• Essays & Articles
  • Adventures in Blogging:
    Ana’s Miracle
    (2007 – 2011)

    w: Nelson/Roberto

    Adventures in Blogging:
    Ana’s Miracle
    (2007 – 2011)

    In January of 2007 I saw a movie called Freedom Writers about a group of high school students in LA that wrote about their lives in the inner city. The movie showed me the importance of sharing our stories and inspired me to share my own. Ten years earlier, in 1997, I had been reunited with my birth family from El Salvador. Upon meeting them, I had learned of my birth parents incredible history as guerrillas in the country’s civil war and the extraordinary events that led to my separation from them. I was only 16 when I was reunited, but I knew that someday I would want to share my story with the world.

    It was around this time that I listened to a podcast interview with a man named Robert Rebholtz, who, at the time, worked at Microsoft. During the interview, he said, “Now anyone with a library card can publish, and because of that the world has changed.” Realizing that thanks to the internet I had everything I needed to share my story I decided to start a blog. I called it Ana’s Miracle as a tribute to my birth mother Ana Milagro and enlisted the help of my siblings. With a quote from another movie, Finding Forster, we jumped into the unknown.

    Losing family obliges us to find our family, not always the family that is our blood but the family that can become our blood.

    Finding Forester

    From the very beginning, I had the idea to get the blog in front of as many people as I could. Around this time social media was just starting to take off, and I was just starting to learn about marketing. I wanted to use the blog as a testing ground and put many of the ideas that I was learning about into practice. So along with the writing, I began to experiment with video blogging, live streaming, Twitter, Facebook posts, and any other social site that popped up at the time.

    Through these efforts, the audience and reach of the site began to grow from only a handful of people to around 40 subscribers. It was a start, but I felt that our families story was too important not to share widely. However, no matter what I did to promote the site it never grew beyond the core group of dedicated readers. I was new to marketing, and I struggled with how best to connect this deeply personal story with the wider world.

    In 2010 I received a Facebook message from someone who was my camp counselor in 1990. We had not spoken for a long time, but he had seen one of my Facebook posts and began reading my blog. He fell in love with the story and wanted to help any way he could. It turned out that we worked in TV and film production and he pitched me on working together on a documentary film based on my family’s story. Knowing nothing about documental film making but feeling like this was the opportunity I had been waiting for I said yes. So in 2010, we launched a Kickstarter for our movie, Identifying Nelson/Buscando a Roberto, and I began a new journey.

    By 2013 I had all but stopped writing on Ana’s Miracle, mostly due to my work on the film. At the suggestion of a friend I decided to officially stop working on the blog, but it remains online for posterity. While the website never took off the way I had hoped, I learned a lot about online publishing and marketing. Many of those early lessons influence the work I do today.

    645 words

    7.26.17

    Nelson/RobertoSeparated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16. I do entrepreneurial art projects that are meaningful, relevant, and push me creatively.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Input comment
    Input name Input email

    Adventures in Web Hosting:
    (2016 – Present)

    My Autobiographical Novel:
    Waking From Innocent Dreams
    (2016 – Present)

    Helping Families Reunite:
    The Mama Chila Foundation
    (2015 – Present)

    Get updates about the release of my upcoming book, Waking From Innocent Dreams.

    © Legend - A Handcrafted Misfit Theme

    Nelson/Roberto

    Nelson/Roberto

    My name is Nelson de Witt, but I was born Roberto Coto. Separated from my birth family during El Salvador’s civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16.

    I’m a jack of all trades that has done everything from business process design to video production to server administration to film photography. I’ve run, consulted on, and wrote a book about Crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve taught myself everything from Ruby on Rails to narrative story structure.

    What do all these things have in common?

    I’m a skilled problem solver who can tackle complex issues and find solutions that combine art with outcomes.

    20 Years Ago Today

    Chapter I: Reunion

    Ana & Isabel’s Reunion

    Misfit Con: A Home for Dreams, Doers, and Makers

    Why you should support (and share) your friend’s work.

    You are not a failure…

    View More