Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I do what I do

A couple of weeks ago, a long-time friend asked me this question: "Why do you blog? What do you get out of it?"

At the time I gave him the short answer: "I enjoy writing."

But here's another reason.

Two days a ago I wrote about the hit-and-run crash on South Beach that left a father of two dead and a 20 year-old "party princess" charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

The crash, which happened in the early morning hours of Monday, was covered extensively by all of Miami's TV news outlets.

Originally, I hadn't planned to write about the crash.

But all that changed when I saw the the jail mug shot of the woman charged in the case.

As I gazed at the tear-streaked face of Karlie Tomica who's now charged with hitting a man and leaving him to die in the street, it suddenly occurred to me that here was a single image that perhaps made a more compelling argument against driving drunk than a dozen, slickly-produced anti-DUI public service announcements.

The next morning, as I scanned the stats for my blog, I noticed that I was getting a number of referrals from a website that specializes in coverage of Miami's night club scene. 

In a post titled 'Party Princess' kills father of two in a hit-and-run, the author copied and pasted a single quote from my post and provided a link to my blog. His post, so far, has been viewed more than 500 times and has elicited 53 comments. (My blog post has been viewed more than 2,100 times in less than 48 hours.)

Today, when I visited the site, I noticed something I hadn't seen before.

At the top of the forum was an animated banner with a simple, direct and unmistakeable message.

Curious, I clicked on the ad thinking I'd be directed to the website of Mothers Against Drunk Driving or a Miami Beach cab company.

Instead, I was directed to my blog post about the crash.

I usually try to avoid using clich├ęs in my writing.

But I'll relax that rule and say that if just one person sees that banner and then reads my post and it convinces them to call a cab after they've had too much to drink, then it will make what I do here worth the effort.

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