December 1, 2000


Web News and Notes:

Ritmoteca.com Re-launches With New Features

Ritmoteca, the online source for digital Latin music and entertainment, re-launched its music website presenting a high-tech new look, user friendly features and interactive content.

"Our new 2.0 version, with its unique new features and fresh approach, was created to fulfill Latin music lovers worldwide," said Iván J. Parrón, President, CEO and Founder of Ritmoteca. "Our vision is to become the most visited Latin music and entertainment site on the World Wide Web."

Ritmoteca.com's new version features five main navigation channels including Music, Videos, News, Lounges and an Interactive channel. The music channel highlights over 200,000 Latin music tracks that can be previewed and purchased for download to a personal computer, MP3 player or other device, and are available by artist, title, album, label, genre, country, lyrics and keywords thanks to its advanced search engine. It profiles new CD releases, calendar of events and concerts, Ritmoteca's top 10 Hit Parade, where it's up to the user to vote for their #1 song, and Ritmoteca's 3 Picks of the Week.

The video channel highlights popular music videos, video interviews with music artists, and a label picks area featuring what the experts recommend. Ritmoteca.com's news channel offers the latest news from the entertainment world, including the top three stories of the day and an extensive news archive, which is sourced by artist name. The new lounge channels targets users with specific musical tastes, providing them with an opportunity to savor a specific genre, mood or geographic location. Finally, the interactive channel features games, puzzles, polls, contests, e-dedications, and electronic post cards.

Ritmoteca's feature channels include "In The Spotlight" which profiles trends, genres and human-interest segments from the Latin music world. "Check it out!" features the most popular artist interview, and tips that help users learn more about Latin culture, and finally "Tech Toys!" highlights the latest gadgets related to MP3, wireless Internet devices, software, music players and more.

The Check It Out section will feature interviews with Celia Cruz, Oscar de la Hoya, El Tri and Giselle D'Cole and will present easy to follow dance lessons for shy men; a recipe to a great margarita and a look into the Guayabera, a unique men's shirt that never goes out of style. Ritmoteca fans can also visit the new Bacardi lounge for a taste of tropical music, and the Tequila Lounge for the latest Ranchero, Tex-Mex, Mariachi or Banda hits.

 

El Puente Latino.com

Comprehensive city guide, www.elpuentelatino.com, has been serving the US Latino market for more than ten months now. The online portal has been the sleeping giant of the recent Latin online explosion. El Puente Latino began with an auspicious start in New York and recently launched with equal fanfare in Los Angeles and Miami.

"It's a dot.com survival story in an otherwise chaotic environment," says El Puente Latino's CEO Henry Gimenez. "We know our audience, frequently poll them and consistently deliver to them what they have asked for. We aren't looking to be everything to everyone. We develop our strengths and waste nothing."

El Puente Latino is aware that it is a game of survival of the fittest in the world of dot.coms and relies on its efficient game plan and audience reinforcements to tell the tale of their success. It's a slow and steady process that bridges the gap between content and consumer. Fernando Moreno, the Web site's editor-in-chief, gives a few points on success in this millenium "gold rush" arena, "Stay focused; don't look for quick exit strategies (quick buyouts, public offerings), don't alienate the consumer with too much information on varying subjects, avoid being the dot-com flavor of the month; leave it to the people who know their product, reinvest wisely."

Until now, there has never been one source for Latino's or Americans interested in the diversity in the culture. El Puento Latino has become the authoritative source to find out where to eat, dance, go listen to music, watch and have fun. El Puente Latino, which in English translates to the Latin Bridge, is a web-based guide that provides information about Latino life in the US, with complete localized coverage of New York City, Miami and Los Angeles. Site content is provided by a team of seasoned journalists in the U.S-Hispanic market, as well as by actual web users, since the site has complete interactive capabilities.

