Monday, August 1, 2011

SxSe 2011 Wrap-Up

Just like in 2008, we left our mark at Rum Runners in Holiday Isle. But this year, we forgot to sign the giant panties! Photo by @vicequeenmaria.
SxSe took place in Key West this year and was as good as an unconference as an unconference can get!

Some folks went down to the southernmost island in their own wheels but the majority cruised to Key West in three Chevy cars provided by GM Southeast, making the 180 mile trip a breeze. (Read more about the carpool here.)

As with SxSe in previous years, new friendships were forged and old ones strengthened -- all originating through Twitter. Unfortunately, many from the original SxSe crew were unable to attend, but they were there in spirit.  New this year was the loosely organized but very active "Miami Rat Pack" social group.

Some really good shop talk about social media was served up, but in the most casual and informal way -- at the bar, by the pool or over dinner. James from @soulofmiami called it a "social media retreat" and that's really what it felt like.

Some of the gang during a performance break at The Green Parrot. Left to right: @alexdc, @szeliu, @gopalo, @janiec, @johnnybond86 and @vicequeenmaria.

Miami's Afro-Cuban Funk band PALO! played for us once again -- we enjoyed them in 2008.  This year, they had a gig at the Green Parrot Bar, which was packed with revelers both nights. Key West locals know good music when they hear it -- to paraphrase owner John Vagnoni -- and the proof was in all the booty shaking going on at this legendary watering hole!

Our main tweetup took place at the pirate-y Rum Barrel where we enjoyed happy hour on the rooftop terrace.

But folks did whatever they wanted together or apart, before and after. Key West is perfect for that kind of laid-back, no obligation, no bullshit kind of fun, which for some of us included drinks at the Rum Bar served up by local rum legend Bahama Bob, sunsets at Mallory Square, a visit to the clothing-optional Garden of Eden bar, a drag show at Aqua, chocolate orgasms at Better than Sex and a gourmet meal at Café Solé.

SxSe headquarters at the beautiful Eden House was perfectly located, not too close or too far from Duval Street.

Serious social media discussion, SxSe style.  Photo by @vicequeenmaria.
We even had some hashtag squatters talking about #sxse but not actually showing up to meet anyone who was "officially" attending. You know an event is good when complete strangers decide to have a satellite party of their own!

But enough of the boring summary! Let the pictures do the talking.

More great photos over at Soul of Miami.

To keep up with SxSe, follow us on Twitter or on our Facebook page for announcements.


SxSe is a non-commercial effort. We do, however, accept discounts and donations of goods and services.  Hospitality is always welcome, too!

Thanks to the following folks for their support in the planning stages and during the event.

Eden House
GM Southeast
The Green Parrot
Island Dogs Bar
Porky's Bayside BBQ
The Rum Barrel
Rum Runners at Holiday Isle
Soul of Miami

Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting to Key West Was Just As Fun

Three Chevy teams, plus others who traveled in their own cars, came together for the main tweetup at The Rum Barrel. Photo by @vicequeenmaria,
Key West is 180 miles from Miami and what with gas prices this year, plus some folks not too keen on being behind the wheel for a long drive, it was a good thing when GM Southeast stepped in to help out with transportation. (Read a wrap-up of the full SxSe event here.)

Those interested in car pooling were asked to leave a comment on the blog, although most people just contacted organizer @vicequeenmaria directly. SxSe ended up with three carpool teams and each one got a Chevy with a full tank of gas.

The Chevy Gazelles (so named because two of them are over 40 and were once pounced upon like innocent prey by a 24-year old guy at a bar), took a Chevy Equinox down to Key West with the XM Radio tuned to the 80's station the whole time. @Vicequeenmaria chauffeured @janiec and @szeliu.

A little rain in Florida City didn't stop @szeliu from tweeting. Photo by @janiec.

The B-Stings, led by @hrb2008 and her hubbie, packed a Chevy Traverse with four road trippin' friends. They even made their own tshirts!  The B-Stings were @hrb2008, @tashanicole516, @jbreun01, @kram_ber, @cradi and @valerieradi.

Four of The B-Stings pictured here.  Photo by @hrb2008.

@Soulofmiami drove @thepumagirl and @antjphotog in a Chevy Equinox dubbed the Soulmobile.

