Feature Friday: The Speakers, the Panels, and You – All About LATISM’11

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Guest Post by Juan Alanis (@JuanOfWords)

We went.  We listened.  We learned.  And we conquered at LATISM’11, last month!  From the very beginning, as soon as we walked in the door, it was a learning experience and everywhere we went there was an opportunity to soak in new, and very valuable, information.  Whether you were there as a blogger, a business, a brand, or just an attendee, it literally was impossible to walk out of the door without having incorporated some new insight into your personal or professional makeup.

Especialmente useful were the speaker panels, which featured LATISM regulars, including yours truly as the moderator of the Spanglish session, and allowed us to learn from the folks on the social media frontlines every day.  There were so many panels and so many great speakers that it was really tough making a choice which ones to attend, se los digo yo, but I’m sure if you were there you already know this.  The neat thing about the conference, though, was that some of the more popular sessions were offered at various times to give everyone a chance to attend all of the panels.  Personally, there were a lot of these breakout sessions that were my favorites, but I want to focus this post on some of the panels that were the most talked about.

Reaching Out For Health Through Social Media

This panel focused on the power of social media and its ability to affect even the most personal of affairs in our lives: our health.  Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) social media efforts as the jumping board into a very insightful conversation, the speakers on this panel shared their own experiences on how they utilize social media to communicate their messages and opportunities.  My favorite speaker on this panel was, of course, mi hermana del alma, Laurita Tellado, who not only blogs about Spina Bifida in her blog Holdin’ Out for a Hero, but is also one of the prime examples of how one individual can create so much awareness about such an important cause.

The Riches Are In The Niches

Latina Bloggers.  Need I say more?  This breakout session focused on how a powerhouse grouping of Latina Bloggers have made their efforts online a source of regular income.  These ladies were all fierce, and speaking only from my own personal experience, this session was my overall favorite from the entire conference.  I felt like I’d just had my eyes opened in so many new ways.  It was awesome!  And while all of the speakers on this panel were equally amazing, the person I most connected with from the audience was Maura Hernandez, Blogger/Founder at The Other Side of the Tortilla.  Her no nonsense approach to being honest and transparent with brands is very inspiring.

Social Media Disruption: Finding your Voice

If there was one session that was the most talked about at LATISM’11, I’d have to say it was this one.  The basic concept of it was that it would explore how readership could be increased exponentially on your blog through proper usage of “your voice,” and while it definitely delivered on this factor, it also reconfirmed what we all already knew: Julio Ricardo Varela, Founder of Latino Rebels, is a super star!  En serio, the rest of the conference in almost every conversation I had or heard his name was thrown around followed by how wonderful of a panelist he was.  Kudos hermano!

Spanglish: From El Barrio To Madison Avenue

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my own panelists, the session I moderated, creo yo, was the most fun of the mix.  Not because of me by any means, but because how can you not have fun talking about Spanglish?  We touched on so many great aspects of the English and Spanish language, the culture and myths about Spanglish, and the audience had some very personal and insightful conversation to add as well.  It was literally like having coffee with a roomful of friendly faces.  If I’d have to pick a favorite panelist from my session, I’d have to say it was Ana Flores, Bloguera at SpanglishBaby.  Ana is a pro at using Spanglish and really made a lot of great points about how she chooses when and where to break out her espanglish. 

About The Author:
Juan Alanis (@juanofwords) is the Founder & Editor of www.juanofwords.com – a Brand Advocate & Consultant, Freelance Writer, Mexicano bien Texano, Father, Husband, etc., Juan is also Director of the NEW Houston LATISM Chapter. You can find Juan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/juanofwords.



  1. joe@estudioray.com'
    Anonymous 8 years ago

    ¡Bravo, Juan! Well capped and insightful for anyone who may ask about what LATISM 11 had going on. With a glimpse of this sampling, how can one not learn a treasure of new informations and mind broadening ah ha moments? 

    Your passion and commitment comes through, hermano!

  2. latinorebels@gmail.com'
    Anonymous 8 years ago

    Thank you!

  3. latinorebels@gmail.com'
    Anonymous 8 years ago


  4. Great recap! *blush* Thanks for the shout out. I really did enjoy our session a lot and it did feel like drinking un cafecito con amigos! you were the perfect moderator and made us all feel en casita.

  5. ana@premiersocialmedia.com'
    AnaRC 8 years ago

    So true Juan! I just loved the way all the panelists shared their knowledge and secrets. I’ve gone to so many conferences where the panelists just brag about how amazing they are and you come out feeling even more of a looser. You guys were for real.  The examples were genuine and the audience (us all) felt inspired to follow your steps. Thank you mi hermano.

  6. Laborin1@gmail.com'

    I simply want to say I am beginner to blogs and certainly enjoyed your blog. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You amazingly come with good articles and reviews. Thanks for sharing with us your web-site.

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