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January 2010

The Latino Blogosphere

Author:

BlogWorld 2009 had the innovative idea of hosting a multicultural panel.  A clear sign of vision and pulse of the current situation in the U.S.A.  I had the honor to be invited by Jose Villa from Sensis to represent the fastest growing group both online and offline: The Latino(a)s!  During the session, I was often asked about the Latino blogosphere.  What do we blog about? Which language do we use? Where are we? And so forth.  This post is an attempt to answer  these questions.

I’ve been breaking my head to “define” the Latino(a) blogosphere.  However, the best I can tell you is that Latinos and Latinas blog about every possible subject, we write in Spanish, English, and Spanglish and we are literally everywhere! If you want to go deeper, I dare you to just come and see!  You will find here a partial list of the best blogs written by Latino(a)s.  Feel free to pay a visit and connect with the bloggers on Twitter.   You can also find directories of more Latino bloggers listed here: Blogadera, Blogs by Latinas, Latina Bloggers Facebook Group, AARP Segunda Juventud, Twiteros, and Blogged’s List of Latino Bloggers.

Now on with the list of some of my favorite Latino bloggers:

Art

AKACOCOLOPEZ – Art blog of Kristina Maria Lopez

Business

De Gama Web Studio – Learn Social Networking

BluPint – Latino-owned boutique digital marketing agency, recently doing business in Mexico.

Fernando Varela – Official blog of v5, LLC, a company which specializes in online marketing for Fernando Varela and other clients.

Latina Owned Businesses – Latina business owners can list their businesses here.

Tiene Chic - The journey of Alicia Morga, CEO of Consorte Media

NSHMBA New York – Blog of the New York chapter of the NSHMBA, striving to be the premier Hispanic MBA professional business network.

Vista Hispano – An online destination focused on providing insights into the trends and changing dynamics of the Hispanic Market.

Zapateria Orozco – Nicole’s blog for her shoe store. You’ll find great information on shoes for men, women, and kids.

Think Multicultural – Covers the multicultural marketing and advertising world through the transformative lenses for the digital media.

Joselin Mane – Streamlining business success by systematizing social media tools and technology

Education

Reach For More – Blog about education, literature, bilingualism, and Latino heritage.

Milton Ramirez – A Blog about learning, knowledge, tech and social media

Consulta con JCB – a weekely  vblog/podcast sobre diversos temas de interes, analizados desde un punto de vista legal y sobretodo practico

Mi Caminar - Crecimiento, motivación, inspiración y paz interior

Carta Grande – A blog about HR coaching and practical tips for career advancement

News

Hispanosphere – News and commentary blog on Latino/Hispanic issues.

Latina Lista – A niche news blog on politics, foreign affairs, culture, and social justice issues.

New America Noticias – Broadcasting news from Latino media outlets throughout the United States.

Orlando Latino – Covers news and information of interest to Latinos in Orlando and beyond.

Lifestyle/Culture

A Book Without A Cover – Focuses on topics including women’s justice, radical women of color, gender, politics, and activism.

Cristina Mella – Latino living, decoracion, estilo y hogar

Author’s Diary – News and views from the author of America Libre and El Nuevo Alamo

Bronx Latino – Lifestyle blog aimed at highlighting the people and culture of the Bronx from a Latino perspective.

Cuponeando – Frugal blog sharing information about deals and freebies in Spanish.

Hispanic Affairs

LATISM – A blog about Latinos in Social Media. The largest organization of social media professionals of Hispanic origin.

Sofrito For Your Soul – Sofrito For Your Soul is an online magazine that promotes the evolution of Latino culture in the United States.

Speak Hispanic – Showing you the way into Hispanic minds, One Random Fact at a time

Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet – Personal blog of Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet, focusing on Latino Movement, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Strategy, Health IT, Financial/Banking IT,  and Influential Presentations.

Hispanic Trending – Latino marketing and advertising consulting trends

Tiki Tiki Blog – Stories, essays, videos, and photos of living Latino in the United States.

Being Latino – A communication platform designed to educate, entertain and connect.

