Give us a hand up, yeah?


So, we’re finding out what Miguel and Daniel have known all along: building an audience for the Spanish doppleganger to an English blog about Venezuela is not so easy. Traffic over on is still stuck at 5-10% of the level here.

Basically, without word of mouth, is toast. So here’s your chance to lend a hand:

That essay on how Mubarak is and is not like Chávez is now up in Spanish. Surely, you can think of 10 people who might like to read it, but don’t read English very well.

Pass it along!

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  1. Yes, I spent a lot of time translating articles from Devil to Diablo and never managed to pick up readers, not that I understand why that is, there would seem to be a void, but…

  2. I did think for a long time about opening a Spanish version but I am alone in my blog. It is lonely at the top, at least there are two delusional guys in this blog.

    So I chose to spice up my blog with Spanish, sometimes a translation, sometimes an actual original such as the series “los culpables de la dictadura”. (

    My approach is to give readers some material in Spanish for their acquaintances but truly, I just cannot find the time to write regularly in Spanish. Or French for that matter which is probaly waht I should do instead of Spanish because in French, well, the anti Chavez crowd is quite lonely there…..

    Whatever the approach is I think that we indeed need to write more than in English now. Our job in English is done. Even the Guardian is now on board (mostly, anyway). The real question is: blogueando sube cerros?

    I wish you success in your Spanish venture. No matter what, you will probably do better than 90% of the competition 🙂 Heck! Even better than most newspapers!

  3. FT, with all due respect, and sin ánimo de menospreciar el intento: you have carved a niche in an audience composed, largely, of Venezuelan expats, PSFs, and some foreign journos covering our country’s situation. Yours is a quantity already known in the veneco-english blogosphere.

    In Spanish, as you have just pointed out, is different. We could discuss why such is the case, however, there’s no changing one, in my opinion, very peculiar fact about the debate in public sphere within Venezuela: attention deficit disorder, or criollo-ly known as “Chavez los tiene locos.” Your posts invite debate, perhaps for that turn of phrase you came with once when referring about my own writing: “you either love it or hate it, or both.” Still, the discussions that take place in this site, and its depth, is characteristic of people who, regardless of eductation levels, at the very least share that treat of listening, in this case reading, what the other interlocutors have to say to then formulate replies. That simple process of engaging in meaningful conversation does not exist in Venezuela’s public sphere. Aside from that, if you start writing in Spanish, which is not your forte and presumably to build up an audience within Venezuela, with the aim of achieving the same kind of debate that takes place in the English version, you will notice, as you have, that there is no captive audience, there’s no market for it.

    Nobody in Venezuela wants to hear from some guy who left the country many years ago, and has lost contact with the day to day reality, about what they should or shouldn’t do. I speak from experience. Miguel and Daniel have experienced the same. There’s no desire to engage with us, for all of us are what you call iconoclastic. So while some of your posts in Spanish will eventually be reprinted here and there, the truth of the matter is that Venezuelans aren’t interested, hysteric, as they are, putting with life under Chavez. For “information” they have other sources. And for analysis? They simply don’t have the tranquility of mind, for they are like the referee in a boxing match, quizás no llevando coñazos pero si se descuida…

    Another thing I wanted to comment is that, whoever is translating your English articles, should stop thinking that literal translations can cut it. Example:

    Elucubrar sobre si a Chávez lo podría Mubarakear el año que viene se ha convertido en el pasatiempo preferido de la oposición.

    That right there, makes no sense at all. It should be something along the lines of:

    “Elucubrar sobre si se le podría aplicar una de Mubarak a Chavez se ha convertido en el pasatiempo fav…. ” O “elucubrar sobre si se podría “Mubarakear” a Chavez se ha tornado el pasatiempo fav…”

  4. Well, the Spanish blog is new, it’s too early to draw conclusions from it.

    I also think that part of what draws people to the English site is the spiciness of the comments board. We don’t have that in the Spanish site just yet.

    • I think 20 % of your English readers should gravitate to the Spanish blog.This would upgrade the English blog and help the Spanish one.

  5. Not sure, but maybe along the lines of alek’s comment, my experience was that the typical Venezuelan didn’t want to hear it, read it, think about it.. whether a chavista, nini or oppo. Fewer watched Alo than you might think. I encouraged everyone to read every day, to watch every sunday or whatever day there was a candena. Avoidance is a survival technique.. they just go about their lives, knowing it isn’t getting better but not wanting to know anymore than they could already knew or could sense. Reading a blog, whether in english or spanish was way down on the priority list. Maybe things would change sooner if more people really paid attention.

      • Well, maybe you SHOULD be targeting the typical Venezuelan. After all, shouldn’t they be the recipients of what you’re saying here? If you compare Egypt to Venezuela, what I see as a major difference is who the people are who came out to protest: mainly people who were from 21-35 years of age, with credentials (degrees), and with no jobs available. Since I’m not from VZ, I’m not sure who the target VZ market is. Just saying…

  6. It’s like tying to re-use American ads with all their “humor” on venezuelan tv…it just does not work, it is either a genuine venezuelan bred and run site, or it is destined for failure, the nuances and the “feeling” are not there, readers want, a “reality show circus” a la Alo Ciudadano…

    Trust me I tried and failed, it wasn’t until I started ranting and raving and telling people to fuck off for being retards about doing anything for the country that traffic went thru the roof and people got engaged with the site…

    Sad affairs? hardly! who wants english moderation and restrain, when over there, life is literally a roller coaster between life and death?

