Silicon Beach: Sushi Samba, New Times Tweetups Wrap-Up

Last week was buzzing with two great tweetups. On Wednesday, Sushi Samba held its first nationwide one, which Silicon Beach announced earlier in the month. Tweetup guests in Vegas, Chicago, New York City and of course Miami locations connected over the twittersphere simultaneously with the hashtag #sstwtup. The conversations were projected on a big screen and visible to all.

Miami's restaurant in South Beach was jam-packed. When we arrived, the hostess gave us name tags and seated us at a table. Yours truly decided it couldn't possibly be a tweetup if we were all dining separately without being able to connect, so a gang of local twitterati moved over to the bar and improvised.

Note to Sushi Samba: next time, have a tweetup on a less crowded night and let us mingle at the bar instead. The whole point is not to sell a product but to connect folks who don't know each other. These folks will then carry the conversation about your product online. Unfortunately, the only way we could mingle with people we didn't know was to interrupt their meals, so everybody hung out with their own clique.

Other than the seating issue, the event was a big hit. The bite-sized food offerings were delicious and the mojitos and caipirinhas refreshing. Silicon Beach looks forward to the next "meet&TWEET" by Sushi Samba and thinks more local restaurants would be smart to follow suit.

On Friday, Miami New Times threw its best Tweetup yet since Silicon Beach has been around.  Held at 8oz. Burger Bar in South Beach, it featured dozens of New Times fans doubled-parked at the bar for free drinks. A TV screen projected tweets about the event, but unfortunately the connection was spotty.  Most people were wearing name tags but few sported their Twitter name, but who cares if you've got free drinks and are having a blast, right?

Some folks competed for a $50 tab at a Rock Band station and unfortunately the singing was  dreadful. There were probably a few stray cats cringing in the alley behind the restaurant. No diners should ever be subjected to off-key crooning unless willingly surrendering to torture. But other than that, kudos to New Times for a very fun two hours to get the weekend going on Friday.

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Miami native Maria de Los Angeles currently journeys in northern latitudes but is a correspondent for the Magic City. A community advocate, she pens stories about art, culture, good folks doing good things, women's issues, and only-in-Miami moments.