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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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I have gotten a couple of queries as to why my name is no longer listed as a nominee for the 2013 SXSWi Revolucionario Awards, to be held later this month in Austin. The reason is a simple one: I was nominated in The Mobilizer category, the same one as Latino Rebels, the media company I founded in 2011. Since the Rebels and their off-the-charts success have been a testament to the amazing group of individuals who make the brand one of the best and most dynamic ones in the Latino space today, I felt pretty strongly that the brand should be recognized in the final judging process and not me. This nomination is for all the Rebeldes, you know who you are. For those who have been there from the very beginning and for those who have joined us recently, you are an amazing familia. There is no other team I would want to be with. You are the best in the Latino space, hands down.

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Even though I am withdrawing my name for consideration, I will say that on a personal note, I am extremely grateful and thankful to all those in my own networks, the immediate networks of all the 30+ Rebeldes, our visitors to LatinoRebels.com, and ALL the brands’ social media channels (from Twitter to Facebook to Tumblr to YouTube to Instagram to Pinterest to G+ to Klout to EA) for helping me to amass close to 1,700 likes during the nomination process. Combine this with what the likes that the Rebels got and what my new friend-in-rebeldía Charle García received, and we were very proud to have gotten over 6,000 likes across the Revolucionario platforms (Facebook and their web site). We are also happy that we helped to increase awareness and recognition to the Revolucionario Award organizers. They are a great group of people who are really creating something special that has already become a SXSWi fixture.

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On behalf of all the Rebeldes, I want to thank you all for your amazing support. Now it’s time for the Comandantes to decide the winners. I will be rooting for the Rebeldes. Of course.

julito77

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Ok, hopefully by now, I don’t have to explain much about this little experiment that started in March. But just in case, you can read about the background here. Let’s just get into it. 

Who, among a sample of a few pages, is the most engaging Latino Facebook Page at the beginning of October? Let’s see below. Anything above 15% is really strong. Anything above 40% is outstanding. Anything above 40% is beyond ridiculous and on another level.

Ok, here is the October list (numbers based on page checks on October 1, 2012 from 10:30 am-11:15 am EST; full disclosure: Latino Rebels is my organization. Also, this is just a data capture from a limited time window. We know that the “people talking about this” feature can fluctuate. This is not an exact science, but it does prove that having a highly engaged community will always benefit your brand, organization, group, etc.)

October’s Sampling of Latino Facebook Pages and Their Facebook Level of Engagement (FLOE)

