Hola America and the Digital Age: Pairing Social Media with Community Commitment


By Roberto Carmona

This is my first 2018 article for Hola Iowa and Hola America (HA). About five years ago, I wrote for HA and some readers said they liked my conversational style for explaining things, which included a little Spanglish, a little humor and respect for HA readers’ time. I will keep those writing elements in mind as I go forward.

For this HA column, I thought about the impact of the digital age and the importance of using new social media tools for leveraging HA’s positive impact, that shines a light on the many contributions, Hispanic business leaders, community leaders and young people are making throughout Iowa, Illinois and the Midwest.


Through my HA articles and stories, I will seek to balance old school wisdom and consejos, with proven Hispanic values of hard work and continued commitment to learn and education, along with leveraging  digital social media tools, to help define the stories and overall narrative of how Hispanics  create value for the communities we live in, work in, raise our children in and serve as leaders in.

HA like the Hispanic community, has transformed with the Digital Age. I enjoy the Hispanic experience when adapting to technology. Every community has their unique way. For example, like these interactions on social media at Web 1.0 stage (1990s), “Mira bro te voy a mandar un email con un myspace link from the Santana concert en Davenport it was todo madre”. To Web 2.0 (2000s) communication, “Check out Miguel’s Tia’s Facebook page, her pozole and menudo tiene muchos Likes

Now, HA participates in the Web 3.0, the so called “Internet of Things” or “Smart Web”, where POS (Point of Sales) devices, refrigerators, cars and abuelas are connected. You can observe the gente’s 3.0 conversations like these, “Did you see Maria’s old quinceanera picture on my abuela’s Instagram?”, “I got an App to get my kids to sleep, it’s called the Cucuy App, you can get me-mees stories for the misbehaving mocosos like La Llorona.” To “Sabes que, mi sobrina just finished her chemical engineering degree at University of Illinois en Champaign, voy usar mi surface pro y te voy a mandar un movie de la graduation.”


Adapting to the Digital Age 3.0 is good and the ability to have access to information via social media tools like “Google” are good things, but we still need to leverage the knowledge and insights provided by conversations, interactions and engagements with real people. There is a difference between “Google Knowing” which is passive acceptance of data and information and that of really understanding. When you understand you are more self-empowered to act with the data and information you discover on social media.

My wife Josette respects my education and experience. But she knows I am no genius when it comes to being a handyman. Recently, I was struggling to fix a clogged sink in the downstairs bathroom and as she was watching the mess I was making, she asked me two questions: “Do you know what you are doing?” I said “Yes.” Then she asked me, “Okay Harvard, do you know, or do you Google know?”. I didn’t really know. I then took action and got help from Rick our plumber. I observed how Rick fixed my sink. After Rick left, I researched and reviewed plumbing tutorials on Youtube, so I can really know. Point is, I run social media, social media doesn’t run me.


My column is a vehicle for conversation, sharing stories, positive ones and critical ones. We will go beyond just “Googliando”and Tweetiando”. I want to hear from HA readers, so we can share, learn and better understand what is important and what needs to be known to HA readers and beyond.


I will leverage my Midwest upbringing (!Viva Sterling and Rock Falls!), the consejos from family, friends, and mentors, my wisdom learned from successes and failure, as a corporate executive, as an entrepreneur, a former government official, educator and as a Harvard graduate.


I will provide perspective on important issues of the day, meaningful elections, media stories and occasionally provide analysis of books that are in need of an HA perspective.

Bueno, I look forward to hearing from you. Also follow me on my Twitter Account y mande me un Tweet  @rcarmona65

Brief Bio:

Roberto Carmona is a contributing writer for Hola American and is the Principal Consultant for Carmona Strategic Solutions (CSS).Roberto is a nationally recognized consultant who has successfully executed on complex projects in the areas of leadership development, strategy design, executive coaching, executive search, strategic marketing, and organizational change projects for Fortune 500 companies, national nonprofits, colleges and universities and hospitals. His federal government experience includes overseeing national programs in civil rights, workforce and economic development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington DC

Roberto received a fellowship and completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), and Bachelors Degree from Northern Illinois University and an Associate of Arts degree from Sauk Valley Community College. 

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