4 Thoughts on the J-Blogger Conference


Hats off to Nefesh b'Nefesh for for organizing yesterday's Jewish blogger conference. Here are four thoughts on the gathering:

Blogger Unity: There's a well-meaning desire for greater unity among Jewish bloggers. But there was little consensus on what this unity would look like, or if the concept is even worth pursuing. After all, every blog is already filling a niche (or should be).

I would like to see bloggers expand their network of readers and natural allies. New bloggers need to develop their voice and establish their unique expertise.

As we all flex our creative muscles, unity will come from the ground up. We'll hopefully see more collaborative efforts and cross-promotion among bloggers.

Israel: In his keynote address, Ron Dermer, an advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, said hasbara efforts will place more emphasis on Jewish rights. Although Israel has demonstrated its commitment to peace with various concessions over the years, Israeli p.r. hasn't stressed Jewish rights to a similar degree.

So when the world bristles at Israel's desire to be specifically recognized as a Jewish state, it's a sneak peek of other things hitting the fan in the coming weeks and months.

Iran: As Israel Matzav pointed out, the mullahs are networking with China and Venezuela to protect the regime from the unpleasant effects of any international sanctions. Missiles capable of hitting Europe debunk the idea that Iranian nukes are "only" Israel's problem.

The world simply still hasn't woken up to the idea that Iran is a global threat. Bloggers have to take action.

Empowerment: This year's convention placed an awful lot of well-deserved emphasis on social media, including presentations about Facebook and Twitter for beginners, which you can find at those links.

So if you have an internet connection, you can share new examples of Israeli creativity and ingenuity, debunk lies, and network with people you wouldn't otherwise have access to. You can follow up on your curiosity and expand your horizons. And you can — in real time — both inform and be informed.

All you have to do is do it.