Ytaelena's Weblog

I love to use my traditional "watchdog" instincts to serve communities. But also I have a deep desire to help them develop the power of social networks on the internet.

Twitter in Spanish:

Building social networks in Spanish in U.S.
By Ytaelena Lopez

Posted May 15, 2008 in Maynard Institute blog’s.

(Links available in the original article)
Recently I attended the conference NewsTools2008, in Sunnyvale,
California. The central theme of the conference was the interaction between
journalism and technology, what they call there (in Silicon Valley) a
‘mashup’ concept. What is the goal? To revitalize the old job of making
news.

To accomplish this we must understand how people consume information
online. At least this is one of the proposal of Icities Congress, held in
Spain from 9 to May 11. Hispanics living in the United States United States
have been the first to join this trend, as discussed some time ago by Pamela
Parker in ClickZ.

But apparently much of the journalists who write in Spanish have not
realized the online dimension as a public space, yet. I was able to
observe this personally. I could ‘twitter” NewsTools2008 in Spanish, thanks to
support from the people of Media Giraffe and the Maynard Institute. However,
it was a bucket of cold water to note that I was the only one.

How many of my readers have accounts on Twitter or at least know what I am
talking about?

Many of my Spanish readers can refute me and place as an example
Reportwitters networks (in English) among many others. Okay, granted.
Changing the question then. How many of you, journalists living in the
United States and are able to work in Spanish, know what I am talking about?

We could define Twitter as a social network where microbloggers post their
notes in no more than 140 characters. The format allows for the possibility
of placing news and respond in real time from any cell or instant messaging
service, enriched by the instant response of many interlocutors.

For me this is like “truly gonzo” journalism , unedited, as Hunter S.
Thompson dreamed it when he wrote his book ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’.

We can build a network of journalists and citizens that generates lively news
or links, as the endless conversations of @UCAMMediaLab or the ‘spiderweb’
woven in @Periodistas.

It is understandable that the Baby Boomers (people between 40 and 60 years)
may not find understand opening an account on Twitter. They only
represent 19 percent of the content in social networks, according to
Business Week magazine. Their legacy is found mainly in traditional media like
television, radio or print, all currently in crisis. It was only in 1990 when
CERN in Geneva gave birth to WorldWideWeb (www) and the first Web server.

I recognize also that young people between 18 and 27 years, the so-called
Generation Y, have a natural advantage compared to others: they grew up with
video games and learned to handle the Internet when they were children. For
this reason the future of New Media rightfully belongs to them: more than
half of them have an account on Facebook, Hi5 or any other social network.
More than a third generate content for themselves.

Perhaps a good example in English might be journalists @Digidave, @Kaliya or
@Kara. In Spanish I would not miss Luis Carlos Diaz, aka @LuisCarlos, who at just 23 years revamped the South American blogosphere and
participates in congresses of citizen journalism.

The problem is Generation X, immortalized in a book Douglas Coupland’s book,
that began playing marbles and ended with Atari controls. Of
this group of people whose ages range between 27 and 40 years, only third
‘plays’ in social networks, according to the same statistics of the magazine
Business Week.

Find out who was the only person who “twitters” in Spanish within the group
of lecturers in NewsTools made me feel really member of a minority. The live
coverage made on this important event was exploited by people from other
countries, with some exceptions. Some of my
colleagues who work in digital media in Spanish even asked me how to open an
account on Twitter. A a sponsor of the event, the @NAHJ (National
Association of Hispanic Journalists) just have one update on Twitter since
June 14, 2007.

I searched in Twitter and I could not find a single network devoted to
journalism in Spanish in the US like
@Journalists in Latin America, @Tuitiar in Argentina, or @to2blog in
Venezuela. Much less a social network of citizens journalists’ as @Bottup.

Unfortunately, as Jose Zamora (Knight Foundation) said, the digital gap
between Latin America and United States is getting bigger. The consequences become
obvious among Spanish-language media in United States. The 92 percent of
journalists working in them are foreigners and more than half are older than
30 years, according to the NAHJ. Who can think of technological toys where
poverty is part of the context?

In the nineties, the laptops were a luxury reserved for the wealthiest
people in Venezuela. I still remember the smell of Tipp-Ex (correction
fluid) that I used on my first typewritten college essay. Now
things are very different, but still the Internet remains a luxury in rural
areas.

Ironically, poor countries like Cuba, Bolivia and Peru have made exemplary
use of the news media to weave nets of citizen journalism. The Cuban Yoani
Sanchez, one of the 100 most influential people in the world according to
Time magazine and winner of the Ortega y Gasset Prize for her blog
“Generation Y” is a good example. There are also others such as the Peruvian
Marcos Sifuentes with his UteroTV, aka @Uterotv for Twitter, or the
Bolivian Sebastian Molina inventor of MundoAlreves, aka @Yopuej. There are
a lot of examples in the increasingly mis-named “Third World”.

Why not do something similar to them here in United States, where the income
per capita is higher and access to technology is much easier? Do Latinos
(or Hispanics) who like to read in their own language deserve a
project with the quality of NLA / Citizen Journalism in Latin America?

