Here we go...

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to deliver the lunch keynote at the NAHP's Annual conference in Atlanta, GA. Unfortunately, right before my trip, I came down with the stomach flu. Nothing tests your commitment like a case of the runs on a 4 hour flight. I was so sick that I whimpered through a taxi ride from hell to my hotel, through setting up my laptop and chasing an elusive wireless connection, and through begging room service for just plain rice. Thoroughly betrayed by my body, I curled up with a pillow and wondered Why the hell am I doing this?

Well for one, I thought it was too late to cancel and I'm nothing if not dutiful. But more than that I was really looking forward to the opportunity to talk to my constituents, those expressive, energetic, dream-seekers like myself: publishers.

My goal was to tell them all the important reasons why they should be online. There are many and not just the monetary ones - though that certainly helps. One vital reason is that this market, the Hispanic market, needs a voice - a voice that can only be found in the many voices that right now are missing online. Where are the sites that speak to this market? Sure there have been Spanish language portals for some time, but the Hispanic market is more than Spanish language dominant and can't simply be wrapped up by music, auto and news channels.

While build it and they will come doesn't exactly apply, it is a fortuitous circle - the more Spanish language/Hispanic focused content online, the more Hispanics online. Kind of like moths to a flame. We know the consumers are out there but up ‘til now if you weren't Spanish dominant and completely focused on entertainment content, you had few options. And this is why I really wanted to be at that conference - to convince publishers they hold the seeds of growth for this market online.

The next day during lunch my body was still shaky and I had to fend off well-meaning servers with heaping plates of food who kept calling me ma'am, but I was determined. My speech was decidedly short of brilliant and I'm not too sure was all that well-received, still I realized after I delivered it that I had proven something to myself. I'm on a mission. My purpose? To get publishers and advertisers alike to value this market. And not even a virus is going to stop me.