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Latin American Voices

Time to take a trip through Latin America to see what Spanish-language bloggers are talking about. By far, the most linked-to post comes from Eduardo Arcos, a native of Ecuador who now lives in Mexico City and blogs at ALT1040. Taking into consideration his six years of blogging experience, he offers readers what he sees as the “five most common errors on blogs.” They are:

  1. Not linking
  2. Echoing someone else's post or thoughts is ok. A single weblog making a point doesn't do much, but a hundred weblogs making the same point does.
  3. A blog isn't a newspaper and a blogger isn't a journalist. Bloggers must find their own path without emulating mainstream media.
  4. There is no formula as to what a blog should be and shouldn't be.
  5. We have to spend more time improving our own work and pay less attention to what it is that we don't like.

Claudio Ruiz, from Santiago, Chile, who blogs about law, internet, and technology at Quemar Las Naves (Burning Bridges) has a stinging critique of Senator Fernando Flores’ responses in an interview by our own Rosario Lizana. Quoting a passage by Flores about not putting forth opinions on his own blog, Ruiz inquires:

If it's not to offer your opinion, then what is the value of a weblog? Why are they so important then? You can have a blog with comments or without them, with or without trackbacks, with or without advertising, but you can't have a blog without opinions. A blog without opinions is the equivalent of a geocities webpage. Or a photolog.


Ruiz also criticizes the senator's explanation of why he copies and pastes. Flores sees himself as a bridge between Chile and the rest of the world. Also, as a senator, he says he doesn't have time to write five original articles each day himself. Ruiz responds:

It also surprises me to read that he copies and pastes because he doesn't have time. It's true, we're not all senators. But neither do we commit illicit acts. Each copy-and-paste that Senator Flores does in his blog is an illicit act according to Chilean law (so long as it is copyrighted work). Flores likes to pontificate about blogging, but he doesn't think to respect our long held system of copyright.

And finally Ruiz objects to Flores’ claim that the senator introduced Lawrence Lessig to Chile.

The senator's first post was on March 18, 2005; the same date the the Chilean team adapted the Creative Commons license to Chile and had already signed an agreement with CreativeCommons.org to construct a Creative Commons Chile license. Furthermore, Senator Flores seems to ignore that Lessig had already been in Chile three years earlier, invited by the University Diego Portales.

Juan Carlos Lujan, the web editor of Peru's major daily, El Comercio was recently interviewed by John Burke of The Editor's Weblog about the paper's foray into citizen journalism. Lujan explains in his own weblog, Sin Papel:

It's so difficult talking about something you're promoting, but the topic of citizen journalism in Peru is something we shouldn't let pass over us. It's a pattern that is growing and adopting diverse adaptations all over the world. In our country it's ignored by the majority of traditional media while in other latitudes (like the Conference on Digital Journalism in Spain) it's the cause of impassioned arguments which lay out the new relationship between a paper and its readers or visitors.

John Jairo Tangarife Grisales from Nicaragua occasionally posts the results of polls he lets run on the sidebar of his weblog. A few days ago he published the results of the seventh survey, satirically entitled, “What is your ‘American dream'?” 109 people participated with the following breakdown:

  • Have my own business – 19%
  • Find work – 14%
  • Help others – 13%
  • My dream isn't listed – 12%
  • Study abroad and meet someone – 11%
  • Settle in another country – 6%
  • Study in my country – 4%
  • Be employed – 0%

1 comment

  • Alejandro

    I would like to invite you for a radio program for the Voice of America that will be transmitted in many countries in Latin America, but I don’t find your email….please write me to atarre@voanews.com..

    Alejandro

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