Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What is a JBlogger?

This has been bothering me for a while.

When I mentioned the JBlogger convention to another blogger a few weeks back, he reacted with surprise, "Who would ever want to go to a JBlogger convention? Its just a bunch of grumpy complainers who criticize everything."

That took me aback. "Is my blog one big rant?"


"How about these blogs? (And I listed a whole bunch)"

No, they aren't either.

"Well, why do you think they are all negative?"

Truth is, he did have a point. You can easily spot the negative blogs...and many of them by the level of complaining they had towards the upcoming JBlogger convention (thought not all).

"Why aren't there Arabs in the JBlogger convention? Why is it a right-wing looney settler convention? Why aren't Orthodox bashers invited? This is representative?!"

There are blogs that harp almost exclusively on many issues that plague the Jewish and Israeli world. Be it bashing Rubashkins, exposing dangers to the Jewish community from within, or kvetching in general. In fact, I personally started out that way as well - almost exclusively ranting at Israel's Disengagement from Gaza and the Northern Shomron. What I realized soon enough was that ranting alone wouldn't change anything (except for letting me blow off steam).

Yes, you can still blog and be a grump, but those aren't the people I'd want to meet in person.

To build a readership one needs a lot more than negativity. To interact with the JBlogosphere, no one wants to see a mega-kvetcher.

The best JBloggers mix it all together; sometimes a kvetch, a story, something insightful, a thought on Torah, maybe many thoughts about the importance of Israel, controversy in Israel, issues in the community here and abroad, some politics and an occasional waffle.

It takes all kinds to build a community, virtual or real-life. Those that I enjoy meeting and would be interested in meeting are the funny, positive, interesting ones...those who want to make a difference. The sort of people you would want as friends or neighbors.

When I first joined the JBlogosphere, I felt like a Johnnie-come-lately who had missed the boat.

I'm glad I was wrong.

Looking forward to seeing you at the JBlogger Convention next week (you can view it via the web as well), or at the SerandEz/BeyondBT melaveh malka on Motzei Shabbat in Queens.

Or around the JBlogosphere.

Signing off for now...flying tonight.


PS: Read the following as well by Aussie Dave, "The Egoes Have Landed" -- hat-tip to Juggling Frogs!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Juggling Frogs said...
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Juggling Frogs said...

It's the New "Who is a JEWish blogger?" controversy.

Case in point: This post, and its comments at IsraellyCool

Nesia tova, Jameel! Have a safe and fun trip.

I won't be there, but welcome you to the U.S. anyway, and look forward to everyone's blot posts (with pictures, I hope!) and the webcast from all the meet-ups!

yitz said...

maybe it's my highschool experiences that i never quite grew beyond, but still i feel a little uncomfortable trying to build another community, there are soooooo many.. i guess i'm a little to social for that..

kudos to you for having the dream and making it happen. (and for having the azus to do it) for me, it's a simple torah-blog :)

Erachet said...

THANK YOU for this post, Jameel. My sentiments exactly. :)

Erachet said...

Also... When I first joined the JBlogosphere, I felt like a Johnnie-come-lately who had missed the boat.

If you felt that way in 2005...imagine how the rest of us who didn't come until 2007 feel! I'm such a newbie! :)

Tyrone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyrone said...

You can easily spot the negative blogs...
Yes, you can still blog and be a grump, but those aren't the people I'd want to meet in person.
To build a readership one needs a lot more than negativity.

How dare you slander me in such a way, you Likudnik/Kachnik/Chardalnik scum! If the conference organizers had any sense of decency, I would have been invited to speak. But I have no desire to attend your Zionist-racist blog conference anyway.

Soccer Dad said...

You write:
It takes all kinds to build a community, virtual or real-life.

But in all the activities you mention that a blogger should be doing you leave out the one that actually builds the community:

Linking to other (J)blogs.

Frankly two people who ought to be on the panel of bringing Jblogging to the next level are Batya and Jack who are doing exactly that.

Baila said...

I started blogging never thinking in terms of "community". I never thought anyone other than my two best friends would read my blog. It's weird that strangers read my blog and vice versa, but I am starting to feel like it really is a kind of community. It's going to be fascinating meeting so many of you next week.

You never did tell us how you're going to skirt the anonymity issue, Jameel.

Nesiyah Tova--see you soon.

rockofgalilee said...

wow. jameel said i'm the best jblogger. ...errr... except for the waffles.

Gila said...

I will finally get to meet you. Yay!

yaak said...

Why aren't there Arabs in the JBlogger convention?
Come on, Jameel! The muqata is represented, isn't it?


Kae Gregory said...

Oh stop complaining already - for crying out loud.

(Have a good, as well as a safe, trip.)

Batya said...

jameel, will you be masked?
I'm still trying to decide which hat to wear.

yitz, thanks; the lack of recognition of the importance of jblog carnivals is the only real "fisfus" in the planning.
I'll be there as one of the masses, with a sign-up for guest hosts for kcc and jpix

Can't wait to f2f!!

Benji Lovitt said...

Looking forward to meeting you!

Jack Steiner said...

Will the real JBlogger please stand up.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

G-d willing, I'll be on the online watching it all go down. Can't wait :)

Have a safe trip!

YMedad said...

The next level of JBlogging is not quite linking to others. That is going on at various types of ways. What, HH is approaching 180, no? Mobius got hired by JTA, no? And I have complained (to Jamneel a few times) that not enough bloggers look at other bloggers on a regular basis except for special interests (pictures, cooking, pets, etc.) but not the wider issues that really impact on life = politics, cultural themes with the object or changing rather than just, well, showing off or being too invovled with oneself.

There is a need to use the blogosphere to move, mobilize and motivate. Media criticism is fairly well along on that. But more needs to be thought out.

See you all at the Conference.

Jacob Da Jew said...

Quite right. The whiners and kvetchers usually die out...hence the immense graveyard of dead bloggies.

Cosmic X said...

Alternative Jblogger Conference

Anonymous said...

Ha! SoccerDad cuts through any bs and puts the arrow on target.. Infuriating when the quintessential Jblogger shows up no doubt for many lol

I've certainly seen the politics this whole thing has generated, worse than the Knesset - Worth going just for that! Unfortunately I have a wedding near Ashdod to attend, former young Gush Katifers. I already know CK for a long while but will miss out meeting others. As for all these egos & bruises, I'm on the right & far from orthodox so most of the orthodox bloggers don't like me, and most of the secular bloggers don't like me so as a bastard blog child I fit right in as usual it seems, what a relief. Stop bashing the negative bloggers there's no story witout them :)

I especially like the not enough Arab bloggers kvetch because that's just what I would have really really wanted!! A few more Arab bloggers at the jbloggers conference to give me an evening of 'perspective' on the peace process, you could invite the UN to sponsor! and call it JstreetBloggers!

Mindy Schaper said...

I have a whole lot to say about J-blogging and the sense of community it fosters (for those of us who are looking for that), but I'll save that for a post.

Mindy Schaper said...

Well, seems like I got carried away with myself and did it here:

Search the Muqata


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