The Hispanic Fanatic – About culture, family, friends, immigration, language, media, politics and more

Latina Geek – Where a geeky chica meets a computadora

DarsanaRoldan.com – Activating the power of collaboration for one love, one wealth, one world.

hisPANIC – A blog about “us” en los estados unidos and then some.

Por La Causa – Blog about Latino American interest, informative with a dash of entertainment.

KMPblog – About events happening in NYC, shows, movies, and reviews.

LatinoInTX – Texas and border affairs from a Latino standpoint.

Latino Sexuality – A sex positive resource for Latinos about sexuality and reproductive health.

Latinos y Latinas Online Blogera – Focuses on Latinos/Latinas, pop culture, trends, policy issues, and more.

Mi Bodega – The voice of urban intelligence; the first urban intelligence agency in the world.

Sententia Vera – Blog on multilingualism and multiculturalism, specifically Spanish, bilingual, and translated literature and the Mexican-American culture.

That Happened to Me – Blog focusing on single women and women in business.

The Fat Apple – A fashion/lifestyle blog from the perspective of a plus-size Afro/Latina/Central American woman living in New York City.

Urbane Perspective – Urbane Perspective is an online lifestyle magazine for women of color, Latina, Black, and Asian.

uwishunu – Written by a group of in-the-know Philadelphians, uwishunu (pronounced “You Wish You Knew”) is your online source for an insider’s look at the Philadelphia scene.

Fashion

Latina on a Mission – The title speaks by itself, Latina on a mission to inspire and empower with style

Be Chic – Online magazine and lifestyle channel covering fashion, beauty, entertainment, arts, and culture

Music

Ian’s Music Blog – Blog of Editor In Chief of Austin Vida.com

Parenting

Modern Mami – Parenting blog by a Latina working mother, focusing on specialized concerns working mothers have achieving work/life balance.

The Online Mom – Protecting children online. Tech tools for parents.

Todo Bebe – Una comunidad de madres Latinas que producen artículos, videos y el programa: Viva La Familia TV

NY City Mama – The adventures of a NYC mama of three boys

My Big, Fat Cuban Family – All about a Cuban-American family life in Southern California.

Pediatra Amigo – Blog by pediatrician and neurologist on children’s well-being, health, and topics on pregnancy and general parenting.

Spanglish Baby – Expert and peer advice, informative articles, forums, and community for parents raising bilinguals.

La Mamita Mala – A Queens born and bred newyorican poeta, activista, blogger, single mami and twitterputa

Spanglish Baby Finds – Reviews of the coolest products and services made with bilingual and/or Latino kids in mind.

Hecho Para Mama – Motherhood from a Latina perspective

Dr. Mommy Helps Moms – For health, wealth and sanity

Mommy 2 Mommy – Una comunidad, Many voices

Personal

Against the Flow – Blog about everything from politics to observations about everyday life.

New York Chica – Ramblings of a woman trying to survive this crazy life

Aina Montero – Chronicles the life of a Quito-based elite international escort and personal concierge.

An Eclectic Soul – Personal blog about travel, photography, spirituality, media, social media, marketing, art, and words.

Bilingual in the Boonies – Living la vida Cubanita in Tennessee.

Her Deep Thoughts – A site based on the nonsense of the Licenciada’s mind

Courage Factor – Blog about stepping out of your comfort zone, challenging your cultural beliefs, and becoming the best you possible.

Kety Esquivel – New media and Web 2.0

Carolyn in Carolina – Personal blog of a Latino city girl living in the country.

Eastside Writer – Personal blog of a writer with interests in arts, beer, and photography.

Inside My Head – Talks about how honesty is the only way to find personal freedom and happiness through life and culture.

Mischief & Impermanent Bliss – Tackles topics on social activism, music, arts, culture –  with a special fondness for Peruvian and indigenous.

Not a Dimwit – Blog about the personal journey of a writer toward writing a first novel.

DC Agenda – Apuntes, video-clips, fotos y recortes documentando las vivencias y aprendizaje de Reina

One Latina’s Journey – Here you’ll find Belle’s personal blog, covering her life as a single mom, college student, and full-time employee.

