Guest Post by Juan Alanis (@JuanOfWords)
We went. We listened. We learned. And we conquered at LATISM’11, last month! From the very beginning, as soon as we walked in the door, it was a learning experience and everywhere we went there was an opportunity to soak in new, and very valuable, information. Whether you were there as a blogger, a business, a brand, or just an attendee, it literally was impossible to walk out of the door without having incorporated some new insight into your personal or professional makeup.
Especialmente useful were the speaker panels, which featured LATISM regulars, including yours truly as the moderator of the Spanglish session, and allowed us to learn from the folks on the social media frontlines every day. There were so many panels and so many great speakers that it was really tough making a choice which ones to attend, se los digo yo, but I’m sure if you were there you already know this. The neat thing about the conference, though, was that some of the more popular sessions were offered at various times to give everyone a chance to attend all of the panels. Personally, there were a lot of these breakout sessions that were my favorites, but I want to focus this post on some of the panels that were the most talked about.
Reaching Out For Health Through Social Media
This panel focused on the power of social media and its ability to affect even the most personal of affairs in our lives: our health. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) social media efforts as the jumping board into a very insightful conversation, the speakers on this panel shared their own experiences on how they utilize social media to communicate their messages and opportunities. My favorite speaker on this panel was, of course, mi hermana del alma, Laurita Tellado, who not only blogs about Spina Bifida in her blog Holdin’ Out for a Hero, but is also one of the prime examples of how one individual can create so much awareness about such an important cause.
The Riches Are In The Niches
Latina Bloggers. Need I say more? This breakout session focused on how a powerhouse grouping of Latina Bloggers have made their efforts online a source of regular income. These ladies were all fierce, and speaking only from my own personal experience, this session was my overall favorite from the entire conference. I felt like I’d just had my eyes opened in so many new ways. It was awesome! And while all of the speakers on this panel were equally amazing, the person I most connected with from the audience was Maura Hernandez, Blogger/Founder at The Other Side of the Tortilla. Her no nonsense approach to being honest and transparent with brands is very inspiring.
Social Media Disruption: Finding your Voice
If there was one session that was the most talked about at LATISM’11, I’d have to say it was this one. The basic concept of it was that it would explore how readership could be increased exponentially on your blog through proper usage of “your voice,” and while it definitely delivered on this factor, it also reconfirmed what we all already knew: Julio Ricardo Varela, Founder of Latino Rebels, is a super star! En serio, the rest of the conference in almost every conversation I had or heard his name was thrown around followed by how wonderful of a panelist he was. Kudos hermano!
Spanglish: From El Barrio To Madison Avenue
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my own panelists, the session I moderated, creo yo, was the most fun of the mix. Not because of me by any means, but because how can you not have fun talking about Spanglish? We touched on so many great aspects of the English and Spanish language, the culture and myths about Spanglish, and the audience had some very personal and insightful conversation to add as well. It was literally like having coffee with a roomful of friendly faces. If I’d have to pick a favorite panelist from my session, I’d have to say it was Ana Flores, Bloguera at SpanglishBaby. Ana is a pro at using Spanglish and really made a lot of great points about how she chooses when and where to break out her espanglish.
About The Author:
Juan Alanis (@juanofwords) is the Founder & Editor of www.juanofwords.com – a Brand Advocate & Consultant, Freelance Writer, Mexicano bien Texano, Father, Husband, etc., Juan is also Director of the NEW Houston LATISM Chapter. You can find Juan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/juanofwords.