The Big Felafel

First International Jewish bloggers conference in Jerusalem – geeky or cool?

jewish bloggers convention

A few years back I avoided reading blogs at all costs. I was afraid of landing on endless posts about a cat’s latest dietary restrictions or how cute it is when a 3 year old drools on the couch. And if I did find a blog that seemed useful, how could I trust the information? At the time, I couldn’t see the value of reading or writing a blog.

Fast forward to present.

Today, the blogosphere has grown up and most blogs adhere to an unofficial set of standards because they realize that the only way to gain readership is by providing meaningful and reliable content. So it’s no surprise that blogs are my first stop for finding out what’s happening in my city, what trends are happening in my industry, and what videos are likely to crack me up. In fact, I can hardly remember the last time I visited a static website.

And, as the blogosphere naturally evolved into social media (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter), people have stopped seeing bloggers as geeky, and started seeing and respecting their talent for being “social” and providing and recommending premium content to the web.

As for the Jerusalem blogging scene, all of us nerdy or cool kids, depending on your take of the whole blogging culture, are invited to the First International Jewish Blogging Convention in Jerusalem at Nefesh B’Nefesh HQ on August 20. Sorry for posting about it rather late, although I think I was the first to break the news on Twitter.

Rafi at Life in Israel brings up an good point about how anonymous bloggers will participate. Paper bags over their heads? Nametags that say “Anonymous”? I guess they can watch the event live online, but I have a feeling it won’t be the same. In any case, I’m looking forward to meeting all of my fellow bloggers and have to make sure to catch up on my reading.

The event is to be from 5-8:30 and includes panel discussions with bloggers Treppenwitz, Jewlicious, IsraelMatzav and Hirhurim, WhatWarZone, Oleh Girl, My Shrapnel, and My Right Word.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Big Felafel to be on Social Media & Aliyah Panel at the Second Jewish Bloggers Convention | the big felafel pingbacked on 13 years, 9 months ago


  1. * ck says:

    Geeky?? Dude. We have groupies. For real. And you should see the group email correspondences that are going on now – bombastic! Thought provoking! Poetic even…

    Love the new look by the way. Say hello at the conference – I’ll be the guy with the furry mauve fedora and the pimp cane.

    Yes Rebecca, pimpin’ is indeed easy.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  2. Geeky or cool? A little of both. It’s a nice idea but bad timing for me personally since I’ll be on vacation.

    I’m actually a little surprised about the conference. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Was there a call for participation before the agenda was set?

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  3. * phyllis says:

    geeky but in a cool way?;-) okay, i face it, i’m a geek. i wish i were in jlem too!!!

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  4. * Rebecca says:

    ck – ha! see you there

    Jacob – It did seem really random and come out of nowhere. I asked around and no one seems to have a clue how they picked the panelists.. a big mystery so far. a bunch of other bloggers mentioned they’ll be on vacation too. maybe it’s time to create more informal blogger meetups.

    Phyllis – hopefully they’ll do it again and you’ll be able to come

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  5. An unconference, that’s a good idea. I’ll ask around and see what people think, and I’ll also try to find out how the NBN conference was put together.

    I’m happy NBN has taken this initiative but it’s definitely rubbing some of us the wrong way.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  6. * baila says:

    Itcan’t wait for the geek convention!

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  7. * ck says:

    why are people being rubbed the wrong way? I don’t get it… is it concern that the panelists aren’t expert enough in their areas of discussion? Is it because more expert panelists could have been chosen and weren’t?

    Please explain because I am clearly totally clueless…

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  8. * harry says:

    Rubs me the wrong way too. Hastily put together…very few people who are on panels know anything about blogging at all. Seems like a self-congratulatory circle jerk to me.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  9. * ck says:

    Seems to me like the people on the panels are long standing bloggers for the most part. Also, really, it seems like the best part of all this will be the informal interaction. I really don’t see the role of the panelists involved as lecturing to the audience, but rather just having conversations. I personally look forward to just meeting a lot of people who I only know through their blogs. I think you’re being a little harsh Harry…

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  10. * harry says:

    Come on, the agenda is loud and clear. NBN has created it to use as a clever marketing ploy – which it is.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  11. * Gila says:

    Okay–as one of the self-congratulatory circle jerks….

