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I was not going to respond any more about the libelous and slanderous posts being perpetuated by the anonymous Think Mexican profile, but since this coward has now begun to personally attack dear friends, I will respond. This will be brief and this will be to-the-point: Think Mexican is currently consciously libeling myself and Latino Rebels. He/She/It is acting with malice. It is simple as that. I have already reported these false posts to all the social networks that have allowed such content to be published.

By consciously displaying malice and exhibiting a desire to disparage me and my group, Think Mexican has shared the following lies:

  • TM has manipulated images and my professional resume (classless).
  • Has “proof” that Jorge Ramos paid us to publish a piece about him (hilarious).
  • Has said that Latino Rebels are in a partnership with Fox News Latino (umm, that is another Latino page).
  • Has said that we are in a marketing relationship with Latinos in Social Media (LATISM). That statement alone is beyond funny, and just sad.
  • Has “proven” that we are working for Televisa because the head of Televisa’s Twitter page is following us. BTW, we are also followed by a guy who looks like Yoda.

For further “proof,” Think Mexican is using a published ABC News profile from earlier this year. That article initially contained several factual errors. After that piece was published, I alerted the reporter, and ABC News had to revise the piece because of those factual errors. ABC News never publicly said that such revisions and corrections were made. During that time, I also expressed my extreme displeasure about how the reporter portrayed my professional career. There was a suggestion that I was a communist (silly) and that Latino Rebels was being funded by bigger clients (since I and the CEO/CFO/GM of Latino Rebels, I can tell you that such a “fact” was also false.) However, unlike Think Mexican, ABC News displayed no malice. It was just sloppy reporting, and I moved on, after letting the reporter know that the piece missed the mark.

But if you want to know, in the past three years, my clients (who bill me through Latino Rebels LLC) have been: four educational curriculum companies who hired me to develop PreK-12 programs; a science curriculum company that needed Spanish translations; a manufacturing company who uses my social media expertise as a community manager; and a major media company that retained my company to run an educational awareness campaign. I have also worked with several friends who needed help in amplifying their messages: whether it is a petition about immigration reform or a story about a young man dying at hands of Bakersfield, CA police. That is what Latino Rebels does. We share untold stories. We don’t run ads on our site and we don’t make money off the site.

What the critics don’t understand and cannot understand is that I also founded LatinoRebels.com as a collective of about 20 people. These are special people who do what they do for the love of the game. They are amazing, and they are my family. I love them, and I would defend them anytime, anywhere. We work really hard to pay our contributors, and there is no secret marketing agenda. The critics just don’t get it because they continue to try and categorize us through a traditional business model. They can’t, and it perplexes them.

Think Mexican lies, and to be honest with you, I have really have no respect for anyone who hides behind an anonymous page. The sad thing of all this is that Think Mexican is falling into the trap that the mainstream wants: keep them all divided, so they can still be conquered. I personally believe in a lot of what Think Mexican does, and respect the content, but I don’t respect personal attacks and fictitious accusations.

Think Mexican celebrates hate and is cheering for failure. I choose love and celebrate my friends.

TM

Think Mexican can call me any name in the book, and he/she/it can disagree with me all he/she/it wants, but spreading fabrications and claiming that it is TRUTH is a slippery slope. But what do you expect from an anonymous person who is actively promoting a campaign for me to fail?

Bring it.

I am Bronx and Think Mexican lacks courage and character.

Dignity comes from honesty and being real. How can an anonymous profile be real when he/she/it is anonymous? But if he/she/it wants to keep hating me, I welcome it. It only makes me stronger.

I started my career 25 years ago as a journalist,  and I  have been filing/editing/reporting new stories for the last five years through good old-fashioned reporting. My blogs have kept my love of journalism alive. Many of those stories made national news outlets. That is called hard work and dedication, and such a philosophy is not driven by money. To be honest with you, at 44 years old, I don’t do this for money. I do this because I love it.

