Tag Archives: Twitter

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

Tweeting Builds Your Business-Take Time To Tweet

As I meet people in my face-to-face networking, I always hear this comment from business owners who haven’t entered into Social Networking yet: “I don’t have time to tweet! I’m busy enough dealing with e-mail and running my business.”

This blog post is for YOU–the business owner/entrepreneur/corporation president who thinks Social Networking is a waste of time or you think you don’t have time to tweet.

I’ve probably met you in person and urged you to come here and read this or I’ve sent you this link in an email. Thank you for taking time to read this because I hope you’ll see how you’ve been missing out out on the fastest way to build your business: by properly using Twitter to build your Social Network: a community of friends and fans, who, in turn, help you build your business.

Tweeting builds your business, so, take time to tweet and you’ll reach your goals more quickly and invest less time and money doing it. After you read this and see how much time you’re already investing in face-to-face networking, please read my other blog posts for tips on how to get started in Twitter. Here’s a popular blog post that thousands of people have read: Top 10 Most Powerful Twitter Tips for Brand New Beginners.

I’m not advocating that you give up face-to-face networking and meeting people in person. No, no, no. In fact, as you build relationships online, there will come a time when you should phone people you’ve tweeted with and meet them in person (safely)—that’s when the magic can really happen because you’ve gotten to know each other online. It’s almost like meeting old friends.

Don’t have time to tweet? But you DO have time to attend face-to-face networking events and follow up and have coffee with some of the people you met at those events? Is that working for you? Are you getting leads, referrals, signed contracts due to those efforts? That’s great if you are. I’m guessing you’re spending a lot of time to get a few successful results. Did you know you can spend HALF the amount of time and get much, much better results? Thanks to Social Networking through my Social Media profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, our revenue at DaGama Web Studio, Inc. has tripled in the last quarter of this year, so far.

Let’s add up how many hours you’re investing with your time (time is money) when you attend face-to-face networking events:

  • 1-2 hours: Time spent getting ready (ladies: count 2 hours if you shop for something new to wear or get your hair done) ; registering ahead of time; driving over to the event. $20 to pay to get into the event.
  • 3 hours: Time you’re actually at the event, plus drive time home. $3 for gas, $6 for a glass of wine.
  • Total, so far: 3-4 hours and $29.00, not to mention your hourly salary rate (if you’ve ever figured out what that is).

Note: we don’t have to continue this calculation–we can stop right now–because you clearly see that you’ve already invested at least 3-4 hours or more and this doesn’t even count the really important part: following up with people you meet and building the relationships further.

But let’s continue with figuring out how much time you’re spending on face-to-face networking and then let’s examine if it’s getting you any results (leads, referrals, signed contracts, people to collaborate with, new friends).

  • 8 hours: Follow-up/building relationships with three people: If you follow up with those people (do you follow up?), how many hours do you spend trying to reach these new people (phone tag and an exchange of emails of best times to meet); driving over to have coffee with them and getting to know them? Let’s say you try to reach three people. Eight hours of your time has now been invested in arranging times to meet, driving over, and spending about two hours with each person. Mind you, these are people you just met at the networking event. You’ve never talked to them before. There’s very little rapport at this point.

    This step of meeting, face-to-face, is very important
    , no matter if you met someone through Social Networking online, or at a face-to-face networking event or other social event. Getting to know each other is vital to building trust and building relationships. Keep in mind, that if you did this after meeting someone for the first time at a networking event, it will most likely take more time and more meetings to build up more trust. Potentially, this could take months to achieve.
  • Coffee Chat $$ invested: You’ve invited them, so you should pay for their lattes. Add this to your own coffee tab and the total for 6 lattes=$30 (not counting tips).

TOTAL time and MONEY: 12-14 hours and $59 for three people, who will either do business with you or refer you to someone they know. Three people. And remember, we’re not even factoring what your hourly time is worth (probably at least $100 per hour).

I’m not saying that in-person meetings should go away and tweeting should replace face-to-face meetings. I AM saying you can save a lot of time when you do use Twitter to build your Social Network and then meet face-to-face if it feels right.

