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Cultural Blogging – Finding a Different Audience

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Cafesito

Article originally published 12/01/2007:

I don’t know if you know this but I was one of the apprentices for Project Blogger this past summer. I was lucky to have Paul Chaney, Mr. “Realty Blogging”, as my coach and we became friends and still keep in touch.

During the competition I became extremely frustrated with the judging (and so did the rest of the contestants) and decided to write a post in Spanish. I did this to make a bit of a sarcastic point that I might as well write in another language because the judges were just not getting it. Little did I know that this rebellious and insignificant post would lead to something important.

Rick and I are fluent in both English and Spanish. Our Miami Real Estate market is multi-lingual, and whoever does not know Spanish is either learning or hiring an assistant that speaks the language. If you work in a multi-cultural community, writing in a second and third language will open up doors that you did not even know existed.

Fluent English/Spanish

A few weeks ago our Genius Colleague Lani e-mails me in Spanish! Did you guys know that she speaks Spanish? She goes on to tell me that she found my Spanish post and that I should continue posting in Spanish. Then, again, she subtly guides me (yes, Lani can be subtle) to Pat Kitano’s transparent cultural blogging post….and that was it! I was dragging my feet because it’s difficult enough to keep up with blogging in one language, much less 2. I have begun translating my posts and placing them in a separate category entitled “articles in Spanish”. It took a final push from Lani and Pat…..but know I’m taking it at full speed. Thanks Lani and Pat!

I have already been contacted by people relocating from Europe and South America to the Miami Area because they are reading my stuff in Spanish.

I have expanded my target audience by taking advantage of our second language. I urge everyone that knows another language to take advantage of it as well. Who knows, I may even start a Spanish Blog! Take a look at this link Twittered by John Novak about Hispanic social sites.

Asi que aprovechen y empiecen a escribir en Español y otros idiomas también!

(here’s Google Translate for those of you that are Spanish-challenged)

**I had taken the photo in Miami especially for this article and forgot to include it – better late than never or as they say……mas vale tarde que nunca **

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    December 1, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Genius…

  2. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Benn – when I read Scoble’s Naked Conversations’ section on Cultural Blogging, I was amazed to find out how virgin this market really is.

  3. Benn Rosales

    December 1, 2007 at 11:00 am

    It’s virgin for many reasons, I’ll write to you offline in a few days.

  4. Robert D. Ashby

    December 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Ines,

    Great post. I am not fluent in spanish, pero yo se bastante. Puedo escribir tanto tambien, excepto no seguro si puedo escribir tan bueno en espanol. Por mi, es mejor en spanglish, lol.

    I also am not very good at spelling as I learned by listening, not reading and writing. I think you are on to something and I will have to find a way to incorporate it as well.

  5. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Robert – that’s why we have spell-check. I definitely feel better about my spoken Spanish than my written one, but as everything…..you improve with practice. You should definitely consider it (not the Spanglish) : )

  6. Robert D. Ashby

    December 1, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Ines – I will definitely look into it. I practice my Spanish when I fly to other countries, such as I will be in Cali, Columbia on Monday night.

  7. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Robert – IMHO Colombian Spanish is the best Spanish in South America, but please don’t tell my Venezuelan friends that!

  8. Ricardo Bueno

    December 2, 2007 at 4:00 am

    Ines,

    Your words of advice make a lot of sense!
    tus consejos hacen mucho sentido!

    I’ve recently been blogging on Cheryl’s NELALive.net in Spanish.

    Does it take time? Sure. But it’s also a lot of fun!

  9. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Ricardo, I will have to check out Cheryl’s blog. I think it’s beyond how much work it is and how much fun we can have. It’s about defining an audience that does not have much out there to help them make a decision.

    It’s our chance to make it happen.

  10. Brian Requarth

    December 2, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Ines,

    I think it is great that you are blogging in Spanish. The reality is that there are over 16 million U.S. Hispanic internet users in the United States. As you know, there are also many Latin Americans that are looking to move to the states, especially Miami. With a falling dollar, it is making it extremely affordable to buy real estate for many (we may see many more Venezuelans buying real estate soon depending on the referendum that will be announced tonight). Good luck in your business and I commend you for your innovation!

  11. Lani Anglin

    December 2, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Ines, you are so smart- blogging in Spanish is an untapped market in Real Estate. Especially in the South where we are, if we do any business in Spanish, we should certainly continue our marketing efforts in Spanish.

    Kudos, Ines and thanks a whole lot for telling the world the secret that I (like Ashby) am fluent in Spanglish- you’re a pal 😉

  12. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Brian – the Venezuelan cause is close to my heart, since that’s where I was born. I totally agree with you about the Hispanic Internet users (as well as other languages) – thanks for the good wishes.

    Lani – was that a secret?? ooooops!

  13. Cyndee Haydon

    December 2, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Ines – I agree with you completely and envy that you are fluent in more than one language. My big regret is being 1/2 Guatemalan and not being fluent.

