needed. We need a voice here in our community.

At one time we had the Grand Avenue News, the Coconut Grove Gazette, the Grapevine and I believe one other publication. Those four and the Miami Herald and Community Newspapers and the Grove was well covered. I remember so many times sitting at Village Council or Commission meetings and seeing all the various blogs and publications there covering the meetings, taking notes, writing stories. I loved that. I remember looking around the audience on many occasions thinking, "Look at all this media covering our little village."

I would love to see someone pick up the mantle. Maybe a few people can contribute. I am willing to contribute stories and photos. Maybe  it can be called the Coconut Grove Sun-Times or the Coconut Grove Dispatch or the Grove Morning News or something. I'll be more than happy to feed my readers over to you.

You can easily start a blog at blogger.com or wordpress.com. It's not that difficult. You start off slow and build as you go. The beauty of it is that it's a living thing. It's not printed, so you can change it daily or minute by minute if you like. Don't like the layout? Change it. Got a new email address? Change it. Made a typo? Change it. You can change typos, headlines, photos, do whatever you like, since it's not printed, you are always able to make changes. It's a very easy concept. All you need to to is provide the content. That's the challenging part, adding content daily.

Now here is another concept. There are many people in the community who work behind the scenes, they are constantly working to keep the Grove the Grove. Perhaps everyone can team up and do a blog. Many years ago I was part of Miami Metro Blog. Every major city had a Metro Blog. The Metro Blog had many contributors, sort of like the Huffington Post. In the Miami Metro Blog we posted whatever we wanted, about Miami of course, and the blog thrived on the constant updates from the various members. That could easily be done by a half dozen people in the Grove.

This could really be a great thing. I would love to be a part of that.

I have friends who helped me with the Grapevine over the years, they would ask me if I was going to an event - "You going to the chamber networker? No? Ok, I'll be there, I'll take pics." It got to the point where friends would just send me photos with people's names and captions, all ready to publish! So many great people were my eyes and ears. Even if I was at an event taking pictures myself, I'd get back and there in my inbox were more photos all ready to go. At times, people would hand me their camera memory cards after an event.

That can be coordinated with a shared blog so that a few people are not posting the same thing - pictures from the Strut or a write up on the Village Council meeting; things like that. 

But if you want to do your own thing and be the publisher and editor, start by registering a name, it's free. Start by setting up the look, that can easily be changed as you go along. Write your first article. If you need help, I'll help. Sign up and set up a name for the blog and send me the password. I'll help you from my end, you know, adding widgets (sidebars), titles, etc. I would suggest using wordpress rather than blogger. I think it's better and there are more options. But you have to be committed. The trick is to start it and not peter out after posting one article.

Think about it.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah I don’t see it happening. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure something will pop up in the Grapevine’s place, mimicking it, but it will be just like everything else in the Grove has become. A copy of something that once was. A plastic version of something that once grew organically. A sales pitch glorifying what once was while selling nice place to eat an overpriced meal while sitting next to a traffic jam.

You filled a special niche by having a connection to both the old Grove and the new. Anyone trying to fill those shoes is going to be nothing but a current events calendar with happy, happy, joy, joy content and commentary.

One of the things I’ve come to dislike about the current state of the Grove is that it is the Kingdom of Seem. Appearance over content with every event being micromanaged into boring mediocrity. Halloween was destroyed by over policing, the village vibe was destroyed by overdevelopment, overbuilding and stuffing the area to capacity with temporary residents and day tourists. The people that I met on a daily basis were plastic products, each with their own branding scheme trying to market themselves for for maximum profit.

Whoever try’s to fill your shoes will not know who Neith Nevelson was or who the Blissburgers, Sunhawk who lived in the banyan trees and sold his carvings and walking sticks at the Taurus Saturday nights or, Bob Ingram were. Scornography by who? Fred and Vince? What the hell is Planet Hollywood? The Playhouse? Oh, you mean the mall over by Ransom. The Bed Race is gone. The Bike race is gone. I give the Mango Strut and the Mad Hatters events a couple more years before they’re gone. Even the drum circles which could happen anytime, any place where some guys with drums, guitars and whatever various instruments turned up is now a once a month event assigned to a certain place and with (in my limited experience) the same people. Several years ago there was an attempt to rebrand the Grove as The Nearby Republic and even that was a plastic copy of the Keys self identifying as the Conch Republic. College night on Thursdays moved to Wynwood and poof there went the young crowds that filled the Grove from then till Saturday night.

Nah. Anything or one who tries to replace the Grapevine or buys the name from you will only be a shadow of what you do on a daily basis and will end up being nothing more than a tourist source for current events and commentary to sell the Grove as a going product and nodding it’s head to go along with whatever PR firm runs it. And like you said, if anyone was really interested in covering the Grove from an investigative or current politics and events point of view, they would have already done it.

Gonna misss ya.

Signed- A 12 string player who used to sit in Peacock park and play but now the restaurant needs the seats.

Final edit: LMBO here. the Prove I'm not a Robot test asked me to identify all the parking meters. Coincidence?

February 12, 2020 12:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I moved to Coconut Grove a year ago this weekend. Thank's to the Grapevine, I was able to learn about many events and opportunities to volunteer. Thank you for providing valuable neighborhood information. I for one will miss your input.

February 12, 2020 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many anxious Grapevine addicts are anticipating a severe cold turkey, hopefully most will seek honest help to survive the impending drought. What if they hit up radical sites to the left or right or join some weird cyber cult!!!!! Interesting to watch the outcome.

February 13, 2020 6:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home