The Soulmobile leaving the 7 Mile Bridge.  Photo by @soulofmiami.
Once we were in Key West, we didn't really need to use our cars, but having a sweet, comfortable ride on the way there and back was a real treat.  The Florida Keys isn't just a place; it's a state of mind. There's no need to rush to Key West. Some people find that three-hour drive tedious, but it's not if you do it SxSe style.

There's no need to rush back to Miami either.  The B-Stings had to leave late Saturday, but The Chevy Gazelles and The Soulmobile squeezed as much as they could out of Sunday, spending hours getting back to Miami. The two teams stopped at Porky's BBQ for lunch and Holiday Isle for refreshment.

We all pretty much drove round-trip with one tank of gas!


During the weekend, GM Southeast was keeping an eye on tweets tagged #chevysxse to see who was posting car-related adventures.

@soulofmiami won a $100 gift card for BEST OVERALL TWEET.

@janiec won a $50 gift card for BEST PHOTO TWEET.

Evidence that the Chevy Gazelles made it to Key West. Photo by @janiec.
@hrb2008 and @vicequeenmaria were tied for FUNNIEST TWEET. Each also won a $50 gift card.

The winners were picked by GM Southeast's great staff. Many thanks to them all for their continued support of South Florida's social media community!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SxSe Chevy Caravan - Get A Free, Sweet Ride to Key West

We realize Key West is a bit of a drive for some folks, so Chevy has generously agreed to loan us three big SUVs, each with a full tank of gas, to head down to SxSe!

Want to be the captain of a carpool? Leave a comment below on why you should drive your posse down to the Conch Republic!

Your car will be delivered to your door on Thursday, July 14 and picked up at the same location on Monday, July 18 by the awesome Prestige guys. All you need to do is drive to SxSe in a sweet Traverse or Equinox with a car load of your best buddies!

Get creative ... give your car a name and whoever puts out the best car tweet will win a prize courtesy of GM Southeast.

@vicequeenmaria will be driving a Chevy down to Key West on Friday, July 15 and will have room for friends. You will get either a Chevy Traverse (holds 7 adults) or an Equinox (room for 4), so think of all the fun you'll have instead of driving all by your lonesome.

On the way back to Miami, the #chevysxse caravan will drive back together, stopping at Porky's BBQ in Marathon (fried key lime pie, people!) and Rum Runners at Holiday Isle in Islamorada, a famous pit stop in SxSe history!

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment and don't forget to reserve your room at The Eden House!

Deadline to enter is July 10.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

SxSe 2011 Pub Crawl

Our 2011 Key West Pub Crawl is taking shape!

We'll start on Saturday, July 16 at 5 PM at The Rum Barrel and end at The Green Parrot where we'll have the pleasure of listening to and doing some serious booty shakin' to Miami's awesome Afro-Funk Cuban band PALO!


5 PM
The Rum Barrel
528 Front Street
Key West, FL 33040-6658
(305) 292-7862

We might be on the rooftop.  SxSe specials: 2 x 1 domestic beers and well drinks. Well includes Bacardi, Sauza, Bombay, Fris and Jim Beam. Light bites $5 menu.

7 PM
Mallory Square and Pier for sunset viewing and street performer shenanigans (no bar)

8:30 PM
Bars we might hit:  Garden of Eden (yes, that's the clothing optional place, you know we have to check it out), Island Dogs, Hog's Breath Saloon, The Rum Bar, Sloppy Joe's, 801 Bourbon Bar, etc;  Your favorite bar not listed here? We're open to suggestions!

10:30 PM or 12:30 AM
The Green Parrot Bar

601 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL 
(305) 294-6133
We'll wind up the night listening and dancing to PALO! (@gopalo).  No cover charge.

  • Everyone pays their own tab, period! The organizer is not responsible for your bills.

  • There will be no scheduled dinner stop this evening. Please order bar food whenever you're hungry or grab a quick bite somewhere nearby.  @vicequeenmaria recommends Mr. Z's Cheesesteak for a fast, cheap and filling crawl meal.
  • Island Dogs Bar (@islanddogsbar) is offering SxSe wristband wearers 10% off food and drink all weekend long.
    • In order to take advantage of any special SxSe discounts at supporting bars and restaurants, you will need a special wristband.  Ping @vicequeenmaria for details.

    Remember, everything about SxSe is extremely casual and informal. The schedule is never written in stone! You may come and go as you please; join for all or part of the fun.

    Follow us on Twitter for more updates.