The Jose Vilson – Award winning blog from a NYC teacher, writer, activist discussing topics from an Afro-Latino perspective.

Trust Miguel – Latino student employee blogs about life at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.

Una Mentira Perfecta – A perfect lie is about a Latina who will make you laugh, think, cry and maybe not even believe,

Under the Tucson Sun – Personal blog of a Latina vegetarian, daily yoga practicing Latina, wife, mom, and dog owner.

Photography

Clarisel’s Photo Place – A photoblog dedicated to the photography and news of Clarisel Gonzalez.

Manuel A Rios Photography – A photoblog of one Latino’s perspective of people, places, and events.

Puerto Rican Sun – A cultural and photoblog focusing on Puerto Ricans and the Diaspora.

Only Just a Shot Away – Blog of professional photojournalist Ricky Flores, who has documented life of Puerto Ricans in the South Bronx in the 80’s and 90’s.

Politics

Vivir Latino – dedicated to featuring all the latest politics, culture, entertainment of interest to the diverse and influential Latino and Latina community in the U.S.

Velez’s View – Visit Phil Velez’s personal blog for information on Latinos and politics.

Culture Kitchen – Daily servings of political dissent

The Unapologetic Mexican – Unapologetically serving up sol-sizzling amor y resistencia since May 1st, 2006

Marketing

LatinMinds – Think tank within a large Hispanic ad agency called GlobalHue Latino, fascinated with the DNA of culture and obsessed with social media.

El Blog – Navigating the new markets, and trying to understand the constant weirdness of living in a changing new world.

New Media Brief – Building communities one word at a time

Louis Pagan – The journey about a “Latino Rebranded” and everything relating Latinos and new media.

V5 LLC –A blog about the company and what it does for their clients through social media

Learn Social Networking – Includes topics such as How to Build Community, Hispanic Fluentials, Latina(o)s in Social Media, Digital Marketing, SEO, and Twitter/Facebook.

All Things That Rise – About people, technology and evolution

Social Nerdia – A blog about the convergence of tech + marketing + social media, and the people/sub-cultures that make it possible.

Successfool.com – The official guide to becoming awesome online.

Technology

Premier Social Media – A blog about social media for business executives and consultants

LuisDanS Weblog – Luis blogs about new technologies on emerging markets while working at Microsoft Latin America.

All Things That Rise – A journey of people, technology and evolution

Mobile Test Kitchen – Where mobile apps get cooked

Writing

BronzeWord Latino Authors – Assists writers to achieve their publishing goals and authors to promote their books

Latino Book News – Circulates news on the book industry, agents, articles, Latino/a events, Latino/a books and authors.

NikiBenitez.com – Latina writer explores life through the art of poetry, fiction, prose, and screenplays.

The Latino Reporter – A blog for student journalists from the classroom to the newsroom.

I’m thrilled to represent this amazing community of social media professionals.  I encourage you to pay a visit to these blogs and join the conversation.  The fun is guaranteed.

America's Tweethearts Story In Vanity Fair Is Good For New Media

Author:

While attending Affiliate Summit West earlier this week Joe Morin asked me if I had read the new Vanity Fair article America’s Tweethearts or Social Media Insider’s reaction to it.  I hadn’t yet but Joe sent me a link to both and after reading them I  of course have some comments.

I liked both the article and the post. Yes the author Vanessa Grigoriadis comes across as clueless to the real benefits of social media and according to one of the comments at Social Media Insider has written this kind of article before. So what?

It’s a valid story. These women (Julia Roy, Sarah Evans, Stefanie Michaels, Amy Jo Martin, Sarah Austin and Felicia Day) deserve the recognition. Despite the reporters snarky tone, Stefanie, Sarah (Austin) and Felicia are in fact entertainers/celebrities intentionally. Good for them! Twitter helps promote their careers and the article is pretty significant evidence of that fact. I don’t think Julia, Amy Jo and Sara (Evans) are complaining about the publicity and how it can and will help their careers either.

Vanity Fair has over a million paid subscribers (thats the latest info I can find) and I am guessing a majority of those readers haven’t tuned into Twitter or social media yet.  No matter what the story says that’s good for all of us folks.

