Tek Lado started out as a print magazine geared toward the Latin-American geeks of Philadelphia. No other outlets were serving that demographic with information about technology, video games and related stuff. It was printed in English and Spanish, with 40,000 copies dropped around the city and region.
It lasted for only two issues.
There were numerous problems, said Liz Spikol, the editor and now co-owner. For one, the company that owned the magazine lost faith (and perhaps had financial trouble). They had difficulty getting advertisers.
Tek Lado continued, however, as an online product. It is getting a lot of hits but they aren't generating a lot of revenue.
Though they still aim to serve Latinos online, the site is not bilingual. They have done stories targeting Latino audiences but those are not the posts that get a lot of page hits. So, now they do more general technology stories to draw as many eyes as possible.
Tek Lado's competition these days is more likely tech sites like Gizmodo than websites targeting Hispanic people.
Advertising is their primary revenue generating source. But the national advertisers are more likely to advertise with the Gizmodo's of the world. And the local advertisers probably don't see a benefit in advertising before a national/ international audience.
So what can Liz and the Tek Lado team do? Here are a few questions:
• Should they be a local or national/ international product?
• Regardless of scope, how can they be different from existing operations? Think about Gizmodo nationally and TechnicallyPhilly or Geekadelphia locally.
• Should they target a Latino audience or a general tech loving audience?
• If they target a Hispanic crowd, should they be bilingual?
• Should they be online or in print?
We can learn from their shortcomings, ongoing as they may be. It starts by defining their niche. What should it be - in terms of content and audience?
How else can they generate revenue beyond advertising?