    Don't forget to make your reservation for a room at SxSe lodging headquarters, Eden House (@edenhousekw).  They secured some great rates for us and are really looking forward to our visit.

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    About Key West

    Louie's Backyard
    A mojito with a view at Louie's Backyard.

    Key West is one of the most awesome places on the planet. Many people come here to visit and never leave.  At one point in time, it was the richest per capita spot in the U.S., thanks to the wrecking business. As a passing point between the Caribbean and Latin America by the Florida Straits, Key West has seen its rich share of history and characters.  Tiny but full of spunk (and no, not that kind, you mongrel), Key West has a charm and hospitality all its own. Never mind the tshirt shops on Duval Street or the college kids at the bars -- there's something here for all jaded adults to unwind and have fun without the pressure and plastic of South Beach.

    The south easternmost point of the continental U.S. is actually in Elliott Key near Miami.  But this year, we'll be at the southernmost point of all.

    Here are some morsels:

    A forum thread about the destination at Miami Beach 411, led by @vicequeenmaria.  Here are other posts about the Florida Keys at Sex and the Beach.

    And don't forget the official Florida Keys Visitor's site for more information.

    Parking Info

    Parking at Eden House is limited, on a first come, first serve basis. However, there is free street parking around the residential area surrounding the hotel. Visitor spots are clearly marked; there is one visitor spot for every two residential ones.  A municipal lot is located on Caroline and Grinnel Streets and charges a $13 a day maximum. For more info, visit Key West Florida Park and Ride.

    If you are not familiar with Key West, do note that if you come here by car, you will NOT need your car throughout your stay. It's better to walk or take a cab.

    Schedule of Events


    Lazy day for anyone arriving early. @vicequeenmaria plans on being there. PALO! will be playing at The Green Parrot (that's also an official pub crawl stop on Saturday) and singer/guitarist Deblois Milledge will be at the Smokin' Tuna.


    Key West Pub Crawl


    Chevy SxSe Caravan returns to Miami! Can't make it to SxSe on Saturday? Join us either at Porky's Bayside BBQ in Marathon for lunch (10% off food bill only for SxSe wristband wearers) or at Rum Runners in Islamorada for sunset refreshment (specials TBA).

    Remember, SxSe is an unconference with a loosely organized schedule! Join for all or some of the fun.  Other things we may or may not do at some point over the weekend:
    • Anytime at Island Dogs Bar: SxSe wristband wearers get 10% off their food and drink bill Friday - Sunday
    • Drag Queen shows on Duval Street
    • Stop by The Rum Bar at The Speakeasy Inn to say hello to Bahama Bob
    • Desserts at Better Than Sex
    • Optional sailing, snorkeling and other recreational activities plus tours of local museums and attractions (please make your own arrangements)
    • The usual shenanigans, including the signing of the big panties

    Getting to Key West

    If you are flying into Miami or Fort Lauderdale, please ping @vicequeenmaria for transportation options.

    If you decide to fly directly into Key West, a taxi from the airport to Eden House should be about $20.

    For locals, we have some group ride options as well. Check out the Chevy Caravan.

    Room Reservation Info 2011

    The Eden House is Key West, Florida's original  hotel.

    Greetings SxSe'rs! We are pleased to announce that the Eden House in Key West will be our main hotel headquarters for this year's event.  Eden House was gracious enough to give us great rates at a location fair stumbling distance from Duval Street and Mallory Square.

    "Built back in 1924, the hotel has been owned and operated since 1975 by Mike Eden. Now fully renovated, the original art deco hotel building is joined by several renovated conch houses."


    Here is what you need to know to reserve your room. Do it asap as rates are guaranteed up to Monday, July 18th, but not availability!
    • call 1-800-533-5397 and say "sxse tweetup" (that's south-by-southeast) when you make your reservation
    • room rates for SxSe -- for semi-privates to quadruple occupancy suites, range from $105 to $290 with 15% off plus tax
    • there are NO resort fees
    • you will be responsible for your own reservation, which requires a 50% deposit
    • cancellation policy is up to 20 days before your day of arrival, after that you get a credit in the amount of your deposit to use for up to a year

    • complimentary happy hour 4-5 pm
    • 20% off breakfast and lunch at Azur Restaurant next door
    • free limited parking -- first come, first served (more Key West parking info here)
    • access to pool, jacuzzi, sun deck and hammocks
    • free wifi by pool and lobby (it's not guaranteed in rooms)
    • spa discounts at another hotel or in-room massages if your room is big enough (sorry, no happy endings)
    • discount cards for restaurants around the island
    • bike rentals on premises for a modest fee (deposit required)
    The Eden House is located at 1015 Fleming Street. If you have any reservation issues regarding the rates, please tweet @sxse.