And by the way look what the article did not just for us but to us, people are posting and tweeting all over the place about this story (1645 retweets at the time I post this). Everyone is talking about why its good, and why its bad, how Ms. Grigoriadis is clueless, and how these women are being exploited, or how others deserved to be featured in this article. Welcome to social media folks.

It’s a beautiful thing and regardless of the reporter’s or Vanity Fair’s intent they just advanced our new media revolution a little bit further.

Congratulations to six very deserving women and to all of us.

Am I Crazy? Is this story somehow bad for us?

America’s Tweethearts Story In Vanity Fair Is Good For New Media

Author:

While attending Affiliate Summit West earlier this week Joe Morin asked me if I had read the new Vanity Fair article America’s Tweethearts or Social Media Insider’s reaction to it.  I hadn’t yet but Joe sent me a link to both and after reading them I  of course have some comments.

I liked both the article and the post. Yes the author Vanessa Grigoriadis comes across as clueless to the real benefits of social media and according to one of the comments at Social Media Insider has written this kind of article before. So what?

It’s a valid story. These women (Julia Roy, Sarah Evans, Stefanie Michaels, Amy Jo Martin, Sarah Austin and Felicia Day) deserve the recognition. Despite the reporters snarky tone, Stefanie, Sarah (Austin) and Felicia are in fact entertainers/celebrities intentionally. Good for them! Twitter helps promote their careers and the article is pretty significant evidence of that fact. I don’t think Julia, Amy Jo and Sara (Evans) are complaining about the publicity and how it can and will help their careers either.

Vanity Fair has over a million paid subscribers (thats the latest info I can find) and I am guessing a majority of those readers haven’t tuned into Twitter or social media yet.  No matter what the story says that’s good for all of us folks.

And by the way look what the article did not just for us but to us, people are posting and tweeting all over the place about this story (1645 retweets at the time I post this). Everyone is talking about why its good, and why its bad, how Ms. Grigoriadis is clueless, and how these women are being exploited, or how others deserved to be featured in this article. Welcome to social media folks.

It’s a beautiful thing and regardless of the reporter’s or Vanity Fair’s intent they just advanced our new media revolution a little bit further.

Congratulations to six very deserving women and to all of us.

Am I Crazy? Is this story somehow bad for us?

Is Twitter Stealing Community from Blogs?

Author:

So after my post about the Social Media Police yesterday, an interesting discussion ensued. In fact, it was probably one of the better blog post discussions of my career. Except it didn’t take place here, it took place on Twitter. That in itself isn’t a terrible thing, but as a blogger, it’s sort of my duty to build community here at the BlogWorld blog.

I see it happening all the time, discussions take place at Facebook or Twitter, and not in the comments section of the post that started it all.

Is Twitter stealing community away from blogs?

I’ve discussed this before. When I was a community manager it was my job to build communities beyond that of our website. I had a couple of Facebook groups going, some Ning action, a forum and I engaged on Twitter every day. However, people were married to their favorite groups and social networks. They didn’t really feel like visiting the website each day. Instead of building a community, I built cliques. Nowadays no one needs to visit a blog, not when we can read the same posts on a newsletter or access them via feeds or on a Facebook page. The content has to be extremely compelling for folks to come by to comment.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being able to chat with you all on Twitter. I live for these discussions, but if I can’t bring you back here,  what’s the point of my blogging? (Note to Rick: Don’t think about that one too hard, ‘kay?)  So I’ve been thinking about ways engage the community but bring them back here for a bit of conversation. Short of an open bar, some of my options include:

  • Reminding the folks on Twitter to chat here – but that’s kind of spammy and I don’t want to move or break up a good discussion.
  • Try not to encourage a Twitter discussion – but that defeats the purpose. I mean, if no one is going to talk to me here, I’ll take it any way I can get it.
  • Post about it and see if you all have some pointers – This works for me. What would you do?
  • Give you a reason to come here – I hope the content speaks for itself. If you think so, give us a bookmark and come by from time to time (or every day) to say hello.

