Argentina: Celebrating the Bicentennial on the Web

Argentina has been celebrating 200th anniversary of the beginning of the process of emancipation from Spain, which started back on May 25, 1810. At the time, a local committee decided to remove the Spanish viceroy and to begin the process of creating and independent government. As part of the celebrations, between May 21-25, there will be multiple activities, stands from the different Argentinean Provinces, shows, and the reopening of the Colón Theater. Hundreds of thousands of people are participating of the activities, which will take place until next Tuesday where people will gather at 9 de Julio Avenue near the Obelisk in the capital, Buenos Aires.

Photo of the Obelisk in Buenos Aires by nscap and used under a Creative Commons license.

To cover the festivities using online tools, a group of bloggers created the site Tu Bicentenario [es] (Your Bicentennial), where they combine different web services to create real-time coverage, with the hashtag #bicentenarioarg [es]. In this short interview, Vanina Berghella [es], Nicolás Piccoli, and Alvaro Liuzzi [es] spoke about the project's goals.

Global Voices: What are going to be the main differences that Tu Bicentenario will have in the type of coverage compared to traditional media? These will most likely appeal to “social media” too.

It's true, this year the media is starting to use these tools, but they will not be their main focus, but a complement. Our idea is to approach the user who is more aware of the Web and “social media” tools. We we will focus on those who are interested in “real time” and those who observe the details.

GV: What were the main difficulties in integrating so many tools? What kind of challenges did you find? What things did you want to add that will not be on the site?

The first challenge was to think about and draft how the homepage of the site would look like. We wanted to have all applications be visible, so that users could navigate to the applications of their choice. We were lucky to count on the interactive agency Genes who was interested in the project and they helped with the development and integration of all the tools. They worked really well with all chosen applications (Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr and WordPress).

GV: What kind of coverage do you have in mind for May 24 and 25?

The coverage in the area of festivities starts on Saturday 22nd until the 25th. The agenda [es] is full of events and activities, that's why our idea is to divide the areas of coverage and schedules. We will mostly use Twitter and Facebook from there. Our idea is to take advantage of mobile applications and to share what we observe from every place where we'll be located.

GV: Once the Bicentennial event is over, do you have something in mind for all the gathered material? Some kind of product maybe?

We already decided we'll be creating content during the entire year of the Bicentennial. There will be more ceremonies and commemorations and we believe the project deserves to go on.

GV: This year will be the Bicentennial of the Independence of several Latin American countries. Do you know of any similar initiative in other countries?

We haven't found similar projects in Latin America. We were somewhat inspired by The Berlin Project, which covered the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in November 2009.

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