    Check out twitter to see why ChavezOfficial, Gobernaitor, Maracuchos, VVendetta are the biggest personas who have the most interactions.. same goes by others with avatars of the drunk, the rat, the nasty, those are characters people relate to, not the stoic, the restrained ,the too well educated…

    ironically because CC already comes as ‘holier than thou” site that dishes out the truth in a very logical and academically inclined way, it becomes a turn off for venezuelan audiences who really want an outlet for their anger and frustrations, not a debate, something that seldom happens in this forum.

    think Bar fight for the CC in spanish and you got a winner instead of a wiener!

    and at some point you will have to include the naked chicks too…

    • Y’all have the wrong idea. We’re not going for the mass market. We don’t want 400,000 visitors a day, we don’t need 400,000 visitors a day. We’re not N24.

      We want 4,000 visitors a day.

      We have 200!

      • A mi la lectura en español me pareció muy pesada, lo que suena bien en ingles no suena bien en español, aparte de los errores obvios de sintaxis y lenguaje como los que mencionó Alek:

        abhorrecer -> aborrecer
        al rededor -> al-rededor

        Las oraciones están estructuradas pensando en ingles lo que las hace dificil de entender en español y eso que ya yo conocía el tema. Algunas expresiones no suenan bien:

        – cascada de deserciones?
        podría ser:
        estampida de deserciones o
        de saltos de talanquera para usar un termino coloquial
        o un deslave

        – estado bienestar chavista?

        En fin que la traducción no quedó muy bien.

        • instead of Caracas Chronicles in Español should it be baptized Caracas Cosmopolita then?

          How many other venezuelan blogs with high minded people can there really be without cannibalizing on each others audiences??? Adecos and Copeyanos from the old guard are really in short supply nowadays…

          I find it disturbing that “mass appeal” is not the aim of the venezuelan spanish site, yet the message we get drilled into our heads, everywhere you see a post in CC, is that all actions to change the current situation should be nationwide and reach the disenfranchised who live outside the Caracas Valencia Maracaibo poles … yet you aim for just a minority of readers? or has this become the ultimate exercise in circular logic?

          Reminds me of the venezuelan mindset about small business and entepreneurship: Everyone wants to open a Boutique or Atelier because it is “cachet” but the pueblo gets served best by the asians and the middle easterns who provide the basics to live on…

          I wasn’t expecting a N24 but at least a more civilized version that the masses can sink their teeth into when they stumble by or get recommended to the site so they can make better electoral choices and feel welcome. I really doubt a “dirigente” who might influence a few thousand votes is gonna participate if he feels like an outsider in matters that he is involved with everyday.

          but that is my 2 american cents on the matter…meantime i will keep minding my own show elsewhere…

      • You are going to get them, you just have to be patient and persevere. The same way you did with this one. How long has it been? No time at all.

        There is a niche for CC in spanish, I don’t believe that all the smart and rational people of Venezuela are expats now!

        I would recommend doing something with the share buttons, there are buried after you click read more below the last paragraph, if the posts is long you have to scroll down to find it and sometimes with only the lead people would want to take action. Look at how Alejandro Tarre has them in his blog.

        You are already getting good reviews and some very good comments. So I wouldn’t liste to the “nube negras”.

  7. Coño, broder, creo que voy a ser brutalmente honesto contigo (convencido de que es mejor una verdad dolorosa a tiempo): Yo creo que subestimaste lo titánico de la empresa que significa escribir en español. Quico, tu eres, sin que me quede nada por dentro, uno de los más talentosos periodistas que he leído jamás en lengua inglesa, pero como hispano-escribiente estas absolutamente por debajo de lo aceptable. Yo no soy experto, pero creo que escribir en un idioma es mucho más que conocer los grafos, saber la sintaxis, los códigos y respetar a la perfección la gramática castellana. No. Para poder escribir en español necesitas, como condición indispensable, PENSAR EN ESPAÑOL, y creo que allí radica el reto más importante que tienes por delante: tu piensas en ingles, ergo, escribes en español ideas en otro idioma, eso se nota a leguas. Debe ser una consecuencia natural del hecho de que casi toda tu formación intelectual la has hecho fuera del país, desde tu tardía adolescencia hasta tu temprana madurez de hoy. Tus posts en español son demasiado raros, bro, son como una mueca del quico en ingles, hay algo que definitivamente no hace click y que aburre al lector en la línea dos del texto. Te lo digo honestamente, porque creo que es un problema serio que debes resolver.

    Con un poco de humor agrego, no se por que, pero el quico que escribe en español habla como una doña, me imagino a mi mamá cuando te leo en español. Saludos.


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