So talk to me…to us. Tell us what you do to build up your community on the social networks and keep them coming back to your blogs for the discussion?

Is there a polite way to take a conversation from Twitter or Facebook and direct it back to the source?

My mission is apparent. I’ll keep you posted.

Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

Media Is Not Objective

Author:

As I was reading this post by Paul Carr at TechCrunch this morning it occurred to me that if you substituted the word “Obama” for the word “Apple” Paul would have just written a post that could have been seen on any given conservative political blog any day of the week.

That inspired me to hop on a very old and familiar soap box of mine. But I haven’t been on this particular soap box in quite a while so maybe I can fool you into thinking its new =p.

I agree with Paul, Apple fan boys make me crazy. Particularly when they are supposed to be journalists, even worse when they are supposed to be new media journalists fighting against what we all see as old media biases and bad journalism.

But the underlying point applies to all forms of media including me; and since you are reading this post most likely you too. Everyone of us  brings some bias to the table every time we write a post, create a podcast, or send out a tweet.

The best thing we can all do and the thing we should do is be honest about our own inherent biases.  In that spirit you can find some of my biases at the bottom of this post. But something else we can all do is attempt to limit the influence of our bias in our content. I know its a hard thing to do sometimes **cough** Jets Suck**cough**. See what I mean? If you want to create great content you need to constantly stay on guard to keep from falling into the fanboy trap.

So if you find yourself writing a post that is arguing whether the iPod or the Macbook is the greatest invention in the history of man kind you just might be a fanboy. If you find yourself writing a post about how every time you see the president on TV the birds around you seem to break into song, you might not be the most objective political observer.

Now back to those biases of mine; I love San Diego, the Chargers, the Padres and even the Soccers (one for the thumb baby!), I hate Los Angeles and all their sports teams and no the Raiders are not an LA team you only rented them for a couple of years so get over it Angelinos.  I don’t like the Jets very much now either. That will most likely pass when we crush them next year like we should have this weekend.  I can’t help liking Rex Ryan even if he is a windbag.  I find myself being much more conservative now than when I was younger even if I’m still a registered Democrat.  I am and was a Ford man before they sponsored BlogWorld. With the exception of my 72 El Camino (great car) and an Oldsmobile Delta88 I drove for a month, every car I have ever owned has been a Ford. I am a PC and damn proud of it.  I have used my iPod less than a dozen times and now its broken. So you could characterize me as an anti-Mac Fanboy.  I am an old metal head and prefer Black Sabbath, Metallica and Megadeath to Nirvana and Pearl Jam.  To clarify that’s old Metallica before they cut their hair and released the Black album.  I used to be a Bud man but now prefer a good Guinness or Augustiner.

What are your biases?

Who are you a fanboy of?

Look Out! It's the Social Media Police

Author:

I just read another post about what not to do on Twitter. Yawn. Here we go again. If there’s one thing I’m learning is that there aren’t any rules. Just because someone doesn’t like what other people Tweet doesn’t mean he has to govern the place for everyone.

It’s getting old.

Every now and then a member of the social media police decides everyone needs to use the space like he does and anyone who doesn’t is just doing it wrong.

Whatever.

I realize there are certain rules of etiquette. Not too many people like DM spam or autoresponders, for example, and personal attacks aren’t cool at all. We all know there’s a difference between sharing and spam and most of us get it. What I don’t get is why one person feels it’s up to him (or her) to decide how everyone else should blog. Or use Twitter, or Foursquare…or Facebook.

Personally, I like when other bloggers tweet links to interesting blog posts, even their own. I enjoy reading new things and hearing new ideas. If I don’t like a person’s linking policy, I’ll unfollow. It’s not up to me to tell him not to share his stuff. And if the guy across the way wants to @reply everyone who reaches out to him, that doesn’t bother me, either. If I don’t like it, I’ll just unfollow. And if someone else doesn’t respond to everyone who speaks to him, so what? It’s not my business if he’s not into talking.