El Puente Latino was started by President Henry Gimenez, a former advertising director at El Diario, the leading Spanish newspaper in the New York market. Henry Gimenez developed the concept for the site out of necessity for himself, friends and co-workers, who found themselves constantly seeking out such a resource.

At the editorial helm of the site is Editor in Chief Fernando Moreno, who also hailed from El Diario, having spent ten years as chief editor. It is Moreno's creative vision and knowledge of the Latin market that is driving the content of this site.

The site is supported by a major integrated marketing campaign consisting of advertising, public relations and promotions. The marketing campaign is targeted to both Latinos and non-Latinos and will be presented in both English and Spanish.

Quepasa.com reorganizes

Quepasa.com recently reduced its work force by approximately two thirds from (58 to 20 employees) effective immediately as the company continues to consider its strategic alternatives. The company has been considering a number of strategic alternatives for quepasa.com, including a sale of the company and is now actively pursuing the sale of one or more of its subsidiaries: Real EstateEspanol.com, Etrato.com and Credito.com. This news comes even after the recent study by Roslow Research Group that ranked quepasa.com third in terms of appeal and visitors, ahead of Espanol.Lycos.com, Terra.com, Yupi.com, Star-Media.com and ElSitio.com. Although, their total ad impressions for the third quarter equaled 190 million, and registered users increased to approximately 568,000 by the end of the third quarter, the company will take a one-time restructuring charge of approximately $730,000 in connection with the work force reduction in its fourth fiscal quarter, ending December 31. The company had recently announced losses at the end of the third quarter of $7.9 million on revenues of $1 million. At September 30, cash and cash equivalents and liquid securities totaled approximately $9.5 million.

Sitio Web del Centro de Vuelos Espaciales Marshall de NASA se Hace Bilingüe

Un importante sitio Web de la NASA está hablando otro idioma —Español.

El sitio Web, ubicado en http://science.nasa.gov/, agrega un segundo idioma para hacer noticias de ciencia, matemáticas y ciencias espaciales accesibles a más personas. Este sitio es uno de la familia de sitios Web de la NASA Science@nasa, operados por el Centro de Vuelos Espaciales Marshall de NASA en Huntsville, Alabama, y cubre una variedad de temas relacionados con el espacio en palabras sencillas que todos pueden entender. Responde a preguntas tales como: ¿Por qué se alegran los pingüinos? ¿Qué hay en el corazón de un huracán?, ¿Qué es el clima espacial? y ¿Cuál es esa estrella tan brillante que vemos al atardecer?

"Si ustedes observan la demografía de nuestro país, el español es el segundo idioma más usado en los Estados Unidos", dijo Ron Koczor, el gerente de NASA responsable del sitio Web. De acuerdo al censo de 1990, más de 17 millones de estadounidenses—aproximádamente el 7.5% de la población— habla español.

Buscando llegar a lectores de habla hispana, Koczor espera además proveerle información a estudiantes y profesores hispanoparlantes. "Algunos colegios de Estados Unidos, especialmente en las áreas metropolitanas, tienen grandes poblaciones de estudiantes de habla hispana", dice. "Queremos darle a estos alumnos acceso a información científica de alta calidad, comunicándonos con ellos en su idioma principal".

En este proceso, tanto estudiantes de habla hispana e inglesa pueden mejorar sus habilidades en ambos idiomas, mientras aprenden de ciencia y de la NASA. Por ejemplo, los alumnos pueden comparar el mismo artículo en ambos idiomas, como parte de un ejercicio de traducción.

Las traducciones en español son parte del rediseño del sitio Web inaugurado este mes, y sigue a la incorporación en Octubre de versiones en audio de los reportajes científicos. Junto a su nuevo rostro, el nuevo formato ofrece ahora reportajes ordenados por temas, tales como Astronomía, Vivir en el Espacio, Ciencias de la Tierra o Biología. La versión en español de este sitio se encuentra en http://ciencia.msfc.nasa.gov.

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