I've been inspired to write a "post-conference" post after reading those of Jewlicious, DovBear, Frum Satire and many more. I am so glad I found out about the First International Jewish Bloggers Convention and was able to attend yesterday via live webcast (even if the video feed/sound did cut in and out a lot). I was secretly, or maybe not-so-secretly, listening in from my office at work, so I couldn't really blast the sound, and I definitely missed what several of the panelists had to say. But all in all, I found it to be very interesting, and I met a lot of great JBloggers who were chatting while watching online from all corners of North America. And now I have tons more blogs to check out while I'm procrastinating at work, so that's always a plus.
It was great to see Esther K. of My Urban Kvetch and JDaters Annonymous, since those are two blogs I've actually read before. Also, "ck" of Jewlicious was there and definitely had some great things to say about the Blogosphere and the influence of Jewlicious on young Jewish Americans, which I definitely agreed with. Jewlicious was one of the first "jblogs" I read. All of those who contribute to the blog write very freely, and each have their own unique experiences, opinions and points of view - I enjoy it very much.
I think my favorite speaker of the entire convention was Treppenwitz. I've never checked out his blog before, but now I definitely will. I thought he was a great speaker - definitely captivated the audience - and he had interesting things to say about the blogging community. I thought Frum Satire was also very funny and relatable, which I think was important at a convention reaching people all across the world and of many different backgrounds.
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister of Israel and current Leader of the Opposition, spoke for way too long and got way off topic. I'm still not completely sure why he was there, but then again, I turned off the sound about half-way through his portion of the evening, so maybe he did have some sort of blogging connection in there (Yes, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.)
The last presentation I caught before I had to leave was Zavi Apfelbaum from the Foreign Ministry. I at first had trouble connecting her lecture about brand management to blogging, but by the end, it all made sense to me. While most people don't think of brand management for another other than companies or products, it's also important for countries. And as Jewish Bloggers, it's part of our unofficial job to create an image, or a "brand," that is real, honest and truthful. We need to show people who don't know much about Israel, Israelis or even Jewish people, what it's about. It's not all about the war zone and religion - it's about a culture, tradition, history, community and so much more. When I was in Israel, I have never felt more welcomed, and by complete strangers. The people I met in Israel were helpful, caring, warm and generous. Yes, you do see soldiers everywhere you go. Yes, people do carry weapons around. Yes, war is a constant there. But there is so much more about Israel that many people in other countries don't see - and we jbloggers need to be part of the effort to show the other side of the story.
So after that, I tuned out, and I'm a little disappointed I missed Benji Lovitt of What War Zone? because I think he is very funny and I enjoy the perspective of a non-orthodox American Jew living in Israel. Maybe I'll watch the end of the video another day.
The chatroom discussions were also great, and I think I've made a few new blogging friends through it all. I'll definitely be tuning in to Jacob Da Jew and Lady Light and all the others I traded URLs with. It was nice meeting you all, and I hope we can meet up again soon!
4 hours ago