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WYD 2011 Conquers the Social Networks

Officially, 290,000 pilgrims have signed up to attend the upcoming 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid. Organizers predict that 2 million people will attend the August 16-21 events. For this reason, WYD planners are asking those who wish to come to WYD 2011 to sign up through the official website.

Rafa Rubio Director de Comunicación, JMJ Madrid 2011We have been promoting registration because we want people to come from all over the world, and to receive people well from all over the world, it is necessary to know how many people are coming. It?s very different to prepare a dinner for 10 than a dinner for 30.” The official website is a success story of the WYD Madrid planning committee. Receiving over one million hits per month, the site is available in 11 languages including Russian, Vietnamese, and Polish. In addition to the official website, organizers are taking full advantage of social networks to organize the agenda for WYD and to promote the event. Rafa Rubio Director of Communication, WYD Madrid 2011We want to have a presence among the youth, and so from the very beginning, we made a commitment to have a place on mainstream social networks in different countries. In general, we are on Facebook, and that is where our largest operation is right now, having 22 languages in 22 different platforms. We have more than 70 volunteers who spend between 3 and 4 hours each week to keep those channels alive.” Through networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, over 250,000 people are able to follow minute-by-minute updates about WYD preparations, and are also able to help with the planning themselves. For example, WYD fans have voted on what to include in the official pilgrim?s backpack and now they are sending in proposals of songs and voting on those that will be used during the official events. In that way, the youth are able to be the main organizers of the WYD. Yago de la Cierva Executive Director, WYD Madrid 2011 ;This is a journey for the youth, and so it is reasonable for the youth to be its organizers. They maintain order and are able to put the face, shoulders, legs – the whole of WYD together. WYD is simply a big youth festival, and so it makes sense that the youth should be the ones organizing it.” From the backpack, the songs, to the video competition, the youth from around the world have been working to make WYD a success. There are only five months left until the big event in Madrid, and the organizers are starting to reveal the most exciting events for WYD in order to get more people to come. Organizers say that there will be more announcements soon that will reveal other surprises that will make Madrid?s first WYD a total success. JMB/RD FFHC BN