Had the great pleasure of presenting on a panel at the 2010 LatinVision CEOs Summit in New York. Led by Carlos Vassallo, this is a very nicely produced event that brings together some of the most accomplished and interesting people in the Latin American media, marketing, and entertainment markets. My panel focused on social media, and featured Borja Perez, VP Integrated Solutions & Digital Media at Telemundo, Mónica Talan, VP of Corporate Communications at Univision, and Gustavo Razzetti, President, Strategic Sense. Rick Marroquin, President of Identity, moderated.
Gustavo suggested a really neat twist to the panel format — he asked each of us to tweet four comments before the event so that Rick could grab the screen shots and prepare them as slides. Rick then mixed the order of the slides, so as to ensure a fun and lively conversation. Gotta say, I have served on many panels, and this by far was the best one yet. Credit goes not only to Rick — a masterful, funny, energetic moderator — but to Carlos as well. As producer of the event, Carlos was wise enough to give more time to this panel than others might have. Both the panelists and the audience benefited.
So here are my slides — I mean tweets — from the panel session. To see Gustavo Razzetti’s tweets and comments on the event, go here.
<--This was a context-setter for some of our talk on the panel. For too many companies, social media is a channel -- simply another avenue for communications. But social is becoming much more than that. In many ways it’s the new UI/UE -- user interface/user experience -- for all communications. All interaction with media -- whether it's on TV, the computer, the mobile device -- is becoming social. Understanding this broader trend can help organizations plan their marketing strategies more thoughtfully, more strategically.
<--This is the foundation of my new "stump speech" at Latin-American marketing and communication conferences, and I previewed it not too long ago at the kickoff for the LATISM’s Latino2 event series. The thesis is that the Latinosphere — the world of Latin-American online influence — is vast, diverse, and complex, and organizations hoping to engage with Latinos online need to think about these complexities.
<--But here's the rub -- despite the complexity and diversity of interests in the Latinosphere, many Latinos tend to rally together around core issues. The panel briefly discussed how the contestants in the California Governor's race are now experiencing this as a result of the so-called nannygate scandal. I cite one of my favorite Ruben Blades songs, “Todos Vuelven” (”todos vuelven a la tierra en que nacieron”). Given the right mood and the right moment, we all return to the homeland, though the homeland today is just as likely as it is to be virtual as it is physical. (And by the way, Ruben has a virtual home in the Latinosphere, as does his long time collaborator, Willie Colon).
<--Finally, I noted some of the big numbers that characterize the Latino online market. Spanish is now the number-three language on the Web, trailing only English and Chinese. Latinos are joining social networks faster than any other ethnic group. Latinos are graying slower than many other ethnic groups. But it's not just the young-uns that are joining the Latinosphere, but "abuela" and "abuelo," too. There was a time not long ago when businesses were writing off social media as a generational trend that would fade soon. I always felt that this perspective was short-sighted. Not only does it ignore the obvious fact that today's youth is tomorrow's leadership, it also fails to appreciate the current trends in social-media adoption. Everyone is beginning to join online networks, and the Latinosphere — one of the most vibrant meta-communities online — is emerging as one of the most interesting case studies: a complex, diverse, mostly virtual world that somehow — sometimes — manages to come together when it matters most.