Archive for October, 2009

v5, the exclusive online marketer of FernandoVarela.com, was very proud to have helped the UFL last week in helping to bring fans to the October 22 Florida Tuskers game at the Citrus Bowl. Through a strategy of connecting with football fans in Orlando and as well as Orlando media outlets on Twitter and Facebook, v5’s campaign brought people to the game. We had a blast. Can’t you just tell from the face of @papijulio?


Here are some pictures of the game and of the section we helped to fill: v5’s UFL Photo Album

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If you are a Latino in Social Media (LATISM), then you know about the incredible page that is Being Latino on Facebook.


This site has over 19,800 members and should easily surpass 20,000 very soon, especially if it continues to offer Latinos on Facebook the opportunity to dialogue and discuss the hot-button topics affecting Latinos, particularly the reactions to CNN’s Latino in America.

If you are on Facebook and want to see what others are saying about the CNN special, go to Being Latino and join in the conversation. Let your voice be heard.

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It has been quite a week here on this blog and many Latino blogs all over the Internet. CNN has achieved its objective: generate interest and buzz about Latino in America. Well, we think they got it and more (but not the ratings), for good reasons and bad ones. Here are just a few examples:

1. The Basta Dobbs movement has garnered some incredible national attention this week, with articles such as the The New York Times, and it seems that CNN doesn’t know what to do about it. It has led to a debate that doesn’t appear to disappear as much as Time-Warner would like it to, and there is a growing feeling from many that CNN was trying to do a “double-switch” here: that is, let’s give Latinos a glossy series about themselves, but try to sweep Dobbs under the rug. We think this trend and story won’t go away with Twitter and Facebook (it has gone viral and it has grown). See for yourself and decide.

2. Another bigger issue is how much debate has been on Twitter regarding Latino in America, from both sides of the argument. As with any review of the show (and our review was that the show was incredibly uneven in trying to portray a more complete picture of the Latino community in America), the streams, tweets, and updates were all over the place. We do think that this interest and activity on social media networks only generated a need, a desire by many to tell their own stories, which is why Latino Success Stories was formed. We do want to respond to a few things about this blog post:

We at no point think that what CNN showed (real issues of immigration, youth, racism, hate crimes) was not newsworthy. What we take issue with (and what so many others took issue with) was that this was a lost opportunity by an influential news giant to present a more balanced view of the complexities of being Latino in America. That is all. That is why we told ourselves, if CNN won’t do it, then we will use social media to spread the word and tell people to share their stories with others. WE will balance the coverage, we will try to celebrate people who battle all the issues that would keep people down and in fact, overcame them.

Unlike CNN, we will welcome dissenting opinions about this issue, but we do find it strange that CNN is trying to downplay both the Dobbs issue and that fact that “Latino in America” really didn’t satisfy all its viewers. It is safe to say that even though we admire the attempt by Soledad O’Brien and CNN to try and present a 4-hour news program about Latinos in the US, we feel that the feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness from Latinos who saw the show are just as valid as the feelings of pride and joy that others are feeling.

That is why we are doing it and that is why we will continue to do so. And we will ALWAYS present any information from anyone on our site, since if you think we only have the mainstream media to share our views, ideas, stories, opinions, then you don’t know the power of social media.

YOU ARE THE POWER! That is what social media is about. Don’t rely on the mainstream media to tell your story. Tell it yourself and shout it out from the rooftoops.

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We love Héctor Lavoe, El Cantante. His music speaks to us. And we just came across this amazing footage from 1973 in Robert Clemente Stadium in Puerto Rico, singing the official theme song of VivaViernes. Enjoy!

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The last few days here at v5 have been beyond our expectations. The response and support we have gotten from the “Latinos Success Stories” blog has amazed us. We keep getting stories from so many people and now we are happy to report that our dear Twitter friend @ColombianCoffee has created a “Latinos Success Story” You Tube Group. You can visit it here: Latino Success Stories on YouTube. Join us, and your video, or just comment on the videos you see there.

Here is mine, right here. What do you think? Wait until the end, you will hear my wicked strong Puerto Rican accent. ¡Sigan apoyando a todos!

