LaPlaza.net’s New Hispanic/Latino Social Networking Serves as Idea Storage and Collaboration Tool for Outreach and Initiatives

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LaPlaza.net, a non-profit website dedicated to building Hispanic prosperity, has launched its Hispanic/Latino social networking feature, known as “Speak Up.” LaPlaza.net members can create a profile, upload photos, post status updates and invite friends. What sets Speak Up apart from other social networks is its use as online idea collaboration and storage. LaPlaza.net is the online home of the White House Hispanic Community Action Summits. Grassroots ideas and initiatives that get started at these meetings are collected in LaPlaza.net so that they can be accessed and advanced beyond the summits.

laplaza.net

LaPlaza.net

“Our feedback has been that members of the Hispanic community want a platform to share their concerns and ideas for improvement. We designed LaPlaza.net to be a sort of idea storehouse for issues important to our community and to the U.S.

LaPlaza.net, a non-profit website dedicated to building Hispanic prosperity, has launched its Hispanic/Latino Social networking feature, Speak Up. Speak Up offers free social and professional networking, but what makes it unique is its synchronicity with the White House Hispanic Community Action Summits. LaPlaza.net is the online home of the summits. Summit participants upload their discussions and reports into LaPlaza.net where they can be easily accessed, commented on and advanced into initiatives and results for the Hispanic community.

“We’re very honored to be able to use LaPlaza.net to help collect the ideas generated at the White House Hispanic Community Action Summits.” Demian Pedroza, from LaPlaza.net, says, “Our feedback has been that members of the Hispanic community want a platform to share their concerns and ideas for improvement. We designed LaPlaza.net to be a sort of idea storehouse for issues important to our community and to the U.S. This way, the best ideas encourage collaboration across communities and really gain traction.”

LaPlaza.net is a new website, launched in the Fall of 2011. Early adopters of the Speak Up platform tend to be people who are actively involved in the Hispanic community, including: educators, students, activists, and entrepreneurs. After a recent White House Hispanic Community Action Summit in Durham, NC, LaPlaza.net noticed a surge in both the number of new members and their activity on Speak Up. “People were asking questions, posting photos and videos of the Summit. They were excited to have a place to share their experiences,” said Pedroza. In addition to individual members, organizations and schools are also joining.    

Membership in LaPlaza.net is open to everyone and is free of charge. Speak Up users can join for free, build a profile, issue status updates, form groups, announce events, and invite others to join.    Speak Up’s focus on the Hispanic Community and its open networking feature, which allows members to interact without first being designated as “friends,” encourages greater collaboration on initiatives and ideas.

As membership in LaPlaza.net grows, members are creating groups. Groups can post events, forums and chats. Right now, the majority of groups are from the various White House Hispanic Community Action Summits but other groups are also forming. Some have started groups based on issues like education or country of origin. Currently, there are groups for Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and Bolivia with additional groups forming daily. Says Pedroza, “The Hispanic community is very diverse; these groups help us celebrate the different cultures and what each contributes to the overall community in the U.S.”

LaPlaza.net expects rapid growth on their Speak Up platform based on current trends in Hispanic Social Media. According to a February, 2012 “American Pulse Survey” by BIGinsight, Hispanics log in to social media sites more often than Blacks or Caucasians. The study found that 60.7% of Hispanics, compared to 60.3% of Blacks and 53.7% of Caucasians, log into Facebook once a day or more often. In addition, Hispanics' use of Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare and Pinterest also tops that of the other two ethnic groups.

LaPlaza.net is encouraging feedback from its users on how to improve the networking experience. The LaPlaza.net staff is currently working on adding video uploading and instant messaging capabilities. In addition to the White House Hispanic Community Action Summit forums, LaPlaza.net offers other resources for the Hispanic community, including: job search, language learning, and blogging. Open source educational opportunities and a resources database are also being developed.

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Teresa Slider
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