Sunday, July 3, 2011

Twitter user meetups in Havana and Holguín -- non events?

A few weeks ago, Leunam Rodriguez put out a call for a meetup of Cuban Twitter users. As shown here, the word was spread using Twitter, and there were over 2,000 tweets on the day of the meetup. If you are interested in more detail, search for #twitthab on Twitter.

In spite of the publicity, Reuters reported that only about 50 people attended the meeting in Havana.

The fact that, according to Reuters, Rodriguez is a reporter at the state-run Radio Cubana, suggests a pro-government slant, but calls for widespread Internet access reportedly met with unanimous applause. The sparse attendance might also have been explained by the high cost of posting a tweet -- perhaps there are not many Twitter users in Havana.

Dissident blogger Yoani Sánchez evidently arrived early and saw computers, but no people, and she later tweeted that what she found at the pavilion felt more like a prison than the free environment of Twitter. I guess she wasn't impressed :-).

As shown here, there was a similar meeting in Holguín, and you can see photos of the Havana meetup here.

Were you at either meetup? Were these non-events?