Got hit by a van yesterday…

So about 400 of us gathered together at BarCamp Miami 2012 at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami on Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know what BarCamps are, they are nicknamed “un-conferences” where anyone can speak about anything they want. Mostly social media and techie types attend and many came from all over the state for this one.

The great thing about BarCamps is that nothing is planned. Especially getting hit by a van. Some people had presentations prepared. And some people didn’t. Guess which category I fell into.

I decided that I would speak about Instagram and made up a quick title: Instagram: The most social of the social networks. So right after lunch break, as I was walking back to give my presentation, I spotted a homeless man who wouldn’t tell me his name but as you’ll see let me take a few pictures. We spent about 5 minutes together. I gave him a few bucks and he blessed me for the money and promised he would use it for food but I didn’t have time to enforce it. I asked if I could snap a couple of pictures but he said under one condition: that he could tell me where to stand so I could take the best pictures. And I listened to him.

I was so taken by our brief time spent together that I just couldn’t wait to look at the pictures that I had just captured. So I’m walking back looking at them on my phone. And as I was crossing the street, SCREECH! And bam, a van loaded with shoppers headed for Bayfront Park clipped me. The mirror hit my arm and spun me around real quick before the back tire could run over my foot. Everyone on the van screamed. The driver stopped and screamed, ” Are you OK? Are you OK? I tried to stop! I tried to stop!” It really happened so fast.

I asked him if he would stand for a picture and he agreed even though it was difficult for him.  The only thing he wouldn’t let me photograph up close was his socks. Why? Because that’s where he told me he kept his private and valuable stuff.

I have spoken with Jeff Zelaya many times about public speaking and I was lucky that I got to spend much of the day with him at BarCamp. I’ve always said that one of the keys to public speaking was having a great opening. Well, I had one. I just got popped by a van for the love of Instagram.

Maybe I’ll think of something a little safer next time.

Have a great short week everyone.


22 thoughts on “Got hit by a van yesterday…

    1. Hi and thanks!

      Yes, it could been real bad. No, I didn’t even drop the phone. But if I did, nothing would happened. It’s one of those gigantic Otter Box cases that has survived through something worse: use by my 10 year old boy.


    1. Hey man,

      I don’t use any of the filters that are built into the Instagram app and I edit very little really. I use Snapseed and Camera+. But I only use them to bring out certain details and clean things up. Actually, I think these pics here are a little over edited. Shot on iPhone 4.

      If you have any other questions, drop me an email of give me a call. Later.


  1. Oh dear. Could have been much worse. So glad you are OK. You have given us all something to consider. Smart phones and traffic don’t mix even if you are on foot.


  2. Thank you for sharing your story and glad you are safe, Mike. We all had so much fun at BarCamp. This is a lesson learned for many of us to be conscious so we are able to stay present and focused during every second of our journey of life…seeing true beauty both in people and our surroundings. The photos are beautiful!

  3. I certainly wish I had been able to cater food at BarCamp for everyone, which would have increased safety for attendees that jaywalk while tweeting. We know what happens when tweeting drivers meet tweeting jaywalkers… Luckily you’ve become pretty fit, which makes you a smaller target. You’re also made of iron now, so you probably did more damage to the van than it did to you. All kidding aside, I’m glad you’re alright and I encourage you to find less dramatic opening lines for your presentations 😉

    Thank you for participating in BarCamp, I was really glad to see you there and to attend your presentation. You rock, buddy.

    1. I gotta tell you Alex, being athletic and it good shape honestly does help when you get hit by a moving vehicle. I was like an NFL wide receiver. I got popped, bit I spun with catlike reflexes and stayed on my feet. I’m kinda not kidding!

      It was such a great day and such a great day to spend with you. I wish I could have stayed for the after party and your birthday party. Honestly, after the adrenaline rush of the day was over, I realized that I did in face get popped by a van and went home to my couch and Advil.

      Thanks my friend! You’re the rock star in this discussion.


  4. I hate to say this Mike, but this is one of THE worst trends among people right now. Being on the road as much as I am, I see people in South Beach constantly walking right into traffic without looking while texting or talking. Not once a day. Not twice a day. Multiple times a day. Paying zero attention to traffic coming or going. I’m honestly surprised that I haven’t witnessed an accident. It is all. the. time. People with the cellphone.

    I really hope you’re okay, Mike. Honestly, I’ve been thinking about writing an entire post about the topic of people’s habits with their cellphones in traffic, motorists and pedestrians. And I don’t want to sound preachy, but it’s such an insane hazard that people don’t even think about.

    There’s a time and a place. In traffic is not one of them.

    1. Scott,

      This was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. I happened to be speaking with my lawyer who screamed at me for not getting the van company and all their information too. She yelled multiple times about it. But I was clear, this was my fault.

      This is a huge problem and I encourage you to write about it. I’m kind of a homebody and don’t get out enough to see it as badly as you do. But I did see two people at the beach walk into each other that were texting or something on their phone.

      I’m OK, just a little banged up. Please write on it. It’s a great idea and an important and timely topic that is only getting worse.


  5. Mike, you looked none the worse for wear yesterday! I hope you are ok. This multi-tasking thing is dangerous. Keep your eye on the road. We want all your awesome pieces in one piece, ok? 🙂

    1. Hi Maria,

      Yeah I was kind of fine right then and there. Actually I probably was in some type of shock or adrenaline rush because as soon as the day was over, I tapped out.


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