The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Sep 14, 2012

Event-O-Matic - A digital tool coalescing community in South Florida & worldwide

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

By Lauren Reskin, Sweat Records
When Sweat Records first opened in 2005, there wasn't nearly as much happening around South Florida as there is today.

Because of this, we felt it our duty as music and culture junkies to let our customers know not only about our own in-stores, but about every interesting/cool/worthwhile concert and event we heard about, either via our own mailing list subscriptions, Myspace (!), or from fliers and posters left in our shop.  We were connected and wanted to help the rest of the music lovers in our city connect as well.  We included everything we could find (even if it competed with something we were doing ourselves), and the increasing kilobyte count of our mailing list became concrete evidence of South Florida's cultural growth.

For years after that we had hand-compiled a list of the best arts-related events, both underground and less so.  This list for our newsletter and website went from taking about 15 minutes in 2005…to upwards of five hours a week in 2009.  With the scene mushrooming before our eyes, we needed a more efficient solution.

Hence, the Event-O-Matic was born.  We worked with developers Garvin Media to create a Wordpress plugin that would let us create our own events, but also let the community add theirs.  We review all the submissions, correct some spelling here and there, and add them to our calendar. Since launching in 2010 we have passed over 4,000 unique entries for Sweat's EOM!  Not only that, but the plugin has been made available as a free download to the public and has currently been downloaded over 6,800 times!  Our Events Page gets thousands of hits a month and has been praised as a go-to guide to what's going on in South Florida.

We are proud to have helped build a tool that is bringing people together worldwide.  We are proud to present a view of Miami's cultural landscape that is both curated AND crowd-sourced.  Many thanks to the Knight Foundation for funding Sweat Records and the development of the Event-O-Matic.

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