Tag Archives: Social media

Social Media Was Meant For Times Like These

Right now, it is 45 minutes before a Tsunami wave is set to hit the Hawaiian Islands. It’s been several hours since the earthquake in Chile, in which it is estimated that 500,000 people have been displaced from their homes. And I’m on Twitter and Facebook and listening to live streamed video on my laptop at my kitchen table in Colorado. The TV in the living room is tuned to CNN but I am more in tune with these stories because I’m monitoring my Social Media sites. In fact, I am in tune with the eye witnesses of the Chile earthquake, and have read a blog post by someone who experienced the earthquake and wrote about it right afterwards, thanks to a Twitter friend, @efrainortizjr, who posted it in his blog and tweeted it.

I’ve been re-tweeting tweets from @Mashable; @CNNbrk; @HawaiiRedCross; @epiccolorado and joined a group in Facebook called Supporting Chile Earthquake / Tsunami Victims and Families where residents of Chile and Hawaiian Islands are posting about what they are seeing going on in their parts of the world.  I’ve let my followers in Twitter and friends in Facebook know about all of these resources so they, too, can stay informed.

@epiccolorado’s Twitter bio says: EPIC is a research effort at CU and UCI to support the information needs by members of the public during times of mass emergency. EPIC was asking, today in Twitter, for Spanish Tweeters to help them:

I re-tweeted their tweet to my followers and sure enough, a friend I had met in D.C. last November at the LATISM Social Media conference, happened to see my tweet:

@eRomanMe ended up helping @epiccolorado. Here are some of the tweets between them at search.twitter.com (click on “Show conversation”.)

I can hear my TV, from my living room, and CNN just lost its feed in Hawaii but my live stream on my laptop via Mashable.com (who is streaming it from UStream) is still going. My live stream from Chile (via UStream) is still sending images of the aftershocks as they are happening. My Twitter stream of PEOPLE, of course, is still keeping me informed, too, via different hashtags (#chile; #tsunami, etc).

Though I’m praying for everyone, I think my Hawaiian friends will be safe because they have had plenty of warning and there is a full moon which means a low tide. Hopefully, the Tsunami will not be as bad as it could have been. The people of Chile are in need of help right now, just like the people of Haiti last month. During the writing of this, I learned, from @Mashable, that Google launched a Chile Person finder app. You can enter the name of a person you’re looking for OR you can post information you have about a particular person.

Social Media was meant for times like these. Sure, there are people tweeting about what they ate for breakfast today while other people in the world don’t know where they’re going to sleep tonight, let alone when they will get to eat again. But Social Media is like that: it’s made up of the thoughts, hopes, and dreams of millions and millions of people going about their daily lives. Some of us are shopping. Some of us are surviving. And some of us are praying.

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Filed under Lori Gama, Social Networking

