The name 83 Degrees emerged simply enough at sunset on a perfect day in April 2009 among a small group of early adaptors to the concept of creating a new weekly online magazine to showcase the region's success stories.
We were gathered around three tables on the balcony of the Columbia Cafe at the newly opened Tampa Bay History Center
talking about the magazine's plans to showcase Tampa Bay's TIDE - Talent, Innovation, Diversity, Environment - and how we would shape its content.
Sipping a round of Ybor Gold
, Mojitos and Sangria in a toast to the city's culture and its surroundings, we talked about what unites Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota counties, and how the media plays a role in the mood of a region as well as in how it is perceived elsewhere.
We listed community assets and opportunities in the context of global competition, and considered how we would best tell stories that help change the narrative about who we are, what we do and where we love to live, work and play.
Consensus quickly built around the idea that the Tampa Bay region's climate - both weather and economic - sets us apart for attracting and doing business, for inspiring youthful minds and experienced thinkers, for welcoming newcomers and learning from natives, for nurturing all of us who seek greater knowledge, lasting relationships and a better life.
How to define that climate? Well, of course, check an I-Phone weather app! And there it was: 83 Degrees, the perfect temperature for new ideas, innovations and investments in the place we call home.
Diane Egner, publisher and managing editor of 83 Degrees, is a South Tampa-based journalist who finds inspiration bicycling along Bayshore Boulevard and on the Pinellas Trail. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees