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Archive for May, 2012


Now THIS is cool. My brother Fernando Varela singing with the great Lionel Richie and David Foster. Live. Unrehearsed. Amazing.

The following video (10 minutes in length) is a career gem for Fernando, who has recently been performing with Foster to outstanding reviews and results.  The best moment of this video is seeing Richie’s genuine admiration of Fernando’s talents, as well as seeing Fernando totally understand that he is singing with Lionel Flipping Richie! They sing “Stuck on You” from Richie’s new duets album, and then Fernando brings the house down with “Nessum Dorma.”

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In one year, LatinoRebels.com, an independent media page founded by 20 other individuals (including myself), has outpaced other more established mainstream Latino media pages as well as several independent Latino online pages. We agree 100% that the Latino digital space is a growing and untapped market, and the fact that several pages are beginning to hit a sweet spot when it comes to traffic and unique visitors should serve a call to brands and organizations that are trying to capitalize on a market that has become digitally savvy and influential. Conferences like LATISM and Hispanicize are taking the lead in communicating this message to the mainstream and we welcome all pages that are creating and curating what was once an underserved market.

So far, according to our own Google Analytics, LatinoRebels.com has achieved the following traffic on a shoestring budget and with a social media strategy that spans several platforms (we are active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, G+, Tumblr, Storify, and Instragram) for our different niche markets: 303,131 visits, 239,094 unique visitors, 432,598 pageviews, and 78.79% new visitors, with 21.21% returning visitors. Since January 1, 2012, LatinoRebels has gotten 238,806 visits, 183,204 unique visitors, 342,571 pageviews, which if we average out for all of 2012, would are anticipating the following 2012 yearly traffic: 576,000 visits, 445,000 unique visitors, and 834,000 pageviews. That would result is an 900% increase in yearly traffic between 2011 and 2012. In addition, our current visitors spend an average of 1:07 minutes on our site per visit. Even though social media helps us to get more readers to our site, the goal of our company is to highlight our main site and share stories and content we feel is relevant to our community.

This past April, according to Compete.com (which works of a sample of 2 million Internet user profiles in the United States only), LatinoRebels gained more unique US visitors (12,234 measured on April 20) than the following English-language Latino media and cultural sites:: NBC Latino (12,181 UVS), Univision News (7,612 UVS), News Taco (9,929 UVS), Being Latino (10,127 UVS), Pocho.com (2,992 UVS), Voxxi (11,340 UVS), and Remezlca (7,033 UVS). Our current Compete.com ranking is 129,171 in the US and we saw a 74.50% increase in our UVS for the US in April. FYI, the most successful independent Latino media page we came across on Compete was Hispanically Speaking News with an impressive 47,384 UVS for April.

Besides Google Analytics and our own WordPress analytics (our SlimStats since May 6, 2012 have listed 99,859 hits to our site—search engines, bots, and humans combined—with 12,522 unique IPS in the span between May 6-May 19). This data slice confirms that our current unique human traffic according to our own internal stats averages about 30,000 uniques with about 50,000 pageviews (Our content and stories in March still had us at 50,000 uniques and 100,000 pageviews) per month in 2012 right now.

Another tool that partners and our clients use to measure us is Alexa. We don’t think Alexa is the end all and be all of traffic (and you need to enhance its data with your own internal data), but it is an industry standard used by many to “check you out.” As of today, May 20, 2012, our current Alexa ranking is as follows: 163,009 of all the Alexa-tracked web pages in the world and 39,698 in the US. We have accomplished this in a span on just one year and 20 days. In the last three months, our Alexa traffic has increased 150% although this past month we have seen a dip in traffic (blame it on the good spring weather).

Compared to other similar sites, LatinoRebels.com can definitely say that it is one of the top Latino media pages in the world. Here is where we stand with other sites:

MAY 20, 2012 Alexa Rankings (by GLOBAL RANKINGS)

  1. Hispanically Speaking News: 55,509 global, 13,380 US
  2. Voxxi: 105,501 global, 30,620 US
  3. Remezcla: 143,043 gloval, 26,263 US
  4. Latino Rebels: 163,009 global, 39,698 US
  5. Being Latino: 247,612 global, 48,184 US
  6. Latism: 269,282 global, 41,566 US
  7. NBC Latino: 315,389 global, 66,316 US
  8. Univision News: 324,654 global, 84,597 US
  9. Hispanicize: 330,208 global, 86,204 US
  10. Pocho.com: 481,821 global, 110,355 US
  11. News Taco: 568,719 global, 166,033 US

Again, this is just a sample of some pages that are part of our daily Latino online universe. We don’t list this ranking as a competition, but instead to put the context of where Latino Rebels stands within this world. In the end, having ALL Latino-themed pages doing well (and many are) is a great thing. However, this data confirms that Latino Rebels is getting the traffic, and even after our explosive growth of early 2012, we have been able to sustain our traffic and we have become a viable destination page for readers who are looking for US Latino content and information on a global level.

We have yet to truly dive into the product branding world, since we like our independent streak and our ability to control our own destiny, but we do welcome any dialogue with any group, brand, or organization that thinks our page’s vibe and content is of value to them. Quite frankly, if the fit is right, we will be more than happy to share stories, content, ideas, profiles, etc. that speak to the growing world of the US Latino digital space.

Finally, we believe that our group has the savvy and expertise to help anyone, both Latino-themed brands and non-Latino ones. In less than 13 months, we literally went from 0 to becoming one of the top Latino pages (and now pages) in the world. We do it a bit differently than others, but we can assure you that we will deliver. Just look at the numbers. They don’t lie.

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From first glance, you would think that the recent news of Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate dipping under 15% for the first time since May, 2009 (US Dept of Labor) would be good news for incumbent Republican and pro-statehood governor Luis Fortuño (although it is still in double digits). In a tough re-election campaign, he can begin to let people know that the island is slowly creeping out of four years of recession and he can do fluff interviews on FOX to state his case.

Yes, in April 2012 Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate (see image) was at 14.8%. However, look at the numbers. Really look at the numbers on this chart and you will see a different story: for all his talk about economic growth (new Walmarts!), cutting public sector jobs and making government leaner and meaner, Puerto Rico is actually losing jobs public sector jobs in Puerto Rico continue to be one of the island’s industries that is growing.

Here is the data that one should consider, based on official statistics from the US Department of Labor:

  • From March to April, the Puerto Rican labor force decreased by 11,000 workers. In March, the labor force was at 1, 285,500. In April, it was at 1,274,500. In February, the labor force was at 1,291,400. So, from February to April, the Puerto Rican labor has decreased by 2%.
  • Because the labor force is shrinking, Puerto Rico actually had a net decrease in total number of jobs in April, but still say the April unemployment rate go down by .02%. In April, there were 1,086,400 employed Puerto Ricans. In March, that number was 1,092,100. So about 6,000 jobs were lost but the unemployment rate went down. In February, the total number of jobs were at 1,097,400, which means that about 11,000 jobs were lost even though the unemployment rate is going down. Where are these jobs going? Who is leaving the island? Young talent. The labor force of Puerto Rico is shrinking.
  • In addition, the public sector continues to be one of the island’s top sources of employment. In April, there was a reported 270,800 government jobs. In March, that number was at 269,100 and in February it was at 269,200. In January, the jobs were at 271,300. This sector continues to trend up.

The date presents other gains, like construction, but they are offset bu industries like trade, transportation, and utilities. In the end, the talk of a Puerto Rican miracle are a bit premature, because the labor data shows that people are just giving up or leaving the island’s labor force. Less people, less jobs, and a drop in unemployment. That is one way to fix your problems, although we don’t know if it is the best way.

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