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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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Originally published at LatinoRebels.com

We have always asked ourselves, “When will a film about Pedro Albizu Campos be produced?” It looks like the answer is on YouTube and Kickstarter.

Filmmaker Michael Torres has spent the last seven years gathering footage for “Who Is Albizu Campos?” and he is in the final leg of production. Now, Torres has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the final $27,000 to get this film completed. We think that this campaign is so important, that we are supporting it 100%. Here is a trailer of what Torres has to say about the film:

From the film’s YouTube page:

Kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2030134114/who-is-albizu-campos

A feature length documentary on Puerto Rican revolutionary Pedro Albizu Campos.

How Your Contributions Will Be Used

The funds raised from this campaign will go directly to the final stage of production in which we will create the visual style of the film by assembling a team to produce the animated sequences of the film. These funds will also contribute to the editing of the film which begins when I return from Puerto Rico in December. Our goal is to raise $27,000 by midnight October 9th. Kickstarter only works if we reach our goal—If we don’t hit our target, we don’t get any of the money. Even $5 helps!

Other Ways You Can Help us Finish the Film!

Please help us spread the word by Posting our Kickstarter link on your Facebook and Twitter accounts—this doesn’t cost you a thing, and goes a long way towards helping us spread the word. Also please “LIKE” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and join our mailing list at whoisalbizu.com for regular updates on the film.

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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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We all have stories, some stories more raw and brutal than others. In his new graphic novel based on his book From the Barrio to the Board Room, author Robert Rentería has a story of struggle and success that should be shared to anyone who believes in the principles of hard work, education, and determination. Mi Barrio, Rentería’s new graphic novel published by SmarterComics, achieves just that—a testament to Rentería’s life story—yet fails on its delivery to the younger readers Renetería is targeting.

Yet before Rentería’s story rambles into tedium (not the actual events, just how the story was told), the beginning of the graphic novel has promise. The first three pages set Rentería’s early childhood in East Los Angeles during the 60s. The prose and images are simple, yet powerful. The premise and scenery have been brilliantly introduced, and the reader has been prepared to dive into the rest of Rentería’s tale.

Unfortunately, the rest of the story’s arc misses the mark.

Author Robert Rentería

Almost immediately drug use tales appear and later stories of drunken behavior and sex begin to surface. The taboos are boundless, that most school districts in California—a key market for this type of book—couldn’t even stock the graphic novel in their libraries, let alone distribute to students. Rentería does have a curriculum for schools, yet we would think having a book being read in some schools would cause problems.

Telling real stories about struggle and success can be inspiring. However, the story’s impact loses it punch rather quickly with scenes that rambles, prose that tells and not shows, information that is lost in and limited the graphic novel, and black-and-white illustrations that lack edge and pizazz.

We feel that even though the graphic novel just doesn’t deliver (it feels to us like it needed about 20-30 pages edited for quicker pacing and storytelling), Rentería’s story is an amazing one. Maybe he should explore a video or performance art piece that could make his message—a rather important one—more alive.

Like a 30-second YouTube video, YA authors and graphic novelists need to grab their readers instantly. Rentería’s beginning indeed delivers, but that powerful and honest voice that starts the graphic novel gets muddled and muted throughout the rest of the story. The result is a flat didactic story that although true, will ring hollow due to lack of execution.

We hope that the schools that use this graphic novel are actually benefitting it and enjoying it. Perhaps they can tell us that we were wrong about Mi Barrio. We would be cool with that, knowing that one of the hardest things in the world to do in writing is to write for YA readers.

We wish Rentería all the luck in the world. His story is a MUST HEAR. Let’s hope his passion proves us wrong about Mi Barrio.

FTC Disclosure: We received this book free from the publisher as part of a Condor Book Tour. We were not required to write a positive review. The opinions we have expressed are our own. 

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We have to give it up to the YouTube channel of JulyNavy. This brilliant video below (the Spanish version has over 22,000 hits) basically speaks to the paradox of Puerto Rico’s colonial status.

Sure, it doesn’t intend to be a sarcastic video (hahaha), but it’s clear that JulyNavy is poking fun at the policies of the current administration of Republican and pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuño.

Enjoy! And as JulyNavy says: “I’m an idiot, thank you.”

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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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