Louis Pagan: An interview with LATISM Co-founder

Where did you grow up and how did your upbringing and environment contribute to the person you are today?
I grew up in the Bronx, NY.  Growing up poor with my brother and mother I had no choice, but to look up.  So, being stubborn by nature combined with an outlook for improvement has impacted me greatly and is the cause for most of what I do today.
Who were your role models as you were growing up and how did they affect you?
I’m going to admit what many men do not, and that is I read a lot of comic books and watched a lot of sci-fi.  So, superheroes and major character roles on TV were my heroes.  That may be a little funny or immature to some, but there is a very positive impact.
Superman, Spiderman, Batman, The X-man, Captain Kirk of Star Trek, were individuals who fought the villain, and served as champions for the common person.  Even the best-selling author Stephen King, used this concept and tells the stories of victims, who fights back and wins against insurmountable odds.
In a big way, social media is just like this.  It gives the average person with bold ambitions and drive, the tools to leverage themselves to compete with larger entities and gives them the capacity to move toward greater ideas.
Have you ever faced racial discrimination? If so, what happened and how did you deal with it?
I can’t really say anyone directly discriminated against me.  If they did, I probably chalked it up to other reasons.  I am not one to accept or play the race card, even when someone shows it to me.
At what point in life did you realize your inner strength and fortitude?
Sometime in high-school into college, I realized my passion for writing and reading.  I wrote songs and poetry; read about great people and their work; studied other cultures and religions.  Upon realizing that there were a small percentage of people who walked down this road I felt fulfilled and strengthened.
Regarding the 41% dropout rate among high school Latinas, what do you think it will take for our country and /or our education system to solve this crisis?
Engagement.  Each school, district or city should identify what their specific challenges are in relation to educating students.  Then, custom programs, classes or workshops can be made available to address solutions and give the tools students need to combat problematic topics.
Additionally, students should be exposed to opinions and views outside their own system.  Through social media a Program can connect these students and encourage them to communicate and ask the advice of their peers.
There would be collaboration on two levels.  One by provided by workshops on specific issues, and the other being a social media pen pal program.
What’s your advice for those who may have already dropped out of high school or college?
If you already dropped out of high school, seriously consider getting a GED, if you can’t go back.  You can’t get a job without one.
The best thing I can say about college is that it will increase your chances to get a better job and make more money if you have a degree. However, I’m from the school that college is not for everyone and if you feel you are one of these people, you should have some serious plans, talents or something going for you already to make it out there without a further education.  College works for most, but without it life will be a little harder.
Why did you launch your business?
I’ve been involved in social media for over 6 years.  Although I have a number of grass roots accomplishments, I decided to diversify and protect myself and start an LLC.  The name of my business is Lat3G Media.  It stands for Latinos 3rd Generation.  Third generation Latinos are mostly English speaking, professional and acculturated.  This also best describes me.
Lat3G Media develops broad concepts, event planning, promotion, media-content production/distribution and social media relevant to the Latino market.  You can contact me at “info”  @ followed by domain name (lat3gmedia.com)
Life is about choices.  I launched my business to take more control over my life, so that I don’t have anyone taking most of my choices away.  I like independence and feel my business can give me more freedom.
What is your UVP (Uniqe Value Propisition)?
Identifying trends; remaining ahead of the curve; quitting before it’s over.
Describe your ideal client or project or give one or two case studies so that people can clearly understand how you’ve helped clients:
I am not at liberty to disclose some projects at the present time, so…
My ideal project is one that makes a positive impact in the world we live in.  Latinos In Social Media (LATISM) gives us this opportunity by helping others and engaging our fellow brothers and sisters to boldly step forth toward media literacy and solidarity.
LATISM is grass-roots, is altruistic and genuine.
What other services does your company provide?
Another service is that I promote other people’s work to get them publicized.  I guess that describes what an agent does.
How does your Latino heritage help you achieve your goals?
I’m going to be transparent here.  I did not grow up with a traditional Latino culture.  I grew up in a Latino-urban culture.  We played handball, went to Orchard beach in the Bronx, listened to freestyle, and roller skated.  Back then, in the Bronx you were not Latino, but Puerto Rican.
I ‘rediscovered’ my Latino-ness later through social media, which lead me to publish my first blog – LatinoPundit.com – representing Latinos in the blogosphere and pushing the envelope of diversity along with others online to cause change at some major sites.
Louis: for you, since you are a founder of LATISM, instead, can you tell us what is your vision for LATISM?
How did you hear about Latinos In Social Media (latism.org)?
The purpose of Latinos In Social Media (LATISM) is to engage Latinos online and encourage media literacy through social media.  We support all endeavors in social media for individuals, companies and organizations alike.
That being said, my vision is for LATISM to be used as a vehicle toward solidarity in personal or professional endeavors.  Be you a writer, an activist, a multi-media content producer, a marketer, a business person, an organization, or you just like social media and want to talk and network, LATISM will foster your goals.  The other side of this coin is LATISM provides the opportunity for businesses or others who want to understand or reach this community.
As far as expansion, I see LATISM ‘legs’ in cities, states and internationally supporting all Latinos in social media, and those who want to engage Latinos.
What role are you fulfilling within the LATISM group?
Let’s keep this fun:
When someone looks at LATISM, I want them to see themselves reflected back.  In order to be interested and to pursue anything, an individual must feel they can take away something and benefit in some way.  This concept has been identified by way of promoting our social media conference tour during Hispanic Heritage month..
Fluidity of communication and purpose between the various levels of structure and outreach methods must be maintained.  LATISM must remain multifaceted while simultaneously reaching bloggers and Facebookers, as well as CEOs and marketing professionals, so that dialogue and participation is all-inclusive.
I concern myself with what needs to be done to make certain things ‘stick;’ how to market ourselves; how we appear externally; how to constantly replenish ourselves in order to remain exciting and cutting edge.
That’s what happily engulfs me.
What would you like to say to companies who are thinking of marketing to Latina(o)s/Hispanics but aren’t sure of what to do first?
Do some research.  We love family.
Go to those who know what to do.
Contact any LatISM professional via our directory of services http://latism.us/directory/?l=view
What’s the biggest mistake companies make when attempting to enter into marketing to Hispanics/Latinos/possibly Brazilians?
One of the biggest mistake is not understanding some cultural factors.  Look at Burger King’s Europe ad:  http://bit.ly/139Nnm  The country of Mexico protested it as an insult.
Another mistake is thinking all Latinos are the same.  We are not; we are diverse.  For instance, if you are selling Puerto Rican pasteles and target older Puerto Ricans, but are playing bachata in the background you’ve got a problem.  If you don’t understand what just happened, maybe you need a Latino marketing consultant.
What would you like people to remember about you after you’ve passed on (many, many years from now)?
It’s tempting to want to be remembered.  But in the end, is it really about your message and not at all about you?
I’ve been blessed to express myself through words.  Bringing down barriers and spreading ideas through new media is what I advocate.  Compared to that, I am a mere speck…I am not important.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, I interviewed some of the top leaders in the Latinos In Social Media movement (LATISM.org). I’m very honored and grateful to those who could participate .  Come back every other day to see who else I interviewed. We kick off with a co-founder of LATISM, Louis Pagan (Twitter: @LouisPagan) Thanks for reading.