  14. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Cyndee – it’s not too late. I have a girlfriend that married a Colombian man and learned Spanish in her late 40’s – not bad, huh?

  15. Cyndee Haydon

    December 2, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Ines – My mom grew up in Peru and Guatemala (and taught ESL for 20+ years) and married my dad (Guatemalan)- both are fully bilingual. Now she is going back to Peru in December to help some friends in a Spanish Immersion trip and I told her we need to plan one to go with me and the 2 boys (6 and 11) – You never know and it’s the one thing I really would love to learn …at 45 (in 12 days) 🙂 Buenas Noches mi amiga 🙂

  16. Brian Requarth

    December 3, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Ines,

    Madrugue esta mañana y vi las noticias. Me imagino que estás contenta.

    Brian

  17. Ines

    December 3, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Brian – estamos contentos y asustados al mismo tiempo, como si fuera un truco o parte de una estrategia. GRACIAS!!

  18. Doug Francis

    October 11, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Great photo… “fluent English”. Perfect.

    I was in FLA recently and the GPS in the rental car was in espanol, Dios mio! It took about an hour to get it set to English which is easier for me to understand.

    Glad we are all Americanos.

  19. ines

    October 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Now THAT’s funny Doug (and not all at the same time) – I take it for granted when people approach me in Spanish, but can become a problem for many here in Miami. Glad you were able to change the GPS 🙂

  20. Paul Chaney

    October 12, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Hola,

    Cómo está usted? Gracias por incluirme en el poste. (Okay, that’s all the spanish I know! :->) Truth is, I didn’t even know that much, but use Babelfish to translate for me. Ha, ha.

    Seriously though, thanks for the mention Ines. It’s always appreciated. We had good times back then didn’t we.

    Paul (aka, Pablo)

  21. Paula Henry

    October 12, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Ines – What an opportunity for you and a market which remains virtually untapped. I would expect “you” to be the impetus of change and challenge, accepting the advice and push from your mentors.

    While living in California and Arizona, I always wish I knew Spanish. Unfortunately, I never learned the language.

    Now, here I am, back in the Midwest and we have a Latino population we didn’t have when I grew up here. I’ve even referred business to a local agent who does know the language.

  22. ines

    October 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Paul, can you believe I wrote this 2 years ago? We’ve come a long way, no? Now should be talking about your new book – The Digital Handshake 🙂 (for the record….”Pablo” just cracks me up)

    Paula – honored!! thank you so much …..and congrats on the Forbes.com article. May be the time for those in multi-cultural communities to hire buyer’s agents that speak other languages (talk about opening doors)

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Business Marketing

Google Analytics will now filter out bot traffic

(BUSINESS NEWS) Bender won’t be happy that Google Analytics will now automatically remove bot traffic from your results, but it’ll help your business.

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In the competitive, busy world of online content, Google Analytics can help businesses and online publications deliver what their audience and consumers want. Now Google is finally taking the step of filtering out bot traffic in your Google Analytics reporting. This is excellent news!

In the world of websites, online news sites, blogs, and social media, bots are the bane of our existence. In their finest form, they are the electronic equivalent of junk mail. At their worst, they can carry malicious malware and viruses to your site and computer. They can even flood the internet with unfounded rumors that can have an impact on people’s opinions–stirring the political pot or lending misleading numbers to drive unfounded rumors, such as wearing a mask is dangerous. No it’s not! Chalk that nonsense up to bots and crackpots.

For businesses that rely on Google Analytics to determine what content is not only reaching but also resonating with potential customers, filtering out the bot traffic is crucial to determining the best course of action. Bots skew the data and therefore, end up costing businesses money.

Bots set up for malicious purposes crawl the internet looking for certain information or user behaviors. Bad bots can steal copyrighted content and give it to a competitor. Having identical copies on two sites hurts your site and can dink your SEO ranking. However, good bots can seek out duplicate content and other copyright infringements, so the original content creator can report them.

However, it is important for companies and content creators to know if their content is actually reaching real live humans. To this end, Google will start filtering out bot traffic automatically. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) actually provides an International Spiders and Bots list, through which Google can more easily identify bots. They use the list and their own internal research to seek out bots in action, crawling through the internet and confusing things.

Google says the bot traffic will be automatically filtered out of the Google Analytics results–users don’t have the choice. Some may argue there is a good reason to see all of the data, including bots. Many businesses and online publications, though, will be relieved to have a much clearer vision of what content genuinely appeals to humans, to readers and potential customers. It is a welcomed advancement.

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Business Marketing

Opportunity Zones: A chance to do good

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Opportunity zones offer a chance to breathe new life into economically-distressed communities.

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Opportunity Zones are a beautiful mechanism for growing communities that are struggling, but some critics have put this process in a negative light. The following is an expert’s perspective on just this topic.

Jim White, PhD is Chairman and CEO of Post Harvest Technologies, Inc. and Growers Ice Company, Inc., Founder and CEO of PHT Opportunity Fund LP, and Founder and President of JL White International, LLC. His new book is a heartfelt rallying cry for investors: Opportunity Investing: How to Revitalize Urban and Rural Communities with Opportunity Funds, launched March 31, 2020.