I have some answers, but I prefer to leave it to the next column.

En vivo desde IJ-5, innovación en periodismo, Stanford

Check the simultaneous translation (English-Spanish) of this conference in my another blog Tappingyta

Unidos ante el muro

Foto de Ytaelena López
Alcances de una reforma migratoria en Florida:

Autor: Ytaelena López

(Publicado en el periódico LA VOZ de Davies, FL el 20 de abril del 2006)

Mauro Caicedo y Rossana Torres tienen algo en común: El miedo. El temor a ser detenidos por un policía en cualquier momento, que “te va a esposar y te va a mandar a la m…”. Así lo siente Caicedo, joven profesional colombiano que tiene seis años de vivir en Miami con su familia.
La angustia de Caicedo y Torres de no tener documentación en regla es compartida por más de 11 millones de personas, contabilizadas por el Buró del Censo 2000 como illegal alliens (Buró Censo 2000).
Esta población, que aporta al Seguro Social entre $6.5 y 7 billones de dólares, como reconoce el director de esta institución, Stephen Coss, es ahora el objeto de un debate político encarnizado que dará resultados el 27 de marzo, cuando el Senado vote por una reforma a la Ley de Inmigración.

Lee el resto de esta entrada »

"Yo regresaré en diciembre porque el futuro es promisorio"

EL NACIONAL – DOMINGO 22 DE OCTUBRE DE 2006 D/2

Siete Días

José Antonio Colina, presunto responsable de los atentados a las sedes diplomáticas de España y Colombia

“Yo regresaré en diciembre porque el futuro es promisorio”

Hace cuatro años acompañó a sus superiores en la toma de la plaza Altamira. Por primera vez desde que salió en libertad, Colina cuenta su traumático paso por los tribunales estadounidenses

Ytaelena López
MIAMI

Lee el resto de esta entrada »

Sin techo, pero con voz


Desplazados por Wilma ignorados por la burocracia
(Foto Ytaelena López)

Son más de cien familias, todas muy pobres, que aún no han podido recuperar el techo que la tormenta Wilma les robó, y deambulan por las calles intentando llamar la atención de una burocracia gobernamental (el Condado Y Fema) que los ignora, para satisfacer necesidades tan simples como techo, comida y trabajo.

Autor: Ytaelena López

Se cansaron de dormir en automóviles, de no tener cómo pagar la renta por no tener empleo, de pasar trabajo en el único refugio de la ciudad (Tamiami), de esconderse en sus propias casa ahora abandonadas… y las 108 familias desplazadas por la tormenta Wilma hicieron público su descontento en espera de una respuesta oficial. El 3 de noviembre se trajeron a la prensa a sus edificios ruinosos en Liberty City y el 10 invadieron la oficina de Manny Diaz en reclamo.
Es mucha gente, más de 300 personas por lo menos.
Confirmadas por Sushma Sheth, vocera de Workers of Miami, para el 10 de noviembre iban 75 familias viviendo en el Tamiami Sunchine Pavilion (cerca de FIU), único refugio después que cerraron el Joseph Caleb Center en Liberty City. Y las condiciones dejaban mucho que desear, porque faltaban medicamentos para algunos enfermos, no podían desplazarse al trabajo, los niños tampoco a las escuelas, y hasta estaba empezando a escasear alimentos, según una fuente anónima de la Cruz Roja que animó a los afectados a ir a reclamar al Condado.

Lee el resto de esta entrada »

Miami sin pobres


Miami revitaliza su perfil urbano
Y los pobre no tienen a dónde ir

Autor: Ytaelena López

El condado de Miami estima que para cuando termine esta década, la su población habrá crecido en un 30 por ciento. El gobierno intenta canalizar esta transformación a través de un ambicioso proyecto llamada Miami 21, el cual pretende transformar a la ciudad en la Manhatan del Sur del país.

Sin embargo, no todos están de acuerdo.

Lee el resto de esta entrada »

Alatriste: Ahoy Capitan Viggo!


MIAMI. – Even before winning three Oscars this year, Pan’s Labyrinth grossed the highest box office sales for a Spanish language film in U.S. history.
And yet, the movie by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro was just one of several films (Children of Men, Babel, The Science of Sleep) created or carried by Latino talent that contended for the honor.
Then what to make of Spanish director Agustín Díaz Yañez’s Alatriste, a film based on the most popular series of Spanish language novels since Don Quixote whose swashbuckling, Spanish-speaking lead is – Viggo Mortensen?
You read right.
Mortensen (A History of Violence, Lord of the Rings trilogy) plays the rugged, brave and astute Captain Diego Alatriste, a swordsman trying to keep his integrity while hacking his way through the not-so-glorious last days of the Spanish empire. The film debuted regionally at the Miami International Film Festival, a week-long event focused on introducing Latin American and Spanish films to US audiences.
“If Viggo had not accepted the role, I wouldn’t have done the movie,” said Yañez. “The guy is a great tio”.

(More here…)