Friday, August 22, 2008

Haaretz on the JBlogger Convention

Still reeling from the Anti-Haaretz backlash in the JBlogosphere over the previous smear piece on the JBlogger convention, Haaretz came clean and reported the convention AS IT WAS.

More than 200 Jewish bloggers, most of them immigrants from North America, attended the First International Jewish Bloggers Convention in Jerusalem this past Wednesday. Attendees seemed as much if not more interested in meeting fellow bloggers than in panel discussions dedicated to the agenda of taking Jewish blogging to the next level. "Everybody knew already how to get traffic, so there was nothing new," said German-born Miriam Woelke, publisher of several blogs about Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel.

"It's kind of nice to see faces of people that I only read online," David Abitbol, one of the panelists and founder of Jewlicious, told Haaretz. The anonymous author of Chardal, who moved from Los Angeles to Yad Binyamin last year, said that putting faces to names was indeed his main reason for attending the conference. "I have conversations with these people all the time, but they are faceless people. It's nice to have a normal conversation."

While all blogs represented at the conference dealt in some way or another with life in Israel, the spectrum ranged from immigration through carrying guns in Israel to discussions of Jewish law, board games and interior design. Another 1,300 bloggers followed a live Web cast of the event on their computer screens.

While many were asked by the Haaretz reporter if they thought it was inappropriate for Netanyahu to be giving such a long speech, and to be present in the first place, the respectfully covered it as it was:

The keynote event of the half-day conference, which was organized by the pro-immigration group Nefesh B'Nefesh, was a speech by former prime minister and current opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, which touched on his campaign more
than blogging. The Foreign Ministry also made a presentation on branding Israel in a better way.

Rounding off the article with my my new best friend, Benji Lovitt, I think Haaretz did a great job covering the convention.

The blogosphere gives everyone a voice and there's lots of great hasbara [public relations] we can do at a grassroots level," said Texas-born Benji Lovitt, a 33-year-old comedian and author of What War Zone???, a blog that takes a humorous look on everyday life in Israel. "My approach is to try to show that Israel is more than you see on CNN. It's actually not the scary, depressing place you think it might be but it's a place of vibrancy and fun and blogging is a way to spread the word about that."

See Haaretz? If you will it, it is no dream.
And the conference was lots of fun. Thanks to Nefesh b'Nefesh for hosting it, to WebAds for Powering it, and to the sponsors IsraelMall [including the WaffleMaker raffle], Sun [with the fun t-shirts as well], and Office Depot. (And of course, DovBear and his parsha book raffle)
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

15 comments:

YMedad said...

"my my new best friend".

Well, my my.

And look where we many need to go to pick up some ideas for our 2nd Conference: China

YMedad said...

And nothing reported in Jerusalem Post? Or do you always go to Haaretz first?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yisrael: I was looking there first to see how they would cover it in light of their first "wonderful" article.

Besides, you and I have been friends for ages...

:-)

YMedad said...

My my my.

;->)

rutimizrachi said...

Sorry for outing you. I feel bad about it; but somebody had to do it.

Leora said...

You see? Traditional media is on it's way out. You've got the power!

Benji Lovitt said...

Jameel, you're too sweet sweet. Shabbat shalom shalom!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Ruthy -

And "out" like that is always fine by me ;-)

Jack said...

It is a lovefest. ;)

aoc gold said...

Do not delay anything that adds laughter and joy to your life runescape money

YMedad said...

aoc gold has hit you too?

Rafi G said...

how did ruti "out" you?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Rafi: she gave out a whole description of me...(but not realy)

AOC Gold: Die Spammers!!!

Batya said...

Nu, so when are you going to teach my husband how to make waffles?

Aviva said...

I wonder what Haaretz said, probably kvetched that most of the people were religious and that they had to drag out token non-frummies to the podium to prove nonreligious people that care about Israel exist? :P

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