    What happens if all rooms get booked at Eden House? Don't worry. Please look at other properties in the Key West that best suit your budget and needs. The SxSe main tweetup will take place at a local bar on Saturday, July 15.  For more info, check out the Pub Crawl.


    What is SxSe?

    It all started in 2008. A few folks from around the country, connected by Twitter, decided to get together with their mutual Twitter pals in South Florida. This happened in April, about a month after the acclaimed conference in Austin known as SXSWi (South by Southwest Interactive).

    The event name SxSe (South by South East, rhymes with sexy) is simply a spoof; had we been located in Bum F*ck Egypt, we might've called the event BFE. SxSe has nothing to do with SXSWi whatsoever -- it's just a big-ass party taking place in the nation's dicktip. There are no panels, powerpoint or keynote addresses; however, there is plenty of great discussion, bonding and friendship. If there's anything professional about SxSe, it's a very high standard of olympic-quality mojito drinking.

    What's up with the giant panties?

    Well, in 2008, @annohio was traveling around the country going to many tweetups. She took a Giant Panty with her every where she went, to be signed by the many wonderful Twitter peeps she met along the way. The Giant Panty was kind of like a Flat Stanley, or as the geeks would say, "a social object." The first Miami Giant Panty signing took place in 2008 at a Jeff Pulver social media breakfast, where the idea of "social tagging" was already featured in the form of sticky notes.

    The next day, more participants signed the Giant Panty at Monty's. At one point, @vicequeenmaria grabbed the panty and asked @dearyvette to hold the other end. It was at this moment that the Giant Panty Limbo Dance was born. Giant Panties, as well as bras, briefs and crocs, played a prominent role in SxSe 2009.  It's most likely that the tradition will continue every year.

    What should I expect at a SxSe event?

    We have a bunch of fun things planned for the weekend.  You can pick and choose; come to one or all. It's really up to you. You'll make new friends or reconnect with old ones. Laugh, dance, drink, eat and be generally merry.

    Again, there will be no panels, unless you consider a "panel" to be the heavy-duty weaving on the crotch area of giant panty. As a matter of fact, we may well have an unpanel during which we impart no information whatsoever.

    Important social media subjects such as ...
    • how to properly hug someone you've only ever talked to on Twitter when you meet in real life
    • fine-tuning your social media douchebag radar
    • avoiding dating within your Twitter circle
    • why your BMI is more important than your Twitter follower count

     ... and so on, may be discussed spontaneously poolside over cocktails.

    SxSe is your blank canvas for fun. Nobody cares about pimping social media bullshit here, which is what makes it particularly, brilliantly and truly social media.

    If there are no geeks and social media panels, what the hell am I gonna talk about?

    Since the middle ages, clerics and wise men have asked: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? At SxSe, we can discuss: how many mint leaves should be muddled in a mojito? ... and so forth. If you want to drop abbreviations like "SEO" and "ROI" all night, that's fine -- everyone is welcome to discuss what they please -- but we can't guarantee such talk will get you a lap dance. (Dropping trou won't guarantee that either ...)

    Good grief. I hate dancing. Do I really need to know how to pole dance?

    Ay caramba! We don't care if you want to spend the entire night like an ostrich with your head stuck in the toilet, although that kind of foolishness, admittedly, would not be fun. Chances are, however, that if you're reading this, it's because you're into social media, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to hurry down to your closest Fred Murray studio. If you're choreographically challenged, no worries! Leave the ass-shaking and pole-grinding to those of us who thrive on the threat of blackmail!

    Do I have to be on Twitter to attend?

    No. But it sure as hell helps. Basically, the whole innernets is welcome to attend the events announced in the itinerary. If you're not on Twitter, you'll miss out on keeping up with all the great new friends you'll make in South Florida.

    WTF is Twitter?

    In a nutshell, Twitter is an online social space where people share information in short bursts of writing -- each message is no longer than 140 characters. You follow a group of people with whom you share conversations and over time, this motley crew of friends begins to care about each other and want to hang out.