    1) I am not sure what the agenda is supposed to be, but I can tell you that I differ in political views, religious observance levels, lifestyle etc from the other panelists. Oh–and I did not get to Israel via NBN.

    2) Marketing ploy? Marketing what?

    3) I will admit that my current blog is very new–and I was surprised (but pleased/honored) to be invited. To be honest, it is probably because there just are not that many bloggers who write about going through suicide bombings. It is entirely possible that, by next year, everyone will be sick of the topic-including me-and I will be a member of the audience. But take a look at the other panelists! Jewlicious and Treppenwitz are both hugely popular (read “successful”) sites. I am not really familiar with the others but I believe that they are widely read.

    My major complaint about the panel–skewed too far to the right and too much of an “Israel” focus. If this is supposed to be a “Jewish” bloggers conference, I would like to see more Jewish bloggers from around the world (say, ProfK, DovBear or Emes v’emunah) and I would also like to see some more left-wingers and central bloggers (such as Something Something or Tafka PP).

    Complaints sound like jealousy and sour grapes to me…

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  12. * ck says:

    Gila wrote:
    “Complaints sound like jealousy and sour grapes to me…”

    From anyone else maybe, but not from Harry, a long standing member of the Jewish blogging community. But thanks for the comments Gila. You are so brave. So, so very brave!

    When I was asked to be a panelist, I wasn’t told what I should say. It seems to me as if this is just an informal gathering. No honors are being conferred and if anyone puts “panelist at NBN bloggers conference” on their CV, that person is a tool. NBN wants to promote their organization and that they will. We’re all meeting on their coin, so good for them right?

    I’m just glad I’ll be able to socialize with like, actual real people for a change.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  13. * harry says:

    Ok, so perhaps my phrasing was a bit harsh. I apologize for that, but jealous? Hardly. I think one can justifiably and legitimately criticize the conference without being accused of having sour grapes. I’ve been in the game a long time and this just doesn’t seem all that altruistic to me.

    And that is because NBN are not doing this for altruistic reasons. It is a marketing ploy to promote NBN via blogs – nothing more. That is why they are paying for bloggers to go on their flight in a couple of weeks and write about them. I just think it is disingenuous to call this an International Jewish Bloggers Conference – it clearly is not.

    I know several of the panelists personally and many of them are included in my daily reads, but I think that there are several bloggers (and social media experts) here in Israel who would have been wonderful additions.

    And I agree with your wholeheartedly about your complaint about this conference. Us Jews come in many shapes and sizes and this “conference” is obviously skewed towards a certain demographic.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  14. * harry says:

    Ck! I’m not saying that there is secret agenda or a conspiracy! Just that there is a purpose for this conference that benefits NBN. That’s all I’m saying. If I was going to be in the new land I would be there too. There are many I wish to see and meet. But alas, I will be in the old land, in the land where Jews eat knishes and their pickles are sour, not spicy.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  15. * ck says:

    Harry… I just walked past Yonah Shimmel’s! But I didn’t eat anything because Alex wasn’t there and I wasn’t hungry. The panelists are indeed kinda diverse and given that NBN is a charitable organization that helps bring new olim to Israel, I would say they were being kinda altruistic, for that and other reasons… and what is with all these SEO blogging experts in Israel all of a sudden? I think Israel has more SEO experts per capita than any other place on earth! What kind of doofus employs SEO experts anyways? Or social networking experts?? Is there a course one can take to be such an expert? Some identifiable measure of success like an incredibly well trafficked Web site? Something? Me? I’m an instant messaging expert – Google chat, ICQ, Skype, MSN Messenger, I can help your company formulate an IM strategy that pushes the envelope of instant messaging technology and leverages these tools to make you a million zillion dollars. Or Euros. Please visit my Web site for more information.

    With all these suits sniffing around for the green, it’s like frickin’ 1998 all over again…

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 10 months ago
  16. Harry wrote: “very few people who are on [the] panels know anything about blogging at all”.

    After more than four years of blogging, I am sure there’s still a lot to learn (especially as I am not techno expert). Really (not sarcasticly).

    What top 3-5 items would you list as being defined as “blogging knowledge”?

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 9 months ago

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