Here’s the really terrific part of this blog post: You can get more business in half the time, with zero dollars spent, when you make more meaningful relationships through Social Networking. As long as you follow the cardinal rule of “be social” and “don’t hard-sell,” you’ll succeed in building your business through Social Networking.

How do you start? Start by making your mind shift to a new way of thinking: trust is the “new” marketing. When people trust you, they’re more likely to refer business to you, do business with you, or at least help you build your community (also known as your “tribe”) of fans, friends, and followers. Watch this video, by SocialNomics, for some mind-blowing facts about the Internet and Social Media marketing: then come back here and please finish reading this blog post: Is Social Media a Fad?

“Social Media is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.”SocialNomics

Bottomline: Take time to tweet (and work your LinkedIn network and profile; and socialize in Facebook)–you’ll enrich your life, both personally and professionally. I promise you that when you learn how to build communities through Social Networking, (making sure you’re doing it the right and good way) you WILL grow your business…but more importantly, you’ll grow, as a human being. (Surprise! Yes, you will!).

Please write down your thoughts…I would really love to hear from you.

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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

Hispanic Heritage: Claudia Goffan, CEO Target Latino

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month,  I’m featuring Latina and Latino leaders in my Social Networking blog. I asked my friends, who, actually feel more like my primas y primos (cousins) than “just” friends, to contribute their thoughts on Social Networking with Twitter.

We’re kicking off the celebration of our heritage with Claudia Goffan, president and CEO of Target Latino.

Claudia Goffon

Claudia Goffan

Today, September 16, 2009, LISTA (Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association announced that it named Target Latino as its Agency Of Record. Congratulations, Claudia! And congratulations, LISTA, on choosing a smart, creative, thought-provoking Latina to market your organization.

1.Why do you use Twitter?

I started using Twitter after a good friend of mine, a total SEO genius, asked me to give it a try. I was horrified at the fact that I had to limit myself to 140 characters but I gave it a shot. About one day later, I was hooked. Not only did I see its value for me and my consulting firm but also for my clients. Everybody has a different social media goal, Target Latino’s social media goal is to inform and educate onLatino Marketing, Advertising and Latino issues.

2. How is Twitter different than other Social Media websites, such as Facebook?

Twitter has a sense of urgency that other social media

sites don’t have. Everything happens now. And you need to know how to take advantage of that.

3. Describe your niche and please share how long it took you to find it, after joining Twitter (or perhaps you knew what it was before you joined).

See #1 – My social goal and the ones for my clients is well defined before entering the social media arena.

4. What are your top three tips for our readers as they begin to build their Twitter tribe?

First tip: Define your social media goal. What are you
about? What do you want to share with the world? What are you trying to accomplish? Second tip: Always be courteous and return the follows – If you do not want to follow somebody, don’t but don’t follow them and then unfollow for the sake of getting followers (that’s being a tease) Third tip: Be patient. Imagine you are at a party. Not everything happens on your schedule, right?


targetlatinotwit

5. What are your top three “never, ever do this” tips?

Never, ever spam. Never, ever tease. Never, ever get carried by emotions and say the “wrong” thing.

6. When do you take your Twitter relationships to the next level, either through actually meeting in person; or collaborating.

I usually follow my instinct. And usually you have a pretty good chance of seeing who the person is by following their tweets. You don’t get this opportunity, even in dating sites!!!

7. How do you manage your time for tweeting?

I like my tweets to be personal so I rarely schedule them (unless I am trying to help advertise a good event or worthwhile cause) I try to tweet first thing when I start my computer and then go back when I have a few minutes to spare. Same thing before going to bed. On the weekends, I try to prepare information as articles or postings on my blog to share through the week.

8. What are your top favorite tools to use that help you efficiently and smartly manage your brand through Twitter? For instance, do you do research by using search.peoplebrowsr.com to search the biographies with keywords? Seesmic or Peoplebrowsr or Tweetdeck? A virtual assistant?

I love Hootsuite. I can see my tweets and create a stream of my friend’s tweets so I can find out what they are up to. It really helps me bond!!