Now I have returned to journalism. In this economy, I am blessed to have a steady job again. Such an opportunity has grounded me, and I feel like I am 23 years old, when I was young editor working for a company that was family to me. For a long time, that sense of family was lost, and the Rebels helped me find it.

This is the last thing I will ever say about this sad situation.

And if Think Mexican continues to lie, the next response won’t come from me.

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Before I start, I was really happy to see so many familiar faces and people who made the Forbes’ list of 2013 Social Media Power Users. People like Ted Rubin, Chris Brogan, Ann Handley, Jessica Northey, Aaron Lee, Mari Smith, Calvin Lee, Jeff Bullis, Gary Vaynerchuk, etc. are all amazing people, and I am really happy to see them get listed.

However, the overall list sadly lacks in diversity, and it specifically ignores well-known and established Latino Power Users. Again. It is becoming a common and disturbing trend, one that needs to stop.

The author of the piece, Haydn Shaughnessy, could have clearly dug a little deeper when it comes to “influence.” Yes, he established his criteria through Peek Analytics, with the assumption that this is all about “reach.” (By the way, my Peek is 327.) That is only part of the full picture. Reach only takes you so far. It is the quality of your reach that matters. For example, my company Latino Rebels has become a go-to source for many members of the national media. Our community is highly loyal and highly engaged, and it serves a demographic (bilingual, bicultural young Latinos) that is the new “hot” demo. How do you measure that influence? By a Peek score? Or by people who come to your site and social media networks every day, who want to engage you and want to support you? The real Power User builds lasting relationships, and while many of the 2013 Forbes Power Users listed do follow that course, many others on the list do not. And that is why the list fails, in my opinion.

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So I ask again: where are the Latino Power Users? Does Shaughnessy not know about Latism or Hispanicize? Does he not know about Elianne Ramos (the Latism Reina) or Laura Gómez (the first Latina at Twitter)? These are just two very specific examples of Power Users who have earned the respect, love, and credibility of the Latino digital community. I could also give Shaughnessy about 20-30 names, but I wonder if he even read this opinion piece from the HuffPost that speaks to how Latinos just can no longer be ignored in the social space:

Latinos, who have been recorded as the group with the highest rate of early adopters are continuously embracing technology faster than any other demographic in the United States.

According to a report by Pew Internet and American Life Project, 18 percent of Latinos online are Twitter users, a greater percentage than their counterparts in every other category.

On Facebook, Latinos are also using the social media platform at a higher rate than their counterparts, with 54.2 percent of Latinos online regularly using Facebook, just above non-Latino blacks at 47.7 percent and non-Latino whites at 43 percent, according to marketing company Big Research.

Successful organizations such as United We Dream and Latism have been able to implement positive change within their communities because they not only understand Latinos, they also know how to successfully engage them. To give you an idea of their reach, United We Dream has 4,911 Twitter followers and over 13,000 “Likes” on Facebook, and Latism has over 23,000 Twitter followers and over 150,000 “Likes” on Facebook.

Or did he even read this 2012 report from Nielsen?

Social is another platform where Latinos are especially active and rising in numbers.  During February 2012, Hispanics increased their visits to Social Networks/Blogs by 14 percent compared to February 2011.  Not only are Latinos the fastest growing U.S. ethnic group on Facebook and WordPress.com from a year ago, but also Hispanic adults are 25 percent more likely to follow a brand and 18 percent more likely to follow a celebrity than the general online population.

Do you think that this happens by accident? No. It is because there is a very dynamic and influential group of Latino Power Users who are building real communities each and every day.

I know that many of those 2013 Forbes Power Users understand that the Latino social space is thriving. Last week at Hispanicize in Miami, for example, I ran into one 2013 Power User (and fellow Knick Fan) Ted Rubin, who was at that conference and making serious connections. Because Ted gets it, and he’s nice, too. Latinos are the future of social media, and I won’t accept Shaughnessy’s list for the very simple reason that it only gives you a narrow mainstream view of social media.