Where did you grow up and how did your upbringing and environment contribute to the person you are today?

Louis Pagan

Louis Pagan

I grew up in the Bronx, NY.  Growing up poor with my brother and mother I had no choice, but to look up.  So, being stubborn by nature combined with an outlook for improvement has impacted me greatly and is the cause for most of what I do today.

Who were your role models as you were growing up and how did they affect you?

I’m going to admit what many men do not, and that is I read a lot of comic books and watched a lot of sci-fi.  So, superheroes and major character roles on TV were my heroes.  That may be a little funny or immature to some, but there is a very positive impact.

Superman, Spiderman, Batman, The X-man, Captain Kirk of Star Trek, were individuals who fought the villain, and served as champions for the common person.  Even the best-selling author Stephen King, used this concept and tells the stories of victims, who fights back and wins against insurmountable odds.

In a big way, social media is just like this.  It gives the average person with bold ambitions and drive, the tools to leverage themselves to compete with larger entities and gives them the capacity to move toward greater ideas.

At what point in life did you realize your inner strength and fortitude?

Sometime in high-school into college, I realized my passion for writing and reading.  I wrote songs and poetry; read about great people and their work; studied other cultures and religions.  Upon realizing that there were a small percentage of people who walked down this road I felt fulfilled and strengthened.

Regarding the recent study that concluded that a 41% dropout rate among high school Latinas is happening in the U.S., what do you think it will take for our country and /or our education system to solve this crisis?

Engagement.  Each school, district or city should identify what their specific challenges are in relation to educating students.  Then, custom programs, classes or workshops can be made available to address solutions and give the tools students need to combat problematic topics.

Additionally, students should be exposed to opinions and views outside their own system.  Through social media a Program can connect these students and encourage them to communicate and ask the advice of their peers.

There would be collaboration on two levels.  One by provided by workshops on specific issues, and the other being a social media pen pal program.

My wife is a teacher, her mother a dean, and father a retired principal who is still involved in the city schools. It would be interesting to get their input on any and all ideas.

Why did you launch your business?

I’ve been involved in social media for over 6 years.  Although I have a number of grass roots accomplishments, I decided to diversify and start an LLC.  The name of my business is Lat3G Media.  It stands for Latino 3rd Generation.  Third generation Latinos are mostly English speaking, professional and acculturated, which happens to best describe me.