9. How are you monitizing Twitter?

It was never my intent to monetize Twitter for Target Latino, but I have been getting people asking for my expertise and consulting engagements. As far as my clients, I can tell you they are very happy with their results!!!

logotargetlatino10. What or who influenced you in a positive way, earlier in your life?

My mother. Youngest daughter of immigrants to Argentina. She is a retired dentist now but she always used to say to me: “Claudita, nothing in life is certain. But if you have a diploma under your wing you may not end up rich, but you will always have job security.”

11. Recently, a study done by MALDEF came out that proved that 41% of Latinas drop-out of high school in the U.S. What is your best advice to young Latinas, in middle school, high school?

You may not think it’s important. You may see many people getting rich with no studies. Not everybody gets so lucky. And think of it this way, if you are already brilliant, imagine how much more brilliant you will be if can back it up with knowledge. Keep on studying. Be a proud and accomplished Latina.

12. What is your best advice for teen-aged Latina mothers who dropped out of high school?

Having a child is a lot of work and you may not find the time to do anything else but take care of him or her and work to support yourselves, but this is 2009, you can enroll in school via the internet – take some short courses in things that interest you. You never know where it may lead and you may be pleasantly surprised!!!


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Filed under Hispanic Heritage, Latina Women In Business

Twitter, Lisa Simpson and the Petri Dish Population

Twitter is reminding me of The Simpsons episode in which Lisa creates, cultivates, and becomes a goddess to a population of tiny people.

lisa_simpson(Bear with me, here, it does get better).

You have to know a bit about Twitter to appreciate this comparison. For those of you who need a crash course, go read this.

Plot: Lisa grows a population of tiny people in a petri dish in her bedroom. At first the tiny people are a bit rudimentary and don’t know much. Lisa goes to bed and the next morning, the tiny people have evolved from neanderthals to civilized folks.

Another day passes, and this new civilization has formed things that new civilizations tend to form: religion and war and a worship of Lisa, who’s like a goddess to her petri dish people.

Are you getting this? Doesn’t this remind you of something?

Twitter is the petri dish and the Tweeple are the inhabitants who are evolving every minute (sometimes every 30 seconds), every day.

Just like Lisa, I paid attention to my followers (my Tweeple) and offered my help and thoughts and comments Sunday night and the next morning when I “pulled my petri dish” out (logged into my Twitter account) I delightedly discovered I had 28 new followers.

Where else am I going with this comparison?

Well…I think the Twitter population is evolving and of course, most certainly, growing. (It grew over 700% last year!) and I think we are feeding off the thoughts that stimulate our minds, much like the people in Lisa’s petri dish fed off the bacteria in their world. I am NOT comparing our tweets to bacteria in a bad way but in a good way.

Think about how bacteria works: a bacteria is a single, self-contained living cell. Each person in Twitter land is a single, self-contained living being. When we get together, we multiply quickly. When we think together, we evolve more quickly.

This is another reason why I say the Internet is evolving the human race—because we can meet other people who have similar ideas, thoughts, aspirations, hopes, dreams and organize ourselves so that we solve problems and/or create new things that help people. These new things can be as simple as a new iphone application or as complex as solving world hunger.

Let me make something clear: I am not saying that my followers worship me like a goddess (although if there is anyone out there who would like to, that’s cool with me). What I am saying is that there are people in Twitter (myself included) who follow some really interesting people who either have great minds, great humor or great applications. We are evolving because we get to read the thoughts of intellectual leaders; creative scientists; sarcastic comedians; and geek heroes who save our lives each day by inventing a new Twitter ap (like this one).
In the end, the petri dish people grow so smart that they invent a laser that shrinks Lisa to their size and they take her into their world where she becomes their goddess-ruler.

And so you see why I can’t help but compare Twitter to Lisa Simpson and the petri dish population.
Art imitates life imitating art. Or is it…life imitates art imitating life? (Am I the woman dreaming she is the butterfly or am I the butterfly dreaming she is the woman?) Someone rescue me from this train of thought—leave me a comment, please!

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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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