Sunday, August 23, 2009

Most Cuba bloggers don't live in Cuba

A Wordle cloud showing how bloggers responded when asked about the future of blogs in Cuba.
Aguaya, a prominent Cuban blogger, has released the results of a poll of more than 200 people who blog about Cuba. Among the findings: 75 percent of Cuba bloggers polled don't live on the island.

Cuba bloggers by country

Aguaya, a college professor in Germany, writes a blog called Desarraigos Provocados. She helped lead a conference for - and about - Cuban bloggers from Aug. 14 to Aug. 16 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The event was called Blogueando a Cuba.
I think blogs are an important force in discussing Cuba and, as a journalist interested in Cuba, I would have loved to have attended the conference. Unfortunately, I had other commitments. But I did fill out Aguaya's survey, which I think makes a valuable contribution toward our knowledge of Cuba-related blogs.
I know that Cuban officials have criticized many Cuba blogs, calling them biased, negative, even malicious. They've also said they believe some blogs are financed from abroad in an effort to discredit and destabilize the socialist government.
Whatever the case, blogs aren't going away. They'll only grow and I think they'll be - and probably already are - impossible for Cuban authorities to control.
Cuban officials have responded by sponsoring and supporting pro-government blogs, but the information war only goes so far. The best way for authorities to respond to bloggers is to find solutions to the country's economic and social troubles.

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