  1. One Voice Radio: 412% (1,106 likes · 4,554 talking about this)
  2. Rico Puerto Rico: 266% (33,984 likes · 90,375 talking about this)
  3. Cultura: 158% (818 likes · 1,293 talking about this)
  4. Latino Rebels: 57.1% (21,739 likes · 12,213 talking about this)
  5. NBC Latino: 56.3% (18,394 likes · 10,667 talking about this)
  6. Fit Latina: 52.4% (1,504 likes · 787 talking about this)
  7. National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts: 48.5% (1,970 likes · 956 talking about this)
  8. Pa’lante Latino: 40% (1,875 likes · 750 talking about this)
  9. Presente.org: 39.7% (10,514 likes · 4,175 talking about this)
  10. So Mexican: 28.5% (1,592,875 likes · 454,152 talking about this)
  11. Pocho.com: 26.5% (2,540 likes · 648 talking about this)
  12. Es el momento: 26.3% (12,889 likes · 3,386 talking about this)
  13. VOXXI: 25.9% (9,673 likes · 2,505 talking about this)
  14. Cuéntame: 24.3% (85,763 likes · 20,850 talking about this)
  15. SoLatina: 23.5% (62,533 likes · 14,701 talking about this)
  16. Sofrito for Your Soul: 23% (9,425 likes · 2,172 talking about this)
  17. Voto Latino: 17.4% (50,834 likes · 8,848 talking about this)
  18. Despierta América: 16.8% (129,883 likes · 21,860 talking about this)
  19. SpanglishBaby: 16.7% (6,596 likes · 1,104 talking about this)
  20. Latino Justice: 14.3% (2,574 likes · 368 talking about this)
  21. Being Puerto Rican: 13.6% (21,642 likes · 2,948 talking about this)
  22. Think Mexican: 13.4% (5,322 likes · 717 talking about this)
  23. El Diario NY: 11.2% (7,398 likes · 826 talking about this)
  24. Disney World Latino: 11% (91,755 likes · 10,102 talking about this)
  25. Latina Bloggers Connect: 10.5% (1,953 likes · 205 talking about this)
  26. Primer impacto: 10.2% (239,953 likes · 24,566 talking about this)
  27. Gozamos: 9.3% (4,388 likes · 409 talking about this)
  28. HuffPost Latino Voices: 9.1% (8,054 likes · 736 talking about this)
  29. Being Latino: 8.4% (78,329 likes · 6,569 talking about this)
  30. Latina Mom Bloggers: 8.3% (1,368 likes · 114 talking about this)
  31. Remezcla: 8.2% (11,654 likes · 959 talking about this)
  32. Hispanically Speaking News: 7.5% (3,069 likes · 229 talking about this)
  33. People en español: 7.1% (180,811 likes · 12,583 talking about this)
  34. Los Pichy Boys: 7.1% (14,583 likes · 1,036 talking about this)
  35. Hispanicize: 7% (4,936 likes · 345 talking about this)
  36. Cosmo for Latinas: 7% (8,995 likes · 627 talking about this)
  37. Proud to Be Latina: 6.7% (1,702 likes · 114 talking about this)
  38. Univision: 6.5% (573,589 likes · 37,383 talking about this)
  39. CNN en español: 6.3% (1,167,362 likes · 73,297 talking about this)
  40. The Big Tino: 5.8% (62,847 likes · 3,629 talking about this)
  41. Calle 13: 5.2% (1,366,776 likes · 71,570 talking about this)
  42. Mayo Clinic (Español): 5% (1,911 likes · 95 talking about this)
  43. Ford en español: 4.8% (1,764 likes · 85 talking about this)
  44. Telemundo: 4.4% (341,016 likes · 14,849 talking about this)
  45. National Council of La Raza: 4.3% (20,089 likes · 871 talking about this)
  46. Latina List: 3.7% (3,037 likes · 111 talking about this)
  47. Pitbull: 3.6% (23,697,661 likes · 860,310 talking about this)
  48. Mun2: 3.6% (235,965 likes · 8,581 talking about this)
  49. Ask a Mexican: 3.3% (36,955 likes · 1,202 talking about this)
  50. Univision News: 3% (7,133 likes · 214 talking about this)
  51. News Taco: 3% (4,313 likes · 128 talking about this)
  52. Mamiverse: 2.9% (19,106 likes · 560 talking about this)
  53. La Cosmopolitana: 2.8% (1,331 likes · 37 talking about this)
  54. Mexican Word of the Day: 2.7% (1,310,759 likes · 35,909 talking about this)
  55. Vitera: 2.4% (4,564 likes · 108 talking about this)
  56. Somos Verizon Fios: 2.3% (45,952 likes · 1,052 talking about this)
  57. Latina: 2.1% (72,971 likes · 1,500 talking about this)
  58. Fox News Latino: 2.1% (67,728 likes · 1,443 talking about this)
  59. New Latina: 2.1% (4,498 likes · 96 talking about this)
  60. Immigrant Archive Project: 2% (12,138 likes · 247 talking about this)
  61. Papi Blogger: 1.6% (825 likes · 13 talking about this)
  62. El Gordo y la Flaca: 1.2% (319,364 likes · 3,849 talking about this)
  63. American Latino Museum: 1.1% (121,169 likes · 1,279 talking about this)
  64. Latinos in Social Media: .09% (143,490 likes · 1,249 talking about this)
  65. Selena Gómez: .08% (33,732,351 likes · 280,406 talking about this)
  66. Shakira:  .07% (54,626,349 likes · 368,018 talking about this)
  67. Toyota Latino: .06% (75,201 likes · 414 talking about this)
  68. Mi Casa Broadcasting: .06% (3,868 likes · 26 talking about this)

If you would like me to add your page to this list, just let me know with a comment to this blog.