Ok, so maybe there’s a lot of unnecessary information happening, but who am I to decide what others should post? If I don’t want to know who’s eating at Dunkin’ Donuts, I’ll ignore or unfollow. Twitter is a public place, why would I tell someone to take it to DM? I wouldn’t tell the folks talking in the halls at a conference or at the supermarket checkout to get a room, why would I do that on Twitter? If I don’t like what I see, I’ll unfollow.

In fact, I feel so strongly about this, I’m taking back my post from the other day and if I wrote any other social media police posts, I’m going to take them back too. Go ahead, send me validation requests. I won’t pay attention to them, but it’s not up to me to decide how you should use Twitter. If you feel better having people prove themselves, then, by golly, it’s your right to do so.

Feel free to play Farmville as much as you want. Share mares and goats and little lambs if that’s what you enjoy. I won’t participate, hell, I may even unfollow you if you send me too many cows but it’s not up to me put a halt to your Mafia Wars addiction.

Go ahead, ReTweet to your heart’s content. Post 100 pictures of your puppies. Tell us about your blogs. I’m not the one who makes the rules. What you do is between you and your friends and followers. If they don’t like how you use the space, you’ll find out soon enough.

Until then, carry on.

Deb Ng is a professional blogger, social media consultant and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs blog network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng. Just don’t send her any cows.

Look Out! It’s the Social Media Police

Author:

I just read another post about what not to do on Twitter. Yawn. Here we go again. If there’s one thing I’m learning is that there aren’t any rules. Just because someone doesn’t like what other people Tweet doesn’t mean he has to govern the place for everyone.

It’s getting old.

Every now and then a member of the social media police decides everyone needs to use the space like he does and anyone who doesn’t is just doing it wrong.

Whatever.

I realize there are certain rules of etiquette. Not too many people like DM spam or autoresponders, for example, and personal attacks aren’t cool at all. We all know there’s a difference between sharing and spam and most of us get it. What I don’t get is why one person feels it’s up to him (or her) to decide how everyone else should blog. Or use Twitter, or Foursquare…or Facebook.

Personally, I like when other bloggers tweet links to interesting blog posts, even their own. I enjoy reading new things and hearing new ideas. If I don’t like a person’s linking policy, I’ll unfollow. It’s not up to me to tell him not to share his stuff. And if the guy across the way wants to @reply everyone who reaches out to him, that doesn’t bother me, either. If I don’t like it, I’ll just unfollow. And if someone else doesn’t respond to everyone who speaks to him, so what? It’s not my business if he’s not into talking.

Ok, so maybe there’s a lot of unnecessary information happening, but who am I to decide what others should post? If I don’t want to know who’s eating at Dunkin’ Donuts, I’ll ignore or unfollow. Twitter is a public place, why would I tell someone to take it to DM? I wouldn’t tell the folks talking in the halls at a conference or at the supermarket checkout to get a room, why would I do that on Twitter? If I don’t like what I see, I’ll unfollow.

In fact, I feel so strongly about this, I’m taking back my post from the other day and if I wrote any other social media police posts, I’m going to take them back too. Go ahead, send me validation requests. I won’t pay attention to them, but it’s not up to me to decide how you should use Twitter. If you feel better having people prove themselves, then, by golly, it’s your right to do so.

Feel free to play Farmville as much as you want. Share mares and goats and little lambs if that’s what you enjoy. I won’t participate, hell, I may even unfollow you if you send me too many cows but it’s not up to me put a halt to your Mafia Wars addiction.

Go ahead, ReTweet to your heart’s content. Post 100 pictures of your puppies. Tell us about your blogs. I’m not the one who makes the rules. What you do is between you and your friends and followers. If they don’t like how you use the space, you’ll find out soon enough.

Until then, carry on.

Deb Ng is a professional blogger, social media consultant and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs blog network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng. Just don’t send her any cows.

Introducing Civilians to Social Media

Author:

If you listened to Jim Turner’s telethon for Haiti over the past couple of days, a certain topic came up often – whether or not social media people are all preaching to the choir.

I thought about this a lot last night. I mean, we all read the same people’s blogs and follow the same people on Twitter. We go the same conferences to hear the same speakers talk about the same things. Social media people already know about social media. Instead of talking to the same folks all the time, we need to figure out a way to get everyone involved.

