Does your business/organization have a Google+ Page?

Everyone knows how popular Facebook Pages are for businesses and organizations, but has your group created a Google+ Page yet? If it has not, it should. It’s just another online promotional vehicle connected to the most popular search engine in the world. Google launched its new Google+ Business Pages on November 7. The new Pages feature allows brands, products, companies, businesses, and organizations to build their very own tailored Google+ presence. Of course if you are not familiar with Google+ for individuals it might be challenging to jump into Business Pages.

The launch of Google+ Pages increased overall traffic to Google+. Experian HitWise noted that for the week ending Nov. 12, Google+ logged 6.8 million visits from U.S. users alone, making it the third-biggest week for U.S. visits since the network launched June 28. So far, 61 percent of the world’s top 100 brands have created Google+ Pages since its inception, according to SEO company BrightEdge.

Facebook has a few years on Google+ but it’s still early. Google+ Pages may one day be just as popular as Facebook Pages. We’ll have to wait and see. Ford, for example, has 27,648 fans on Google+ as of this posting, but 5 million total fans on Facebook. If a company like Ford is diving into the Google+ Page craze, what not your company/organization?

So what does your organization or business have to lose? If you want to create a Goolge+ Page check out Google’s guide to using Google+ Pages.


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Latino Gay Poets & Writers

There are some incredible Latino gay poets and writers making their mark in the New York City scene. Some have been around for a while and others are just starting out. In either case, there is an enormous amount of talent and passion in the field and much more should be written about these amazingly fearless people who put their personal and emotionally-filled stories on paper and on the stage.

Charlie Vázquez is someone who has contributed greatly to Latino gay literature and also created ¡HISPANIC PANIC!, a monthly event in NYC showcasing Latino gay poets and writers. I get a great deal of inspiration listening to poets and writers reading their work publicly. I attended Charlie’s most recent creative occasion at Bartini in Hell’s Kitchen last Wednesday night. Brandon Lacy Compos was the evening’s MC and read his work as well. He did an awesome job keeping the energy and flow going and presenting each performer. The lineup of poets and writers that night was extraordinary including such legends as Robert Vazquez-Pacheo, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, and Emanuel Xavier. They were joined by up and coming poets/writers Jimmy Lam and Cristina Izaguirre.

Latino gay poets and writers have a long history and the outstanding individuals above are just a few that represent its past, present, and future. I greatly appreciate their work and commitment to the art of the written word and I am sure many others do as well. Keep up the remarkable work!

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Velez Communication on Facebook

I’ve been on Facebook since about 2006/2007 and just Sunday decided to finally create a page to highlight my writing, blogging, and consulting work. The page mainly supplements my business blog at Velez Communication, but I also aim to showcase posts from this blog and Fraternity Communication, and writing from Examiner.com and ElBoricua.com. If you like any of my work please feel free to “Like” Velez Communication on Facebook.

I created a logo to go along with my new Facebook page. In my search for a logo online I came across the symbol of the mythical Phoenix, the firebird that resurrects itself from its ashes. There was something about the fictional creature that spoke to me, both personally and professionally.

So please support my overall work by liking Velez Communication on Facebook.

Thanks for your continued readership.

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How Saying Yes to a Frozen Margarita Led to a $100,000

Recently I interviewed Farid Ali Lancheros, the co-owner of Bogota Latin Bistro in Brooklyn, (a thriving Colombian Pan-Latino restaurant in Park Slope) about his challenge early on to secure a small business loan. The inspirational article was published yesterday via the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Applying for money to start a small business is not always so black and white.  Farid takes us through how meeting a bank officer who loved frozen margaritas led the successful entrepreneur to obtaining a $100,000 loan he needed to start his business.

To read the entire story click here.

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Spotify and Facebook: Perfect Together

About a month or so I received an invite to join Spotify, an on demand online music streaming service. I was already happy with the two music services I use now, Pandora and Last.fm, so I passed on the invitation. Recently Spotify teamed up with Facebook to offer its 800 million members a great way to listen to music online and share tunes with their Facebook friends, so I thought I’d give Spotify a try. I’m glad I did.

You have to download and install the Spotify program to your computer, so for some who hate downloading stuff this might be a deal breaker. A few months ago you could join the service on its own, but now a Facebook account is required. I recommend checking it out. Your Facebook friends on Spotify can decide to share their playlist and favorite artists with you or keep this info private, which just recently became an option. I like listening to music when I want and it also allows me to listen to new full-length music anytime I want. If I really enjoy the song I can buy it on iTunes. So far, I’m loving Spotify.

Did I mention the service is free? Spotify provides you with 10 hours of free music a month. There are short commercials along the way, but they’re not very annoying. If you really love the service you can opt for a premium service with unlimited music and no commercials. For now the free service works for me.

Spotify has an incredible music library, but of course not all songs/artists are available. For example, I love Seal and was happy to see that most of his music is just a click away. However another one of my favorite singers, Adele, only has her first album and her mega hit “Rolling in the Deep” from her second album, 21, available for streaming on Spotify.

Music has been social online for some time now, however this joint venture by Facebook and Spotify may take online music sharing to the next level. So if you have a Facebook account and enjoy listening to your favorite music online and finding new music your friends already like, give Spotify a try.

If you already use Spotify feel free to share your thoughts on it so far. Enjoy the music!

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National Hispanic Heritage Month – Sept. 15 thru Oct. 15

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 thru October 15 in the United States. During this time our country officially recognizes the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrates Hispanic/Latino cultural heritage. The term Hispanic or Latino, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

Hispanic Heritage Week was first observed under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period known as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Hispanic population of the United States is 50.5 million as of April 1, 2010, making people of Hispanic/Latino origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.3 percent of the nation’s total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

For more information on Hispanic Heritiage Month check out Just the facts at HispanicOhio.com.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

 

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Writing on the Web: Why Blogging is Cool

I enjoy writing on the web and believe blogging is an important platform for any writer. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, blogging is great way to get your thoughts and perspective out to the world. Some believe Facebook and Twitter will kill the blog, but I think it will continue to be a powerful medium.

You can use a blog to comment on current events, news articles you find interesting, or cover a topic that is dear to your heart. If you’re not really a writer, you can create a photo or video blog, or one to showcase your art.

There are many benefits of blogging. Blogs allow readers and viewers to comment on your work and helps direct them to other sites. Blogging also introduces you to an entire community of bloggers. Blogging helps you maintain and share your passion with others and it helps work your writing muscle. Like anything else, the more you practice the better you become.

In today’s tough and competitive work environment, blogging can help you stand out from the crowd. It can establish yourself as an expert and assist in building your résumé and your brand.

Blogging has grown immensely since the late 1990s and in such a short time it already has a rich history.

I think blogging is cool and if you don’t have a blog already you should seriously consider creating one. Here are a few links to help you get started:

I wrote my first blog entry in 2003 and don’t see myself quitting anytime soon. I may not post regularly since I lean more toward the quality of posts versus the quantity of them, but in any event I really think blogging is pretty cool.

Feel free to leave a comment sharing your thoughts on blogging.

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