Louis Pagan, a pioneer in Latino social media, passed away during the past weekend, according to his family. (Courtesy Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet)

Louis Pagan passes away: Latinos in social media react to the loss of one of their own

Often times it seems as if social media exists as the most ephemeral of tools. Content is forgotten as quickly as it’s created and it’s hard to leave a mark. But Louis Pagan, who helped found the preeminent Hispanic social organizations, Latinos in Social Media and Hispanicize, soared past those expectations and cemented his legacy as a forward-thinking figure, long before passing away this weekend at the age of 41.

But to the many who knew him, Pagan was more than just a successful social media and blogging pro. Posts by people whose lives he touched have lit up social media. Below are a collection of comments and memories from Facebook and Twitter.

Julio Ricardo Varela, NBC Latino contributor: After getting to know Louis via Twitter in early 2009, I clearly remember the day we had coffee in New York that spring and he was passionate about an idea he was calling Latinos in Social Media. He totally saw where social was going in the Latino space, and he was one of the space’s pioneers. Everyone loved Louis, and his efforts during those times will forever be part of a legacy that has touched the lives and hearts of so many people. He will be missed by many.

Joscelyn Ramos Campbell: I knew of Louis during his #Latism days and met in person in 2011 when he was co-partner of Hispanicize & I was on the advisory board for Hispanicize. He was one of the first male Hispanic social media influencers that I met that truly understood the power of bloggers, especially those that were blogging about living as Hispanic Americans. We had several conversations about journalism, media, and blogging in a professional manner. He always wanted the Latino social media community to excel and not work for free but create beneficial relationships. He was a wonderful individual who adored his wife and children. His passing is a loss to our community as a whole.

Manny Ruiz, Hispanicize co-founder:  Everyone has been saying he’s Mr. Social Media. But what stood out to me from the beginning was his passionate love for his family. It’s what really drove him to want to be successful. What stood out to me was how devoted he was to his wife and his child. That was really the backbone of why I felt a connection with him and what led me to explore starting a company with him.

Miguel A. Corona: I initially met Louis because we both shared the same WordPress themes for our respective blogs. I was just starting out so I would email him (almost daily) on different widgets, add-ons, and hacks. He was always so patient with my “newbie” questions. He’d check in with me every now and then. One of the last communications I received was to congratulate me on my blog and my work. It was the kind of guy he was – selfless.

Justin Velez-Hagan: He joined the board of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce with one caveat: it couldn’t be about him. He was all about service and helping his community to succeed when it came to his work with us. How often he turned down events because he couldn’t/didn’t want to be away from his girls…I was moved by his dedication to his family. He isn’t replaceable and he will always be looked up to…RIP big guy

Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet: I met Louis as we helped Jose Marquez and LISTA in preparation for a tech summit in NYC. Louis helped us assemble a panel of social media experts like Julio Ricardo Varela and Claudia Havi Goffan . He was not only very knowledgeable in technology and the Latino affairs but he was a great friend. He will forever be missed.

Carlos Macias: When I was starting to blog for Being Latino, Louis was one of the first social media influencers to give me feedback on my writing and offered me pointers on how to make social media a tool to create, nurture and transform communities. He showed my the practical side of social media at a time when the future of the industry was not clear for almost everyone, except him.

In a piece for ClickZ, Giovanni Rodriguez, who became familiar with Latino social media through Pagan, shared thoughts on his passing:

I value Louis, of course, for introducing me to a world that today is now changing how markets grow, how politicians are elected, how governments get run. He was there at the beginning, first with LATISM, then with an organization called Hispanicize. And he eventually became one of the leading lights. His blogging was always wickedly pointed, often funny, but never mean. He consulted for some of the most interesting campaigns. And – through his leadership in the earliest of Latino social media organizations – he had become an impresario. There weren’t – aren’t – many people with the profile and stature to make new things happen in this new and emerging marketplace. Louis, as many will attest, was one of them.

Fittingly, one of the most touching responses to the news came from someone who used an old tweet by Pagan himself, to remark on the effect he had.

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