Friday, November 14, 2014

My day at #Latism14

I had such an amazing time at the LATISM14 (Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media) Conference today! It was special from the moment I got there. I ran into my former supervisor from my job at Head Start. She was there working with the Head Start families that attended the conference. The conference focused on education, technology, health and business workshops.

I attended a business workshop in the morning titled "The New Face of Blogger Outreach-Ambassadors." In this workshop I met Javier Moreno, Gigi Ross, Denisse Montalvan and Ana Flores who were the four panelists leading the workshop. They gave great insight into how to become an ambassador for major or minor brands. Javier stated that ambassadors should be treated like journalists. A blogger, in a sense, is like a journalist. This got me thinking about my future in blogging. My main interest is politics which can turn into a career in journalism. I even started thinking that I could invest my time in a master's program in journalism. Talk about being inspired! My other passion, however, is mental health. Ever since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I have become my own advocate in learning more about the disease and can potentially turn that into a career as well. I am thinking of getting a master's in social work with an emphasis in mental health.
Anyhow, Dennise stated that we, as bloggers, should focus on our content. Sometimes brands look for a high number of readers, however nowadays brands are mainly looking for content. I walked away from this workshop really thinking about what content I would like to publish on my blog. I work with a few brands already, however my passions are definitely lacking in published content.The panel also stated that we should focus on writing about our passions and values. We should also be selective of the brands we work with and to focus on producing work that will benefit the social good. I am going to focus more on writing about my true passions which include my faith, politics and my mental health.
For lunch we focused on learning about the humanitarian crisis surrounding the 50,000 Central American children stationed at the border. Univision was the presenter and they led a panel to educate us about the ways they have been involved with this issue. The panel included professionals from Univision, Save the Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Catholic Charities and Johnson&Johnson. All these organizations are committed to bringing awareness and support to the children arriving at the border. Univision has taken a lead on this issue by showing both sides of the story and by supporting the children and families. They have also led awareness on social media and have led fundraising efforts as well. Their "Estamos con los ninos" campaign focused on raising funds for the cause. The American Academy of Pediatrics became involved when the law , SB 1070, the anti-immigration law passed in Arizona. They created a committee on immigration at the time and they also created a steering committee on immigrant health. They believe the issue of the children is a medical issue, not a political issue. They believe a lot of the children have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) that can be from the stress of leaving a country full of violence and economic hardships and added stress when they arrive at the border because of crowded shelters and protests. Catholic Charities has been involved since 2010. They are involved because it's part of their faith and they want to build a relationship with God. They have distanced themselves from any political party and ideology and are more interested in become involved in helping the children. Their hashtag #choosechildren was very effective. Pope Francisco has also brought light to the issue of immigration. Each one of these nonprofits and Univision have been productive in shedding light on this humanitarian crisis. Now it's up to us as influencers to also take part in letting others know what is happening at the border. The children need advocates and we can use the social media platform to bring awareness to the issue.

After lunch, I attended the health workshop titled "New Generation of Latino Boomers" which focused on Latinos over 50 and how they use technology and social media for engagement. A representative from AARP was part of the panel and he talked about the various programs that AARP offers to its consumers. A lot of their services are actually free and can be found on their website. We then had a great discussion about our parents and how they usually come to us for help when they get stuck trying a new computer or I-pad for example. I mentioned that sometimes I feel like a boomer myself when it comes to technology. I pretty much know how to use the I-phone and basic knowledge of the internet. That's about it. I'm pretty clueless as to how to make my website fancy and that bugs me. The panelists were very helpful and suggested some websites to assist me. They also said networking with other bloggers would be helpful. Another suggestion was to be a part of Twitter parties to answer any questions and to get more followers.

Today was a great learning experience and I hope to be able to apply this knowledge to my blog in the near future. I learned that it's okay to not be a part of every social media platform on the internet. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and that's as far as I'll go. I have a lot of work to do and I'm excited about it!

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