How to become a celebrity in 3 months? #los33

On: October 15, 2010
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About Cristina Reyna
Cristina Reyna New Media Master Student 2010/2011 Cristina was born in Colombia, she moved to Belgium to study in the Catholic University of Louvain, since then she has been involved in women rights issues. She works in the field of development, migration and peace.


Garcia Marquez would describe it as “Macondo”. Magic surrealism in Latin-America, more than being a novel, is a daily reality.

With incredible admiration on the impact of New Media on the society I have followed the big brother tragedy of the Chileans guys stuck 680 m deep.

Wednesday 13 is the date, all the news media are focused on the rescue of the 33 guys. I went then to look in the tweets on the topic, is the first place in all the tweets monitors. #Los33 is the category most used. 452 active tweets for the BBC news. In the twitter search 269 followings since you started searching (about 9 minutes while starting writing this paper), and continue growing.

I keep on clicking on the tweets, just to see what people are talking about, “follow in live the rescue” video, I click on it, the first announcement: do you know your rights as worker? It was an announcement for legal advice of advocates office.

Then the other tweet: Jaimotto_ (have no idea who he is) announced the next VIP person to be able to enter in the mine. People are not more getting out but now VIP people are getting in?

I then go to Monitter click on #los33, is the first item, I start reading what was coming out.

First tweet: the 33 figure is everywhere? The mythic number starts having religious connotation. Ecualink blog for infographics issues. But of course there are not 33 but 34 because God is always with, says one of the miners and is retweeted several times,then the battle of the religions on who’s miracle it was, the catholics or the evangelicals.

A girl is just discovering the news, she tweets on her personal account, others just laugh about her, read the news lady! they tell her….

A male commenting: “I love the “gordis” but with her the guys wouldn’t be out so quick, I like to have a male entrepreneur president.” “Gordis” refers to Michelle Bachelet, former president, women and left-wing. Is the macho behaviour also on tweet?

And then comes the Latin-American celebrities who supports via the twibbon campaign for the 33 miners #FuerzaChile: @Juanes,@ AlejandroSanz, @Ricky Martin, etc. followed by the intellectuals: @MarioVargaLlosa the most retweeted.

The Pope Benedict ( he also tweets?! It might be somebody else for him), nobody retweets, it gets lost in the amount of tweets.

Of course mainstream news channels such as CNN are following and presenting the tweets of the Latin-American presidents they all have a twitter account, @chavezcandanga, @evo_morales, @FelipeCalderon, @Laura_Ch, etc. They all send some nice words in 140 characters, probably a difficult task for those who are used to give 5 hours speeches. Those tweets don’t appear in the modest Monitter.

Finally a word of Manuel Sepulveda, the first miner to get out: “We don’t want to be treated as movie stars”. No body retweets this one. it seems everybody is busy in their own business, this tweets get quickly covered by other people´s tweets.

Media and society, who shapes who? While some naïve people express their support to the 33 guys, others are selling themselves, is the moment to make you known as a good blogger and to sell your business via twitter.

Do you know that while the whole world was busy on twittering about the 33 guys, the Mapuches (indigenous people from Chile) are in a hunger strike since 87 days, some of them have been persecuted under an antiterrorist law for being against the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the territory of the Mapuches; but this wasn’t worth much tweets I wrote the name Mapuches in the Monitter and got few tweets from those remembering the Mapuches reality. Perhaps not attractive enough for the New Media business.

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