Last Friday, I had a lunch meeting with one of the Cub Scout dads and his partner. They were tasked with building a website for a cancer community and their biggest challenge was in bringing in people to join the discussions and do more than look around and leave. They relied on a very small bit of search engine traffic and a Google Adwords campaign to bring in readers, and, hopefully, participating members of the community. As you can imagine, it wasn’t working.

I wondered if hiring a community manager would be more cost efficient than an advertising campaign. Hiring someone who knows the subject manager and can engage a community would be a lot more effective in this instance, than putting out money for  to place a generic ad for Google searchers.

Stuff that I take for granted as common knowledge, isn’t common outside of social media circles.

As I thought about this more, I wondered how we can introduce civilians to social media so more people could join the conversation. My thoughts are below, and I’d to read your suggestions as well:

  • Talk: If you follow me on Twitter or read my blogs, you’ll know I see everyone as a potential client. That doesn’t mean I spend all day giving elevator pitches, (mostly because I don’t believe anyone likes being cornered in an elevator). However, if people ask what I do, I tell them. If it comes up in a conversation, I’ll add my two cents. My neighbor and his partner contacted me because they knew I could help. If I was shy about it, they’d either struggle along or find someone else.
  • Listen: I pay attention. In the supermarket checkout line, while getting my hair done, when I’m at the park taking the dog for a walk, I pay attention to the conversations people are having. One time, I heard a bunch of co-workers talking while enjoying lunch. They didn’t have a clue where to take a marketing campaign. I had a few ideas, but didn’t want to bust in on their meeting. As I left, I handed one person my card and said I had a couple of ideas for a social media campaign. They called me the next day. The never considered taking it beyond aggressive advertising campaigns and though they didn’t take me on as a regular client, they did consult and pick my brains for a bit. Now they have a much heavier online presence.
  • Infiltrate: Many businesses don’t want to invest in sending their teams to social media conferences because they don’t have the budget to spend outside their own industries. They’re rather send their accountants to accounting conferences and lawyers to legal conferences. These are the exact same places we need to infiltrate. Most businesses can benefit from social media. The same speakers who sign up for speaking engagements at BlogWorld or South by Southwest, should also think outside the box and attend nicher conferences. My dentist is considering a social media campaign for his new business. If a dentist is looking into social media, it’s a given that firefighters, retailers, teachers and others can benefit as well. Conferences aren’t only for meeting your buddies, they’re also for teaching and learning. We have a lot to share.
  • Teach: How many social media gurus are qualified to teach at colleges, business events and at continuing education venues? I’m in talks to teach blogging and social media for a series of free courses at the local library.

Now don’t get me wrong. I learn from so many of you, but you have so much to offer to the rest of the world. How can you reach beyond the blogosphere to the people who truly need to learn? What do you have to offer?

Deb Ng is a professional blogger, social media consultant and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs blog network. Follow her on Twitter @debng.

What BlogWorld Looks for in a Speaker Proposal

Author:

Deb’s note: This is part one in a series about crafting a good speaker proposal.

Via Twitter, I noted the disappoitment in many bloggers and social media people (including me) when speaker proposals weren’t chosen for BlogWorld or SXSW. So I took it to the source. I reached out to the conference organizers who choose speakers for the various events including SXSW, IZEAFest, Web 2.0, and others to learn what they look for when choosing speaker proposals.

Today, Rick Calvert, the man behind the BlogWorld and New Media Expo, offers some insight into what the BlogWorld team looks for in a speaker proposal. .

Here are Rick’s tips:

“We look for several things in a speaker proposal. First is great relevant content for our attendees. We want our speakers to deliver information that people can really learn from and act on. Being original is a good thing but just being original for originality’s sake is not.”

In other words, thinking outside the box is always a good thing, but your idea has to appeal to enough people to fill a room. First, consider what attendees can learn from you, then consider whether or not attendees will really be interested in the subject matter.