Forbes and Shaughnessy failed again by excluding several Latino Power Users on its list. You know why? Because they don’t have a clue about what is really happening in that space, and they have shown no desire to learn more about that space. So they follow the safe choice, because safe is not risky.

I sure hope that one day Shaughnessy actually starts engaging the Latino Power Users more and more. He might learn a thing or two.

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There are so many feelings going through my head after news that Boston City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo announced his candidacy for mayor, making him the first Latino in the city’s history to run for this post.

The strongest feeling, of course, is one of pride and joy. Arroyo is a Boston boricua, the son-in-law of Hector Luis Acevedo, a former mayor of San Juan. Having lived and worked in my adopted home city since 1986, yesterday’s announcement marked another turning point that Boston is indeed a changing city, one that is changing for the better.

Felix Arroyo

I have rarely felt like this during my time in the self-proclaimed Hub of the Universe, since to me, Boston has always been a city of separate neighborhoods that rarely get connected. The city’s ugly racial past of the 1970s, based on a failed social experiment, lingered for a while—yes, even on the Harvard campus in the mid-1980s. There was this unspoken rule in Boston that the city’s neighborhoods should never mix. The city was segregated: Bostonians would converge in the city’s downtown center for work each day, but when it was time to go home, different groups of people when to their different neighborhoods. Don’t cause any problems. Just know your place.

That image of Boston, of course, has changed, especially with the city’s perceptions of Latinos. I have always credited this to the Red Sox. I have been going to Fenway Park since 1986, and as much as I have always loved it, I truly fell madly in love with it when Pedro Martínez started pitching for the team in the late 1990s. The atmosphere whenever Pedro pitched was magical, but it also brought out so many fans who would have never gone to a Red Sox game before Pedro pitched. Spanish conversations became more common in the stands, Dominican flags flew, and when I heard 440’s “Guavaberry” over the stadium’s speakers for the first time, I knew that a another real part of the city, one that was rarely seen inside one of the city’s most beloved gathering places, was starting to show up.

Then, David Ortiz became a legend in 2004, and all of a sudden it was cool to be Latino in Boston. The Big Papi Effect did more for Boston Latinos than almost anything else. We had arrived.

Arroyo’s news is just the latest example. Boston’s Latino population continues to grow rapidly, and it is part of the reason that Boston is now a “majority-minority city,” which means that “53 percent of residents are of a non-white race/ethnicity.” I do believe that Arroyo will attract new Latino voters, no doubt. But don’t take my word for it, I will let my good friend and fellow WGBH Radio contributor Marcela García explain. Last night, Marcela talked Arroyo on WGBH’s “Greater Boston” show.

Arroyo’s bid matters. Is it on the same level as when the city’s Irish population earned their political stripes at the turn of the century, culminating in the mayoral reign of James Michael Curley? I would argue yes. Granted, Arroyo might not win this year (it is going to be a tough race), but if Boston Latinos want to be part of the city’s political structure, they need to start somewhere. Arroyo could be that.

Yes, Marcela is right that Arroyo would be the first person to shun the “first Latino candidate” label, but he will still energize people. And the other guest who disagreed with her, Jarrett Berrios (coincidentally a Harvard classmate of mine), misses the point. The city now had its first Latino candidate for mayor and Latino voters should just worry about the issues and think beyond ethnicity politics? Sorry, Jarrett, that argument doesn’t work. You seriously don’t think that ethnicity politics no longer occurs in Boston? Do I need to bring you to a South Boston union hall to show you that it still does?

Sure, Arroyo still has to prove himself, but let’s put this all into perspective. This is history.

“I am a son of Boston. I love my city. I love Boston. I believe in ­Boston because I know that by working together we can and we will move Boston forward.”

Spoken like a true Bostonian. Who also happens to be Puerto Rican and Latino. To me, that is a winning combination, and no one can kill my buzz this morning.

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