The Bolivian community of Twitter users is growing slowly, but it received a big boost with the creation of the page TwittBo [es], which hopes to provide a little more publicity to this popular form of communication. In addition, a Facebook group has also been formed to gather the Bolivian twitter-ers. Two of the original founders, Ricardo Zuna (@masaco) and Diego Wara Fernandez (@teufelabgott) answered a few questions regarding this new community.
Global Voices: How did the idea for Twittbo come about?
Diego Fernandez: The idea came about between twitts with @masaco (Ricardo) and I. We only recently met and soon realized that we had ideas to show the world. Even though it was inspired by TwittMX (the Mexican twitter community), I think our project wanted to go beyond just holding a Twitter meeting. Later Sebastian (Molina) said that he had a similar idea, and since one can never have too much help, we decided to make him a fundamental part of the team.
Ricardo Zuna: The idea came about through the exchange of twitts with @TeufulAbbgot, since we were initally the only 2 active Bolivian users of twitter and we saw the need to create a community of users of this technology. After developing the idea for approximately 1 week and inspired by other communities like TwittMX we decided to officially launch the blog on January 29, 2008. Almost immediately after launching the blog, we became in contact with Sebastián Molina, a young entrepreneur so that he could be a part of this ambitious project. He also has the same enthusiasm for Twitter.
GV: What plans do you have for the site?
DF: Currently we are looking for support from Bolivian bloggers in order to start a campaign of links and invitations. Even though we have not surpassed 30 or so members, we are aware of their support thanks to the direct messages and emails that are sent. For the future, we hope to make Twitter, not only to be microblogging amongst ourselves, but to provide better communication, which includes information, blogs and other related things.
RZ: Currently we are concentrating on the socialization of twitter in order to increase its use in Bolivia because it is a form of communication that is relatively new and seldomly used in Bolivia. We are listening to the ideas of the twitter users and contributions from friends, and we are thinking about putting on a Bolivia Twitter Gathering, which does not have date as of yet, and is subject to the increase in the number of users in Bolivia.
GV: What other things can be done in Bolivia with this “micro-blogging” or “twitts”? Are there other possible uses other than entertainment/social?
DF: The fundamental part of Twitter is its social nature, but we should use that factor so that our Bolivians become more in touch, and do not become dependent on the famous MSN Messenger, but there are alternative forms of communication to express ideas and/or conclusions regarding what we are calling “the cradle of ideas.”
RZ: It is an interesting application that could inform Bolivia through this medium with small twitt headlines like CNN, La Tercera, Global Voices, Ahora Bolivia and others. Regarding the alternative use of Twitter, it is only limited to our imagination, now that there are precedents that Twitter is used in many areas including political campaigns, student communities, and businesses that use it as internal communcation or in the commercial to promote or place a brandname, and as a personal diary, etc.
GV: Can you recall a funny or interesting experience related to your use of Twitter?
RZ: Something interesting that I found in twitter is that you can find all types of people, such as: Evo Morales, Barack Obama, Fidel Castro, Steve Jobs, and the list goes on and on, but the interesting things that anybody can say – what they are doing at that moment in 140 characters.