BlogWorld is a blogging and social media event. Most attendees are there to advance their careers in these fields and to make a living as professional bloggers and/or social media people. Also, representatives from businesses attend BlogWorld to learn how to build community trust in the brand and create a web presence. How can you help? What is your expertise and how can you pass this on to others?

“We are looking for speakers who can deliver that content in an engaging way. If you have great content but attendees are falling asleep during your presentation then no one really benefits.”

Mumblers and monotones need not apply. Are you a confident speaker? It has to show through in your proposal, and, later, through your talk. There’s a reason conference organizers ask for the comment forms at the end of each session – speak with those forms in mind. You’re not at BlogWorld to pontificate. Attendees want to be engaged. They want to feel inspired and you want them to feel as if they’re ready to take action immediately upon exiting your talk.

“Then we want speakers who are going to put butts in the seats. They can do that several ways; great content attracts people. Well known speakers with a good reputation attract people.

Certain big names are a shoo-in at the various conferences because people attend specifically to hear them speak. Attendees know they will learn and receive value from this talk. However, you don’t need to be Chris Brogan to have an accepted proposal. Create awesome content, the kind that will pack a room and have them listening from the hallways.

“Finally where lots of speakers fall down is they don’t promote their appearance.Speaking at a conference is a huge opportunity to build your reputation and your business by giving your peers something they can really use. If no one knows you are there, then you just blew that opportunity and you are probably not going to be asked back or get a good recommendation from that organizer. Conference organizers certainly have a responsibility to promote their speakers but they have an entire event to represent. No one is going to promote your appearance as well as you can. Unfortunately at least 70% of speakers completely fail here.

Get on the horn, speakers. Rock your Facebook events and tell your Twitter followers. Announce your appearance in your regular newsletter and post it on your blog. The folks who follow you around the blogosphere may even follow you to BlogWorld.

“One more important thing to add is what we are not looking for and that’s people who are trying to sell something. If you pitch us a talk about how great your company or product is, then expect to get a “dear potential speaker” letter from us. People are always trying to get creative and trick us in to thinking that their sales pitch will be different, or that it really isn’t a pitch.

“No one wants to hear about your product from the stage. That’s what booths are for.”

Amen to that last part.

So here are your key takeaways:

  • BlogWorld will be open for speaker proposals at the end of February. There’s plenty of time for you to digest this information, take your time and write a propopsal that makes sense
  • Craft a unique proposal but not so unique no one will want to attend.
  • Don’t set up a proposal only to sell your crap.
  • BlogWorld wants speakers who can fill a room and justify a ticket to Vegas.

Are you up for the challenge?

If anyone else on the BlogWorld team would like to weigh in, I’ll be happy to add your comments as well. In the mean time, potential speakers, get busy. BlogWorld will begin accepting speaker proposals in a little over one month.

National Delurking Day

Author:

This is a bit of an old school blog day that we celebrate each year.  I think I first posted about this day about 4-5 years ago on my Daddy Blog.  What is Delurking Day you might ask?  In the blog world, many people read blogs and they watch and read comments all the while staying in the shadows and not being a part of the conversation.  They are shy or they think that they don’t have something to add that is useful, or they just want to stay anonymous.

Delurking Day was formed to make it a day where everyone could leave a comment and be seen on the blog.  It was a great way for bloggers to find out who was reading and also a time for those that were shy or not wanting to be seen on the blog to have a chance to say hello as well.  If you are a regular reader of a blogs and you never want to leave a comment but enjoy reading and watching the comments as conversations ensue, this is your day. leave a comment and say hello.

You should also take this opportunity to post this on your own blog if you have one so that you can also have your own lurkers leave their comment.

My old friend Chris at RudeCactus tells us the rules:

Second, it’s Delurking Day! Yep, that’s right. The Official Delurking Day is back. Read the site? Comment. Comment all the time? Cool, do it again. A little shy? Come on, comment – you know you wanna. Take it to the streets – go comment all willy-nilly all over the blogosphere. You’ll be glad you did. And so will all the bloggers already hard at work on tomorrow’s posts.

Take the button here and post it.  See who is reading by getting them to comment.  Of course you must first leave a comment here and delurk yourself.

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