The year came to a close rather quietly with a laid-back cocktail party at the Mutiny Hotel in Coconut Grove on December 16.
According to Refresh Miami co-founder Brian Breslin, the group has grown considerably this year -- by about fifty percent, with more than 2,000 people subscribed to updates.
Topics in 2009 ranged from financing and legal issues for startups, real-time web, emerging web standards, to building a social network using Buddypress.
Refresh Miami wants 2010 to be even better. In a letter to followers, Breslin wrote:
In the coming year I hope we can leverage this positive community even more so in order to effect positive change throughout. I also hope we can use the tools at our disposal to bring more value to each and every one of you who actively participates in our community whether it be by teaching you new things, connecting you to new friends, or opening up new opportunities for you both personally and professionally.
At the meetup, New Times spoke with Breslin for a few minutes in between trips to the bar.
New Times: What's the biggest thing that happened to you tech-wise this year?
Brian Breslin: Well, actually, getting interviewed for a mention in The Miami Herald's article about Silicon Beach.
NT: Dude, I'm quoting you for Miami New Times!
Breslin: I know, I'm sorry. But when my name came up in print for Business Monday, I got a bunch of calls from old geezers asking me about the interwebs. That's rare.
NT: What was your favorite Refresh moment in 2009?
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Breslin: We had some really outstanding presentations year-round, but I loved the time when we found out we had no meeting space at the last minute. Anna Maria from Windisch-Hunt Gallery in Coconut Grove stepped in and let us use her space with extremely short notice. It just shows how resourceful and connected we are. We were able to mobilize hundreds of people on Twitter in just minutes.
NT: A handful of geeks live in the Grove and Coconut Valley seems to be a theme with you. What are you doing with it?
Breslin: I will be presenting a panel at South By Southwest Interactive next March with Davide Di Cillo. Coconut Valley is in the title. It's all about building a tech community in South Florida.
Keep up with Refresh Miami at Refreshmiami.org.