Introduction to Peruvian Blogs

La versión original de este artículo está disponible en español.

Translation (and typos) by David Sasaki

To write about even our little Peruvian blogosphere, just like any other blogosphere, is an attempt practically destined for failure if it intends to give a complete picture of the patterns and initiatives which make it up. Even just defining “blogosphere” is complicated: is there really any way to capture everyone's presence and can you call it a unified community? In our case, there are those who are active participants in the movement, but live outside the country as well as the contrary: bloggers that live in Peru, but don't wish to participate in any way.

But, since we must start somewhere, I'll do so with the bloggers of BlogsPerú, which functions as an information outlet and community portal. I'll use my limited knowledge of what gets discussed to relate briefly, and only in part, about the Peruvian blogosphere. Let's start with some history.

In 2004, following the initiative of one particular Peruvian blogger, HD, there was the Peruvian Blog Directory. In the same year, as a result of meetups, coordinations, and the bond of a group of bloggers, BlogsPerú was launched officially on July 28th, our Independence Day. 127 bloggers filled the database in the portal's infancy and now, 15 months later, we have 1,178 blogs inscribed. The growth has been good and we hope it's maintained with, at least, the same pace.

But it's not just about the numbers. We've also had fine moments to remember like blogger meetups, the selection of the best blogs of 2004, the event “Summer Adventures,” and our blog festivals. As well as, most recently, the Blog Conference, which took place in Trujillo. All of these events have been characterized by the bloggers’ enthusiastic participation and, in some form, have helped create a sense of community.

And so, in this year and few months, many things have taken place, weblogs and webloggers have surged, some have (or have not) found the spotlight as well as disappeared. Some have changed, mutated, and metamorphosed while others remain unaltered, but there has never been a boring moment. Maybe Peru's bloggers aren't the most brilliant, cohesive, nor controversial, but our manner conforms to a reflection of what our country is, and this definitely, only we can accomplish ourselves.

I think that there's no better way to speak of blogs than reading them and so I invite you to take a look at some Peruvian blogs. The following is an arbitrary selection according to my own tastes, but, to be sure, it isn't meant to be a list of the best weblogs. Rather, it's a sample that can be considered representative of each category according to a foolhardy attempt to find order amongst the weblogs listed in BlogsPerú.

The first Peruvian blogs had a completely technological focus and they remain amongst the most popular. In the categories technology and internet, we find X-Flash, which is not just limited to copying and pasting news from other blogs, but also posts original material and furthermore, is a person always willing to collaborate with whoever asks about technical problems. From another point of view, TIC para el Desarrollo (TIC for Development) is an excellent initiative that deserves more coverage.

Another much visited category consists of blogs focused on politics, in which there are some dedicated to damage the reputation of each and every politician as well as those who try to take a more reflective position. Perú Político and Ingenuo País are two examples of this type of blog taken at random.

The weblogs of journalists, on the other hand, are a glimpse into the possibilities of the medium of blogging combined with a profession already accustomed to working in other media and is where – it seems to me – there has been a real continuous improvement. From a veteran journalist to a student of journalism, this is one area where we should stay alert.

Blogs of varied themes, or “miscellaneous,” are also gaining with time. Amongst them are Slayer, already practically legendary, and a couple new ones like Out of Geek and Física3, which coincidentally are both written from outside of Peru; Japan and Spain respectively. I'll also mention Cajón de juguetes (Box of Toys) and Idioteca for their unique style.

Regarding literature, and especially criticism, we have two blogs that are representative: Moleskine with reviews and news about books and writers and Libros, which has crtiques of recently edited books. In terms of creating literature, a special case is Claudia who has an excellent blog of stories and now has a personal blog as well. Something similar happened with the blogger known as Murcielagato who changed from one blog to another. And it would be difficult to not mention Poderosas Palabras (Powerful Words) and Crónicas Marcianas (Martian Chronicles), blogs which adhere to the murky subcategories of journalism mentioned above.

Amongst those that make up the section of Art and Culture we have Ciencia (Science), with related themes and written in both English and Spanish and Factotum In “varied themes” we have Taquiones and the unique Habla Quechua written in Spanish and the Peruvian indigenous language of Quechua.

In Cinecinema, we have Cinencuentro , with what is being shown in the distinct movie lovers’ circuit in Lima. In comedy there is La Nuez, a blog with prolific amounts of information and samples of Peruvian artists’ works as well as foreigners’. In music there is El Autobús, with commentary about the local rock scene and Circomper, the weblog of the group, Circulo de Composición.

There are other categories like Marketing, where you'll find Mi Café and Maskus. Ecology with EcoPerú. Travel con ExplorandoPerú. As well as other various categories that would be too tedious to list.

Finally, the category, “personal blogs”, is where you'll find an immense variety of of weblogs, but those that seem to have the greatest followings are Kat, a prolific and at times a disturbing blogger, Claudia, who often explores the absurd, Vir with a poetic outlook on the surroundings, and Sludgeman with his black humor and disconcerting logic. The last two personal blogs I'll mention are both very popular, but also both very unreserved in respect to their content: Medication, in which Cyan, a homosexual in Lima, recounts his adventures and Beba Newman, who is reportedly an 18-year-old girl.

But not everything is guided by the ego; blogs based outside of the capitol, Lima have begun to have a certain protagonism or emphasis in their content, among them Cajué, from the jungle-filled city of Tarapoto, shows that it's not just Lima where creative initiatives are born and, speaking of initiatives, Fredy is an enthusiastic blogger from Trujillo that has much to contribute to the Peruvian blogosphere.

After taking this tour, we're left looking at the future with optimism. There are several projects in action, collaborative blogs in formation, new blogs from veteran bloggers, and new bloggers that keep adding to our blogosphere, which like I said, might not be the “best,” but respresents our country on the global web.


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