Blogging Across the Border

July 14, 2008 at 2:43 am Leave a comment

In Naked Conversations, Scoble and Israel say that Spanish is the language of only about 50,000 blogs, “fewer than probably exists on North America’s West Coast.” While that number has likely increased by quite a bit since their book was published, it’s safe to say that the Spanish-speaking world is late to blogging, particularly corporate blogging.

With that in mind, I headed to Global Voices Online to learn more about Mexico’s blogosphere.

While it’s tough for me to make any sort of generalization about blogging in Mexico based on the handful of blogs I read, my overarching impression is that many Mexican bloggers seem to be citizen journalists who report on human rights issues, environmental concerns, and troublesome acts of violence.  (I’m talking about relatively “light” citizen journalism – the Mexican blogs I read don’t seem to be exposing injustices to the extent that some blogs in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia are doing.) Posts related to business, politics, and the economy seemed to be slightly less common.

One of the most interesting posts that I read focuses on how emo youths in the country have become targets of attacks. I had heard of emo music before, but hadn’t heard of “emo youths” before reading this post. According to La Plaza, a blog of the Los Angeles Times:

emos are a category of black-clad teenager known for their marked emotionalism—thus the name—and a sexually ambiguous fashion style that combines the dark look of Goth with childlike touches of pink and other bright colors (think Tim Burton meets Hello Kitty.)

Mexican bloggers report that a popular TV personality named Kristoff made derogatory on-the-air remarks about emos that may have instigated the attacks. Emos were reportedly hunt down and beat up in Queretaro,  Mexico City, Durango, Colima, and other cities. Fortunately, emos in Mexico have organized peaceful protests and are now enjoying an outpouring of support.

Another interesting blog, Latina Lista, provides a “viewpoint on anything and eveything from a Latina perspective.” Its author is Marisa Trevino, a journalist and public radio commentator. Many of Trevino’s recent posts focus on the U.S. presidential campaign from a Latina standpoint. She writes that Obama must go cara-a-cara (face-to-face) to win the Latino vote. She elaborates by stating that he must earn respect by putting in face time, developing relationships with Latino bloggers and media, and including Latino leadership within his campaign.

Other Mexican blogs focused on the total lunar eclipse, a stampede in a nightclub, and a Mexico City campaign to dispose of cell phones and batteries. I also stumbled across expat blog, a blog website “made by expatriates, for expatriates.” It hosts a number of expat blogs by country. For example, good2go2mexico describes a United States couple’s move to a Mexican casita that lacks electricty. Meanwhile, Mexico “Way” documents a Canadian’s life in Cancun.

This little foray into international blogging has taught me that reading international blogs is a great way to quickly tap into the personal opinions, views, and emotions of the rest of the world. Sure, it’s misguided to think that any one Mexican blogger encapsulates the overall opinion of Mexican people as a whole. But reading a dozen Mexican blogs at least provided me with a better awareness of some of the top-of-mind issues and concerns facing the country than I had two hours ago.


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