PS Hopefully that video still of my goofy face changes soon. Please change soon.

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You gotta give it up to the wonderful and funny (and Emmy-award winning) Mike Robles. He is one of the country’s hottest Latino stand-up comics, but Mike is also “real peeps” and like the true Bronx Puerto Rican that he is, he has not forgotten about his roots, as his star keeps rising. As someone who respects the very difficult skill of comedy, we give Mike much props.

Mike, today, is trying to keep it real, and we have posted his YouTube response to CNN’s Latino in America, which aired this week. As you will see from the video, Mike has his opinions, and they are passionate, strong, and honest. What do YOU think? Let us know.

We would have posted this on CNN’s Latino in America Comments Page, but it seems that they moderate certain comment and probably won’t post this. Yes, what Mike says is passionate and strong, but the point here is that we have seen a major wave of anger and frustration towards how CNN produced the show. Our opinions is that the show could have been more balanced and try to connect the serious issues plaguing Latinos in the US today with the real stories of Latinos who have worked through these issues and have achieved great things.

On a side note, and out of respect to the people who put in the long hours to produce the CNN show, I tried to comment and let Soledad O’Brien know that if her translators are going to help her comment in Spanish to people, they might want to use accents and other basic Spanish conventions. I adore Soledad and her talent, but basic Spanish conventions (like saying “próximo” with an accent, “espanol” with an “ñ” and adding “¡” to sentences) should be standard operating practice for a major news organization like CNN. I hope Soledad just takes the editorial feedback as a way to better communicate with Spanish-speaking audience. My argument is this: a major media organization wouldn’t allow for such blatant English errors in their English comments, why would Spanish be any different. So, CNN, some free Spanish editorial advice for you. Hope you understand and improve on that.

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We here at v5 love Chicago, we love it: the vibe, the Loop, the bars near Wrigley, da Cubbies, the improv scene, and of course, the deep dish.

Yes, we love Chicago so much, we would marry it.

So today, our #FollowFriday for is all about: Chicago.

So here is our list of great Chicagoland people you MUST follow on Twitter:

twitter2_bigger @foiledcupcakes Mari (like Safari) is so Chicago: hip, cool, and oh yeah, makes the best cupcakes around. I should know, I have tried them and she is not paying me to talk about them. Yes, I am real journalist here. Seriously, I have enjoyed Maris’ business grow at Foiled Cupcakes, since it was about the same time when we formed v5 and started promoting Fernando. And yes, Mari (like Safari) is a Twitter Rockstar.

JoeTheProducerFall09_bigger @joetheproducer: I met Joe over the summer in Chicago, and I was so happy to do so. His style on Twitter (fun, honest, authentic, and awesome) totally reflects his personality. Joe is a Web TV producer and has a great show called EnlightenMeRadio, a fabulous show for entrepreneurs.

Di_Allan_BDaycrop_bigger @chicagodiane: Diane is amazing, her personality is infectious (in a good sense of the word), and I always love connecting with her. She is also one sharp VP for a technology company, and yes she is a hopeless Cubs fan. She will always put a smile in your Twitter stream, because Diane does Twitter right: connect, engage, be yourself.

gj_bigger @big_teeth: Ah, Gregg, you have the right Chicago sports attitude (Cubs always blow it) and your video work is top-notch. You crack me up with your humor and fashionable Windy City style. Now you have become the Chair of GATT = Guys Against Terrirble Television. Yes, sire, I will follow you into battle.

twitterProfilePhoto_bigger @aakomas: This DePaul Journalism student loves her sports, absolutely loves them. She knows her soccer, basketball, and baseball. Amy is also very cool to hang out with on Twitter. You will love how she connects with people.

And how can I not include the Queen of Chicago? The Social Media Maven of the Midway? The Big Bear? The Cosmic Cub? Yes, people, yes, if you can only follow 1 person on Twitter,

only 1 person,


Then you MUST MUST follow @ginidietrich. Why? Well, she knows her stuff, she embodies what social media for business should be about and if she gets a little over 1200 more followers, I promised I would sing her an original song on video. Yes, join the #Gini10K movement so I can look like a goof on video. (Wait, I always look like a goof on video.)

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