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.
Right before each Jewish holiday, I go to good ol’ Google and search for the dates and candle lighting times. This works ok, but I just found something way,way better. When-is.com lets you easily look up the dates of Jewish holidays, civil holidays, and other religions’ holidays – in case you were wondering what kind of day Kwanzaa comes out on this year.
Here’s one that I was curious about – when is Tisha B’av this year? Here’s a screenshot from when-is.com
Unfortunately, When-is doesn’t give you candlelighting times, but it does help you fill in those lesser-known Jewish holidays to calendars that you (gasp) write in by hand. I still can’t give up the Staples monthly calendar. Even if I hardly use it, I feel like my life will fall apart the one year I decide not to get it. I have yet to find one monthly-layout calendar in Israel, so if you know where to get one, please let me know.