Lat3G Media develops broad concepts, event planning, promotion, media-content production/distribution and social media relevant to the Latino market.  You can contact me at “info”  @ followed by domain name (lat3gmedia.com)

Life is about choices.  I launched my business to take more control over my life, so that I don’t have anyone taking most of my choices away.  I like independence and feel my business can give me more freedom.

What is your UVP (Uniqe Value Propisition)?

Identifying trends; remaining ahead of the curve; quitting before it’s over.

Describe your ideal client or project or give one or two case studies so that people can clearly understand how you’ve helped clients:

I am not at liberty to disclose some projects at the present time, so…

My ideal project is one that makes a positive impact in the world we live in.  Latinos In Social Media (LATISM) gives us this opportunity by helping others and engaging our fellow brothers and sisters to boldly step forth toward media literacy and solidarity.

LATISM is grass-roots, is altruistic and genuine.

What other services does your company provide?

Another service is that I promote other people’s work to get them publicized.  I guess that describes what an agent does.

How does your Latino heritage help you achieve your goals?

I’m going to be transparent here.  I did not grow up with a traditional Latino culture.  I grew up in a Latino-urban culture.  We played handball, went to Orchard beach in the Bronx, listened to freestyle, and roller skated.  Back then, in the Bronx you were not Latino, but Puerto Rican.

I ‘rediscovered’ my Latino-ness later through social media, which lead me to publish my first blog – LatinoPundit.com – representing Latinos in the blogosphere and pushing the envelope of diversity along with others online to cause change at some major sites.

Since you are a founder of LATISM, can you tell us what is your vision for LATISM?

The purpose of Latinos In Social Media (LATISM) is to engage Latinos online and encourage media literacy through social media.  We support all endeavors in social media for individuals, companies and organizations alike.

That being said, my vision is for LATISM to be used as a vehicle toward solidarity in personal or professional endeavors.  Be you a writer, an activist, a multi-media content producer, a marketer, a business person, an organization, or you just like social media and want to talk and network, LATISM will foster your goals.  The other side of this coin is LATISM provides the opportunity for businesses or others who want to understand or reach this community.

As far as expansion, I see LATISM ‘legs’ in cities, states and internationally supporting all Latinos in social media, and those who want to engage Latinos.

What role are you fulfilling within the LATISM group?

Let’s keep this fun:

When someone looks at LATISM, I want them to see themselves reflected back.  In order to be interested and to pursue anything, an individual must feel they can take away something and benefit in some way.  This concept has been identified by way of promoting our social media conference tour during Hispanic Heritage month.

Fluidity of communication and purpose between the various levels of structure and outreach methods must be maintained.  LATISM must remain multifaceted while simultaneously reaching bloggers and Facebookers, as well as CEOs and marketing professionals, so that dialogue and participation is all-inclusive.

I concern myself with what needs to be done to make certain things ‘stick;’ how to market ourselves; how we appear externally; how to constantly replenish ourselves in order to remain exciting and cutting edge.

That’s what happily engulfs me.

What would you like to say to companies who are thinking of marketing to Latina(o)s/Hispanics but aren’t sure of what to do first?

Do some research.  We love family.

Go to those who know what to do.

Contact any LatISM professional via our directory of services http://latism.us/directory/?l=view

What’s the biggest mistake companies make when attempting to enter into marketing to Hispanics/Latinos/possibly Brazilians?

One of the biggest mistake is not understanding some cultural factors.  Look at Burger King’s Europe ad:  http://bit.ly/139Nnm The country of Mexico protested it as an insult.

Another mistake is thinking all Latinos are the same.  We are not; we are diverse.  For instance, if you are selling Puerto Rican pasteles and target older Puerto Ricans, but are playing bachata in the background you’ve got a problem.  If you don’t understand what just happened, maybe you need a Latino marketing consultant.

What would you like people to remember about you after you’ve passed on (many, many years from now)?

It’s tempting to want to be remembered.  But in the end, is it really about your message and not at all about you?

I’ve been blessed to express myself through words.  Bringing down barriers and spreading ideas through new media is what I advocate.  Compared to that, I am a mere speck…I am not important.

