In yet another sign that I’ve been around this business way too long, today I had to bid farewell to one more icon of the so-called Latino market: Beginning today (May 1st, of all days!) AOL Latino (www.aollatino.com) ceases to exist as we’ve known it for almost a decade, and instead will be making its way to become ‘Voces,’ yet another vertical of the almighty The Huffington Post Media Group.
AOL Latino launched in 2003 with much fanfare and many advertisers eager to tap into the burgeoning power of the U.S. Hispanic market, so its demise truly marks the end of an era. It also consolidates the power of Arianna Huffington as the Queen of Aggregation (now also in Spanish), signaling that in her never ending quest to aggregate content, she is also determined to aggregate web sites.
HuffPost executives tell me ‘Voces’ is by no means a translation of HuffPost Latino Voices, the English-language Latino-themed vertical launched last year. They also assure me it will have its own personality, content and editorial staff, though it is likely it will repurpose some content found across the site and help cross-promote stories and opinion pieces in both languages. Also, let’s not forget there’s more Spanish HuffPost-branded stuff coming our way with the imminent launch of “El Huffington Post,” a partnership with Spain’s El País newspaper slated to debut later this year.
It is too early to tell what fate awaits the former AOL Latino under a big Huffington Post sombrero. But independent content producers and bloggers like myself should hold on tight to our properties before Arianna comes on knocking. Who knows? Perhaps next time you’ll be reading me on www.MiHuffestuHuff.com.
Laura Martínez is an independent writer and founder of www.Miblogestublog.com, a daily, sarcastic commentary on Hispanic-targeted media and marketing.
[Full disclosure: I have been a blogger for AOL Latino’s Tu voz en tu vida, since it launched in 2010, writing mostly about finance and career issues, and truly enjoying writing in my native language for a change.]