If you want to take the pulse of South Florida, there is an Instagram page that’s getting so much buzz, it now has its own catchphrase: "That’s So Only In Dade."
The social media site is quickly becoming the place where local viral videos get their start. It's proving that if it happens in Miami-Dade, someone will capture it on cellphone video.
“It’s really a community thing,” said Shanut Anaut, one of the co-founders of Only In Dade.
Two years ago, four friends put their heads together and decided to expand a Facebook hobby of sharing the crazy stuff that happens every day.
“Everybody drives down Bird Road, something happens, they’re posting it on Instagram, it’s getting shared, people are relating, so we said there has to be more to this,” Anaut said while wearing a face mask.
All four co-founders covered their faces for their interview with NBC 6. As a group, they decided no one would be the face of Only In Dade because they say they want the site to be by the people, for the people.
That’s why we will only see the print business owner, the spa owner, the realtor and the marketing and advertising executive all incognito.
Co-founder Javier Gonzalez explained the early days of Only In Dade (OID) started with people sending in videos.
“It was a slow start. They start sending you stuff. They tag you on it and then it went from a couple of videos to now thousands of the same video from different angles,” he said.
The content is frequently ridiculous and hysterical, such as a kangaroo spotted on a Redland road or iguanas falling from trees during a recent cold snap.
But the posts can also be scary, like when a small car pulled onto the train tracks in front of an oncoming train. Thankfully, the driver survived.
“Now we have to be very selective and we just can’t post anything because a lot of things could be very offensive, and we’ve grown so much that we have to be very considerate to our viewers,” said Gonzalez.
Only In Dade has nearly 400,000 followers and counting.
Translating that kind of exposure into dollars is next for the foursome. All have other full-time jobs.
“We actually have a radio show now on Sirius XM," Anaut said.
Only In Dade merchandise is also a hit. And they are getting into the event and promotion business.
Only In Dade Super Fan-Fest on Super Bowl weekend promoted up and coming local performers like pro-fighter Ulysses “The Monster” Diaz and the voice of the new Only In Dade song, 2NYCE.
“The crowd was massive and they just really embraced the Only In Dade record,” said 2NYCE.
“It’s been an absolutely great platform for me as a fighter and as a person born and raised in Dade County," Diaz said.
There are now 10 cafecito-fueled employees in a small Westchester building who say their No. 1 goal is to keep Only In Dade built by the 305 for the 305.
“We are all friends and we love Miami. We love everything that has to do with Miami,” said Anaut. “Only In Dade is community. It’s by the community, for the community.”
Instagram is the main social platform, but you can also find it on Facebook and others. The group is expanding to other locations with an Only In Broward page already up and running. There is also an 18-and-up page called Only In Dade County which posts some of the more adult-themed material.