Dr. White holds a B.S. in civil engineering, an MBA, and a doctorate in psychology and organizational behavior. He acquires struggling businesses to revive and develop them into profitable enterprises using his business turnaround strategy.

In his own words below:

BY JIM WHITE, PHD

Every investment vehicle has a twist some folks don’t like. Real estate, stock options, offshore tax havens, and even charitable gifting can be criticized for certain loopholes.

Likewise, some detractors have pointed to opportunity zones, a newer investment vehicle unveiled in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in December 2017. This bold, bipartisan plan allows for private investment capital to be channeled into some of the most distressed communities in the nation, serving the struggling residents and the investors alike.

Personally, I believe it is one of the noblest initiatives to emerge from Washington in years.

I grew up in a sharecropper cabin in what would have been an opportunity zone in Salem, South Carolina. What would an influx of investment dollars have meant to my low-income community? More and better-paying jobs to offset unemployment. People relocating to my town for those jobs, reversing population decline and increasing real estate values. New life breathed into local businesses. The increased tax revenues could have helped improve failing infrastructure. Social challenges, like crime and drug use, could have decreased. Better resources for my family and our neighbors, such as health care and education, would have emerged.

Today, there are nearly 8,800 distressed communities dotting the country that have been identified as Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs). These neighborhoods were designated from census tracks, treasury, and state leaders as communities that would benefit from an influx of investment dollars directed through Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) to reinvigorate businesses, rebuild infrastructure and bolster residents.

As our economy continues to falter, more and more businesses file Chapter 11 and unemployment soars under COVID-19, I believe we are heading toward a painful expansion in designated opportunity zones. Even with the latest round of CARES stimulus money many people will have no way to rebound from this crisis.

One of the unexpected consequences of the coronavirus quarantine is that many businesses are discovering that, in reality, they can succeed through working remotely. This success is a double edged sword, meaning that if a business can thrive with employees working offsite then commercial real estate will suffer. And when companies no longer require brick-and-mortar locations, a local domino effect ensues; ancillary businesses, from cafés to gyms to print shops in and around a commercial office environment will subsequently close. The ripples will be felt through many other industries, including construction, transportation, energy, and retail.

Qualified Opportunity Zones and Qualified Opportunity Funds are instruments that can help stop a downward spiral. When a sponsor is able to present a project that meets the objectives of the QOZ initiative, both the QOZ and the investors benefit. That’s a win!

And, it’s not only urban centers that benefit from investment dollars. Forty percent of opportunity zones are rural. Even with often plentiful food, water, energy and other natural resources, deep poverty exists, and too many of America’s 60 million rural residents lack access to education and healthcare. A declining population often goes hand in hand with failing infrastructure as tax money for repairs dwindles. Many households lack broadband, something the vast majority of Americans take for granted.

Despite the challenges, rural residents are often surprisingly resilient and resourceful. According to The Hill (“Rural America has opportunity zones too”), rural residents create self-employment opportunities at a slightly higher rate than the national average. Their challenge is to connect with investors and access funding, more of which is directed to small business investment on the coasts.

In fact, many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t know about Qualified Opportunity Funds. If a business is located in an opportunity zone it is eligible for direct funding by reaching out to the QOFs with a specific request for funding.

More than any investment plan that’s come before, I believe opportunity zones have the greatest capacity for positive social and economic impact. Spread out over many communities, these investments can help our nation flourish as a whole.

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Business Marketing

Gloves that translate sign language in real time

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new wearable tech translates American Sign Language into audible English in real time.

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Advancements in technology never cease to amaze. The same is true right this moment as a new technology has been released that helps translate American Sign Language (ASL) signs into spoken English in real time.

This technology comes in the form of a hand glove – similar looking on the front side to what one would wear in the winter, but much more advanced when in view of the palm. The palm side of the glove contains sensors on the wearer to identify each word, phrase, or letter that they form via ASL, and is then translated into audible English via an app that coincides with the glove.

This is all done in real time and allows for instant communication without the need for a human translator. The signals are translated at a rate of one word per second.

The project was developed by scientists at UCLA. “Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” said lead researcher Jun Chen.

The hope is to make communication easier for those who rely on ASL, and to help those unfamiliar with ASL adapt to the signs. It is thought that between 250,000 and 500,000 people in the United States use ASL. As of now, the glove does not translate British Sign Language – the other form a sign language that utilizes English.

According to CNN, the researchers also added adhesive sensors to the faces of people used to test the device — between their eyebrows and on one side of their mouths — to capture facial expressions that are a part of American Sign Language. However, this facet of the technology is not loved by all.

“The tech is redundant because deaf signers already make extensive use of text-to-speech or text translation software on their phones, or simply write with pen and paper, or even gesture clearly,” said Gabrielle Hodge, a deaf post-doctoral researcher from the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London. “There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication.”

What are your thoughts on this advancement? Comment below!

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