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To be quite honest, we never thought that the Facebook page of LatinoRebels.com would ever achieve a similar spike in growth and engagement when we posted the now famous Thank You, Jesús meme in January, 2012.

But this week, it happened again for the Rebeldes, and it was a combination of many things. How did we get a 366% Facebook Level of Engagement (FLOE) rate?

It was a combination of several things. Here they are:

Damn Cat Pictures: This image, showing the history of art through depictions of cats, was shared with us by a fan. So we posted it. And we got over 5,000 shares in 4 days, proving once again that social media engagement is all about cats sometimes.

BanderaGate: The Daily News ‘oops’ moment of a Cuban flag instead of a Puerto Rican flag got us some attention this week. We were the first media outlet to break the story, and our piece was quoted and attributed by several major media outlets, including the New York Times, the HuffPost, and PrimeraHora.com from Puerto Rico.

The TIME cover: We were the first outlet on Facebook to share this week’s historic TIME cover (with credit back to TIME’s main site, but two hours before TIME’s own Facebook page posted the cover) and because of that, our post got more shares that TIME’s page (2,276 for the Rebeldes, compared to 1,725 shares for TIME). Being the first to report does have its advantages.

The Rebels’ FB post (credited to TIME) got more shares this week than TIME’s own post

The Facebook page of TIME posted the same cover two hours later around 9 am EST is about 500 shares less than the one posted by Latino Rebels (with credit) at 7:50 am EST on the same day.

#YoSoy132: We were one of the first media outlets in the United States to provide English-language social media coverage of what is being billed as the Mexican Spring. As a result, about 30% of all our Facebook engagement is coming from Mexico the last few week.

Finally, this increase in Facebook engagement has also directly influenced growth our on main website, LatinoRebels.com. According to our latest analytics, we are averaging 1,000 unique visitors a day, 1,600 pageviews a day, and 78& new visitors. Spread across the year, we have already achieved over a quarter of a million visits (269,831), over 200,000 unique visitors and 388,876 pageviews. We still believe we will be able to achieve 600,000 visits, 500,000 uniques, and about 750,000 pageviews. This is with no advertising and just through SEO and our social media networks. According to our internal traffic data and third-party sites like Alexa, we can say with certainty that LatinoRebels.com is one of the top independent Latino media sites in this world.

To put this week’s growth in perspective, the Facebook page of Latino Rebels is more engaging and more popular this week than the following media brands and pages on Facebook, even though all these pages have more fans, this week Latino Rebels is without question more engaging:

UPDATE, June 17, 2012: Our Facebook community surpassed the 1 million mark in total reach and our current FLOE is over 400%.

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“Only mediocrity is safe. Get ready to be attacked, and be the best.” Paulo Coehlo

When this blog started in 2008 (you know, when Twitter was still fun and Facebook was still cool), the online world was a playground of possibilities.

Connections were made, real friendships were started, opportunities came and went.

Relationships started and relationships fizzled.

Of those fizzled relationships, some just gradually disappeared amicably and some ended nastily.

Yet many relationships endured and got even deeper. I could not even begin to list how many people I have met online (and then in real life) who are as much a part of my life now than my fanatical love of bad sports teams from Boston.

Fast forward to 2012.

Social media has gone “mainstream” and everyone is offering advice and opinions. Brands are paying attention (which is both bad and good). Now everyone has the way to “succeed” in social media, to share the WAY that will work for you. But the fact is simple: there is no RIGHT WAY, there is no ONE WAY, there is no WINNING FORMULA to succeed, no matter what you use social media for.

The ONLY TRUE WAY to find that success is this: never, never, never stop being yourself. Never ever lose your passion of why you do what you do in the first place. Be real, be true, be helpful, be giving, be authentic, and be transparent.

