Recently, the first conference on the impact of social media on the Latina community took place in Dallas. One of the main speakers was Rudy Ruiz who the National Hispanic Institute calls a cultural visionary. A year ago, Rudy was running an ad agency, but he had little to do with Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other social media tools. Still, he knew something was missing in the world of social media: multicultural perspectives. So he created Red, Brown and Blue, an online multicultural sociopolitical media organization. Here’s something from the email that came to me about Rudy and the site: “The blogsite has essentially grown from just an idea to being one of the most sought-after news and opinion resources dedicated to providing multicultural perspectives. It’s been hailed by many Washington Hispanic influencers as a blueprint for someone outside-the-beltway to become influential and vocal on political issues without ever having to step foot in Washington.” I thought that was pretty amazing so I asked if Rudy would participate in a Q&A here. Fortunately, he agreed, so here we go:
Leslie: In the about you section on the Red Brown and Blue site I found this line most compelling: “Every voice should be heard regardless of its accent.” It has the sound of regret and hope in one line. Can you please elaborate?
Rudy: A primary source of inspiration for me in founding RedBrownandBlue.com was the realization that while most national debates on policy and politics impact multicultural communities greatly, there is a lack of sufficient voices from these communities being heard. Our vision is to build a two-way bridge between multicultural grassroots communities and mainstream media and influencers in order to help address this lack of representation in the national conversation. The “accent” has multiple interpretations. It refers not only to linguistic accents but diverse points of view or intellectual accents. The idea is to contribute to a robust civil discourse that includes a wide range of people and perspectives as we strive for shared progress in America.
Leslie: You recently participated in “Meet the ‘Blogueros’: A Roundtable Discussion with the Top Guys in Social Media.” How did that go?
Rudy: It was a very informative and encouraging experience. It was great to see and meet a range of individuals who are all working on blogs, online media sites and leveraging social media to grow audiences. Not only can we learn from each other but also help each other connect our audiences and communities online. It seems most of the sites and blogs have very specific niche topic areas or followings, so there is great potential to collaborate and bundle our offerings together strategically. For instance, the panel featured bloggers on technology, parenting, politics, and media. You can see how we complement each other more so than compete with one another. Also, it was encouraging to hear the experiences of other media entrepreneurs facing many of the same challenges and having certain hunches confirmed about the value of perseverance and the enormous opportunities and potential that await those who carry on for the long haul.
Next time: Part two