Friday, September 16, 2011

Creating Your Personal Online Networking Experience With A Cultural Cap: How The LATISM Group Has Helped Me Refine My Leadership Skills

Besides the advantage of speaking more than one language, there are many perks to being multicultural. From new job offers, to exclusive invitations from secret online social networking groups and invitations from group leaders to attend other culture specific conferences and events, joining a social networking group of your preferred culture or having an ethnicity theme can be quite enriching. If you are like me, and have a multicultural background, why not expand the quality of your social networking experience and use what you possess to your advantage? 

Besides setting up an account and creating your online presence on Facebook, Twitter and similar sites, engage in one or two groups relating to your culture and or ethnicity. To that effect, once you have selected a group, make a commitment to participate in that group. Your commitment and engagement to the group can be displayed by posting daily on the group's message boards, by promoting the group's content or by promoting the group's leaders, by responding to other members' posts, by joining the group's tweet chats and by participating in the group's weekly events as well as joining the group's twitter parties.

As an American Latina, I have embraced social networking to its fullest, by connecting with others and joining groups that relate to my interests, passions and more importantly my heritage as well as my culture. It is social networking not only on an American page but also with subcategories that are in tune with my cultural background and it is practically my world! It is pure brilliance if you ask me! Joining several online social networking groups not only has helped me to be more aware of the issues that affect my culture and community, but has also allowed me to connect with people who share similar passions and interests as well as the opportunity to take that the online community experience and bring it to the offline world, via the group's exclusive conferences and events.

One of the groups I joined was the Latism group, also known as Latinos in Social Media (#Latism). I first learned about this group through one of my followers on Twitter. The Latism group, is a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering Latinos online and offline by creating learning opportunities through discussions and events, on health, education, business and other topics. After learning about what the group was all about, I immediately started following the group and participated, one or two times a week by posting an article or replying to others' comments in the group's hash tag. After a few weeks of engagement, noticing familiar faces and recognizing members who had similar interests, I decided to take my experience to the next level by joining the group's weekly Thursday night’s chat. After that, I participated in the group on a daily basis by communicating with other followers, promoting the group online, by creating posts with the group's hash tag and by replying to others' posts.

Currently, I can say that the knowledge I have obtained and the people I have met have played a significant role in my leadership skills. I am more confident in my field and because of Latism I have a group that I can always refer to whenever I have questions or need expertise. This year for the first time, from November 9 to 11, 2011, I will be attending the Latism Annual National Conference in Chicago, Illinois and I am completely elated! I am so excited because this conference will allow me to network, promote my brand, create connections and because I will finally get to meet some of the leaders who took me under their wings and showed me the ropes when I was first developing my online presence. 

Quality engagement, learning from the leaders in my fields of interest and the connections I have made are truly just some of the experiences that make the Latism group a winner in my book. Alongside my engagement in general online networking communities, having an alternate group to refer to that relates to me on a personal level is a great foundation for my educational endeavors as well as my business related goals. Whether you are building a site for your business to get exposure, or perhaps you are wanting to establish more contacts in your field or you want to know the facts from the experts in your field, joining and online group with a cultural specification has the potential of creating a quality online experience for you as well as for the establishment of your business. 

The next time you are considering a multicultural group online, I suggest you check out the Latism group or to select a group that relates to you culturally or shares similar career interests. Taking advantage of your abilities is accepting your uniqueness and by using your cultural heritage, you will be able to create a personal online experience that is richer and quality based.


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