How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Speed dating and sponsors: Latino bloggers 2.0

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Schmooze-fest: A "speed dating" session between Latino bloggers and corporate sponsors, April 7, 2011

I wasn't sure what to expect this afternoon when I stopped by a conference in Hollywood dubbed Hispanicize 2011, a three-day affair billed as a "public relations and social media conference."

The combination sounded intriguing, if the kind of mix that could go, well, any number of ways. And while it leaned heavily toward marketing, in the end, it was rather fascinating.

This dawned on me as I witnessed a "speed dating" session between bloggers and corporate marketing types, standing in a hotel ballroom surrounded people rapidly exchanging business cards and giving one another three-minute pitches before the moderator called time-out.

"Are you a sponsor?" asked an eager-looking young woman, seeing me unattached. I said no, but she explained anyway that she had a parenting blog - a "mami blog," in Latino blogger parlance - dedicated to organic child-rearing, and she was hoping to find the right kind of corporate sponsor.

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In Hollywood today for 'Hispanicize'

Photo by TravelingMan/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Why am I posting a map of the island of Hispaniola? Because today I'll be checking out the Hispanicize 2011 social media and public relations conference in Hollywood, which began yesterday. And while a clichéd photo of the Hollywood sign would have done fine, how often do we see maps of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic?

The three-day conference is in second year and is being billed as a Latino blogger-fest: Latino culture bloggers, mami bloggers, tech bloggers, food bloggers, entertainment bloggers, even coupon bloggers, they'll all be there. And so as an immigration blogger who happens to also be Latina, I'll be there too.

I'll be checking out panels and tweeting the occasional observation @Multi_American. Any Twitter followers, if you're there also, feel free to send me a message.

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