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Filed under Hispanic Heritage, Social Networking

Latinos In Social Media–Mi Familia!

Have you heard the great news? Latinos In Social Media (#latISM) was born and is a rapidly-growing group. Just in time, too, because I was beginning to feel a little lonely out here. But the more I reached out to other Latina(o)s through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, the more I felt like I was coming home. Befriending people within my culture is like gathering together with mi familia, who all welcome me and celebrate with me–without hesitation, with trust, and with an all-knowing embrace like primas y primos reuniting, singing, dancing–only we’re blogging, tweeting, getting LinkedIn together and building a country of Latinos on Facebook.

Videos produced by Cumba Media

“With 21 million projected Latino internet users by 2010, Latinos are adopting social media as their primary source of communication, news and entertainment faster than any other group.  Their buying power is projected to reach $1.3 Trillion by 2013.” —latISM.org

Co-Founders had a vision to “create a central resource for Latina(o)s in Social Media and the major brands who seek your expertise”

Ana Roca Castro, Premier Social Media, and Louis Pagan, The Blog of Louis Pagan, who are friends in Nueva York, co-founded Latinos In Social Media and set up outposts in the top most popular Social Media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn together. Here’s what the Latinos In Social Media Facebook description says:

n74697431599_7351This group is for all the Latinos who blog, tweet, connect, tag, bookmark, work & enjoy Social Media!

We are the central resource for Latino(a)s in Social Media and the major brands who seek your expertise. Introduce yourself & add your business link(s) to the LATISM Directory. We support each other and become stronger by promoting our fellow Latinos.

Bienvenidos

That’s a significant phrase for me: “We support each other and become stronger by promoting our fellow Latinos.” If you are a Latina(o) in Social Media, reach out to your hermanas y hermanos. Join us in the groups we’re building in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Twitteros. If there are other Social Media websites and/or groups out there, please comment on this blog post and let me know about you so I can promote you, too.

Tribes need leaders
When I read the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics regarding the Latino/Hispanic population, I get excited because we’re a growing group within the U.S. population but I get even more excited because we are also organizing ourselves as we grow. I see why Ana Roca Castro and Louis Pagan started Latinos in Social Media because we need to unite and be organized: we’re a tribe, as Seth Godin says (he’s so great: he defined another great sociological phrase into a new meaning).

And just like Seth Godin mandates tribes to have leaders, so we, the Latinos in Social Media and those who are not into Social Media yet, must  have leaders. Here’s why: when you review the Census Bureau stats, take a look at the statistics that cover the upcoming generation: these children need to know that they can grow up in a world without prejudice, with trust, and with education, they can be powerful.

25%
Percentage of children younger than 5 who were Hispanic in 2008. All in all, Hispanics comprised 22 percent of children younger than 18.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/013733.html>

One community, many voices
My new friend, Jennifer, founder of Mami2Mommy, has a wonderful tagline: Una comminidad, many voices. I love that tagline because it’s bilingual and because it sums up who we are: we’re one community yet we have many unique gifts to offer the world, if only they would be more open to our gifts. With that 25% of the U.S. population being Latino/Hispanic children under the age of 5, we need to be watchful of our behavior NOW and set the example for our children and grandchildren: to show them leadership, to teach them that education is critical to one’s success and that the inherent entreprenurial spirit that lies within the hearts of many, many Latinos/Hispanics should be encouraged to come to life and bring good ideas, messages and causes to life and into MOVEMENT so that we continue to evolve as a human race on this one planet we all live on, which, by the way, is no longer seperated into nations or physical countries: we are becoming The Country of Facebook…but that’s my next blog post….please share your comments, I’d love to hear from you. Be sure to leave your twitter name and/or Facebook link so readers and I can connect with you. Gracias!

If you a Latina(o) in Social Media, be sure to add yourself to this directory on LatISM.org:
http://latism.us/directory/?l=view

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Filed under Latina Women In Business, Lori Gama

Twitter is the best thing to happen to the Internet…since the Internet

Note: This blog post is  for people brand new to Twitter.com. If you’ve landed in TwitterLand, got scared and freaked out and don’t know what to do about it, read this first. All you experienced tweeple, feel free to post helpful comments to newbie Tweeps.