Which leads me to the point of this blog: don’t ever give up. For example, if the world is questioning the fact that you are just a “crab in a bucket,” go build your own bucket and find like-minded crabs. Walk away from the negative energy and move on. Use that block feature on Twitter and Facebook, it’s ok, we all use it. Stop worrying about what others say about you and just focus on what you can control. By being who you truly are, others who see you true essence will begin to show up. And they will stay. Those who don’t will never care, so why waste your time trying to win them over?

We are at a momentous moment in the world’s history, where 140 characters or one photo can impact change. The old business guard is freaking out because the one-way world (me have product/me market product/you buy product) is over. Now the business model is two-way (me have product, so?, me want you to buy product/no, because your product sucks, I am going to make my own product/ok, how can I help?). Everyone and everything, from the big Fortune 500 company to the blogger in some corner of the world, are on the same playing field.

That is the crossroads where we are at right now. There will be those who see social media as a logical extension of how business has been done for centuries. They are the mainstream, the safe ones, the ones who will tell you, “Hey, don’t rock the boat because if you do, you will bring others down with you. You’ll be a crab in a bucket.” Then there are those who see social media as the NEW WAY, and it will crush the OLD WAY eventually. Those who thought safely will wonder what happened. Those who didn’t, who created their own buckets and invited their favorite crabs, will be leading the charge in the paradigm shift.

My dear friend, Sarah Robinson (she of the original posse), wrote a piece last year that has resonated with me the last few months. Called, “Crabs in Bucket,” Sarah tells of the time she tweeted Paolo Coehlo after the great writer tweeted the quote at the top of this post. Let her words explain:

Fast forward to this morning. As I was drinking my coffee and perusing my twitter stream, and up pops this gem from @paulocoelho (He wrote The Alchemist, one of my all time favorite books): “Only mediocrity is safe. Get ready to be attacked, and be the best.”

Maybe it was the early hour. Maybe it was my post-event mushy brain. I don’t know. But the minute I read Paulo’s tweet, I thought of those crabs in a bucket. So I sent him this tweet: “I’m thinking of crabs in a bucket. They always try to pull down the one who’s figured out how to escape.”

So now I’m thinking about the Escaping Mediocrity journey with this lens. There will always be people who will subtly or not so subtly try to keep us from escaping. Why? Because our escape threatens their mediocre existence. Pulling us down, sabotaging our efforts, picking apart our brilliant ideas – all of that keeps them feeling safe. And living undisturbed mediocre lives.

So what if we added a new piece to the crab mentality picture? Imagine a crab, or a group of crabs on the other side of the bucket building a ladder to aid your escape. They managed to crawl out of the bucket in spite of all the energetic attempts to pull them backwards. Because they’ve tasted freedom and they know your struggle, they are putting energy into aiding and abetting your escape.

I believe that for those of us determined to get out of the bucket, such a group exists. It may take some time to find them, but they are there, ready throw a safety rope over the edge and pull us out.

Start listening for them. Start looking for them. They are there. Reach just a little further and they’ll meet you at the edge of the bucket.

Escape the big bucket now. Go get your own bucket and fill it with the coolest crabs you know. Together, you can change the world.

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We thought it would happen, but we didn’t think it would happen three days before the end of the month, but this afternoon LatinoRebels.com (a site run and administered a dedicated group of about 20 social media influentials that is dedicated to alternative media, opinion, commentary, politics, Latino culture, history, analysis, comedy, independent journalism, blogging, music, and general mayhem) eclipsed 100,000 pageviews (and over 50,000 unique visitors) in the month of March. It is the first time our company has reached this number in a month’s worth of traffic. The 100,000 pageviews in March also eclipsed our total traffic of 2011, from when we launched the site on May 5, 2011 until December 31. Here is a screen capture from our Google Analytics:

To everyone who has read us, THANK YOU. Our latest web rankings today also pushed our Alexa ranking into the following numbers, making us one of the top (if not, the top) independently-owned Latino media websites in the US (and we won’t complain about our global ranking either). We are entering our last month before our one-year anniversary and we feel that 2012 will be another banner year. Crazy.

So how do we feel today about our latest news? Hit it, House of Pain.

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