Twitter really is the best thing to happen to the Internet since, well, the Internet. 

I haven’t been this excited about something on the Web since Google came along—and I’ve been around the Internet, developing Web sites that get found,  since 1997. 

Twitter grew by 752% in 2008!  Why is Twitter.com the latest and greatest thing? Why are so many seemingly sane people turning into obsessive-compulsive geeks who post tweets every 30 seconds from their phones or laptops?  And why are we constantly logging in to see our new followers? Here are my top reasons why twitter is the best thing to happen to the Internet…since the Internet.

1. Convenience: Twitter is accessible from anywhere as long as I have my cell phone. This means I can post a tweet (a twitter message) for all my followers to read as soon as I post it. Yes, my tweeple, it’s true: as soon as I think a profound thought and can type it on my keypad, in 140 characters or less on my phone or computer, my thought is broadcast and read by all of of my followers.  This real time accessibility is profound: my mind is connected to other minds almost instantanousely.  As you build your number of followers, you’ll soon realize how important instant accessibility is. I follow some people (@Scobleizer) who have more than 47,545 followers! (More about why you want this many followers in a moment).

2. Collobaration: Twitter connects me to like-minded people in seconds. And because of that, I can truly exclaim The Geek SHALL inherit the earth! If you have a product or service to sell, your twitter profile should link to your Web site or blog where you’re selling your goods. This is why companies like Starbucks, Comcast, Jet Blue, and many others who are posting tweets, are showing their lighter and/or more human side (public relations is free: advertising is costly). They’re also “listening” (monitoring tweets) to consumers who mention their company (good or bad) and (the smart ones) are taking action on complaints and kudos (read this blog post by Michael Arrington about how his Internet connection was down for 36 hours until he twittered about it and guess who personally called him to apologize and fixed it?). Connecting to so many people within seconds is important because you can literally be the first person to inform us all of a breaking news story; link us to a funny YouTube video; or even tap into your twitter followers for help (like @AndrewWarner who got stuck on the Pacific Coast hiway–he called 911 and a taxi cab service and no one would come to pick him up. So he twittered about his dilemma and within minutes, one of his followers offered to come pick him up).

3. Crazy—Unless you know how to use it properly. What’s proper? That depends on what you’re wanting to accomplish with Twitter.

I advocate posting useful information to share, rather than “fluffy” stuff, like “I’m off to eat sushi now…”  Some people take the Twitter question too literal  (Twitter asks you to answer, in 140 characters or less,  “What are you doing?” So far, tweeple (people on Twitter) are using it to:

  • Tell us they’re about to go to bed. (Please don’t use it this way. This is minutae, not sharing knowledge.) On the other hand….
  •  Tell us something silly. Show us your personality. This is a great way to build followers.
  • Tell us something useful. This will establish you as an expert and your followers will appreciate you. Try to post tweets that help people. This is what I preach about “real world” networking: be of service to people. Think of twitter as a half-business-half-social party. How would you behave at such a party?  You wouldn’t get drunk and make a fool of yourself, right? You’d probably be yourself and attract the people you’d want to attract and repel the people you’d want to repel. Same thing with twitter: whatever you say/link to/post a picture of will lead to connections, friends, and whatever else you want it to lead to. 

Here are some fun tools to supplement your Twittering:

Tweetdeck: According to its Web site, “TweetDeck is an Adobe Air desktop application that is currently in public beta. It aims to evolve the existing functionality of Twitter by taking an abundance of information i.e twitter feeds, and breaking it down into more manageable bite sized pieces.”

TwitterGrader: Measures the power of your profile. Interesting to check your profile’s reach.

TweetStats: I find the trending stats very interesting because I’m geeky that way.

Here are a few of my favorite peeps I follow:

@MariSmith

@eleesha

@JohnCleese

@StephenColbert

Now you have enough information to dip your toes in Twitter land. What are you waiting for? Go twitter and let me know your twitter name. Here’s mine: twitter.com/LoriGama

Later this week: I’ll write about why a Simpsons episode is very much like Twitter Land.

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Filed under Social Networking