Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Ray Parker, William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cognitive Computing , Agile Computing

Cognitive Computing : Blog Feed Post

Show Report: 2009 Jewish Bloggers Conference

It was good enough to give me hope for future iterations

The 2009 Jewish Bloggers Conference has ended. It was something of a mixture, with many signs of improvement, but the conference still has a ways to go to reach maturity.

It was good enough to give me hope for future iterations.

Location and Organization
The location and organization was excellent. Food was fine. Service was fine. Acoustics and timing were fine. Things even went, roughly, on schedule. Kol hakavod to the organizers.

There were a few snafus. The location of the event was announced in the initial email sent to those bloggers who were invited to attend, but then this information was not repeated. And the location was not listed on the web site!!! The organizer told me that this was done on purpose in order to prevent the uninvited from showing up, which I think is rather a strange thing to say. Many bloggers only found out where the event was by tweeting about it in the morning.

Also, for Track A, the first session was in room 102 and the second in room 103, while for Track B, the first session was in room 103 and the second in room 102. The room numbers were in teeny print, and thus I found myself suddenly in the wrong session when the second session began. I assume this devious room arrangement had something to do with the number of people who registered for each session (103 was bigger than 102), but the room change could have been made clearer. Such as signs on the doors listing the sessions that would be within and the Track numbers.

Vast numbers of people interrupted the beginning of both of these second sessions as they switched around.

One more thing: I had trouble seeing the video on the official site. In Firefox, it kept asking me to allow Flash to access more disk space, even after I had granted it unlimited disk space.

Topics and Targets
Unlike last year's conference, the topics for this year's conference were much improved, dealing with the thing that bloggers have in common - blogging - and not about what Nefesh b'Nefesh wished we would all have in common - hasbarah.

The first half of the convention was workshops. In the workshops, the first two tracks were about social media and monetization, while the third track was about "defending Israel", with the last session about being a better blogger.

The second half of the convention was only one track, and covered (allegedly) the topics: social media and community, social media and Jewish community, defending Israel (again), and social media and aliyah. More about these later.

I attended one session from each workshop track. From my understanding, all the sessions in the first two tracks were at an incredibly low level. But the audience, to my shock, was also at an incredibly low level, asking what a "trackback" was, what an "inbound link" was, and what Facebook was. So it appears that, while the workshops were uninteresting to me and a number of other bloggers, they were probably interesting to many.

-1-

David from Jewlicious talked about social networking. Jewlicious gets 8-10,000 visitors a day. They also use Twitter, Facebook, and sponsor a festival in NY.

According to David, the Internet was started by geeks, who gave lots of voluntary contributions for no money. Now there is a lot of money floating around. But those geeks who created the biggest sites (Google, Yahoo, ...) are the gatekeepers of the Internet. You can't be successful without them.

Geeks reward geek-like behavior: Google, etc will only link to you if you provide value to others "for free". Jewlicious leverages the social community for click-throughs and community-building activities. And they can raise money for donations, and make some money from banners and t-shirts.

David spoke well and was well prepared, within the time frame, and entertaining. It was very low level, but was news to many in the audience.

-2-

Ahuva Berger gave an introduction to Twitter.

Ahuva prepared and spoke well, and she gave a good low-level introduction.

However, she also added a lot of her own ideas as to the "right way" to use Twitter. If I didn't already know something about the subject, I would not have realized how subjective her ideas were.

True, she often said that SHE uses Twitter for such and such a reason, and SHE likes to see such and such. But then she implied, or said directly, that this was the right way to do it, and if you didn't do it this way, you should be using a different medium, like a blog.

Her way includes: not locking the feed, not posting only about your business, not being anonymous, engaging in a lot of @replies, not maintaining two accounts, not posting two posts containing a longer message, and a few others do's and don'ts. All of which are true if you're using Twitter for a certain social reason in a certain way. But not everyone has to use Twitter that way, and they don't.

(Come to think of it, when I gave my talk about corporate blogging at the Tech Writers evening, I might have done the same thing.)

-3-

David Bogner of Treppenwitz gave the highest level workshop presentation that I saw - not exactly high, but not entirely basic, either. He said that many of his ideas were inspired by the blogger MightyGirl, aka Maggie Mason, and her book Nobody Cares What You Had For Lunch.

It turns out that people actually are interested in your mundane experiences when you live in an exotic location (to them), e.g. such as Israel. Just practice the following:

Tempo: pace yourself. Don't burn out. But posting too little is also bad. No excuses for not blogging, though.

Length of posts: be yourself.

Save your writing often. Proofread.

Be more substantial than simply inspiring controversy. Be responsible to your readers.

Comments: Be responsive to commenters. Put up rules and delete or modify abusive comments when required. And encourage but moderate track-backs.

How personal should you get? Being personal gains you a real-world community of friends.

Stats: don't be a stat-crackhead, but do notice them.

All sound advice for beginners, if none too revelatory to experienced bloggers. David presented very well, was entertaining, and well-prepared.


From hereon, only a single track continued.

-4-

David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post

JPost gets a lot of traffic: 2.5M unique vistors/mo, and the online site makes the news day 24/7 the whole year, except Yom Kippur.

He welcomes suggestions from bloggers at [email protected].

The Internet site, though huge, didn't detract from subscription or income from the printed edition. However, the huge online site doesn't add much to revenues, either.

David is of the opinion that news sites made a mistake releasing their content online for free, and is now looking for ways to lock up the content and charge money for it. In my opinion, this is a HUGE MISTAKE, not only huge, but so obviously a mistake that it's stunning that people as smart and clever as David still think it will work. I will explain more about why this is such a suicidal idea in a separate article.

David spoke very well and was well-prepared. As to his topic - how social media is influencing community - he only touched on that, by saying that news is now a 24 job and bloggers should um, I don't actually remember. Mostly, it was about the JPost.

-5-

A panel discussion. Topic was supposed to be about social media and the Jewish community.

[email protected]: social networking sites make for better relationships, and NPOs should use them for fund-raising, better transparency, and getting info to people and spurring them to donate. NPOs who master the technology become sexier, which may distract from needier causes that don't do this.

[email protected]: Bloggers cover topics mainstream news doesn't/won't cover. Anonymous bloggers don't rise to the same level as named blogs, and they hide behind attacks.

And I zoned out for the rest.

[email protected]: The Haredi columnist. He doesn't know anything about the internet, blogging, or Facebook. But he thinks it all sounds neat.

And he said that the Haredi world is fearful of the blog world (loshon hora, etc.) but it is still in use for many kosher purposes.

And he used the word "Hegelian".

[email protected] Jewish Journal: Social networking exists. People use it socially. For social purposes, like dating.

All of them spoke well enough, though I couldn't really follow what Yonasan was saying.

After all of this, there were questions from the audience, and things descended rapidly into disaster. Questions had even less to do with the topic than the speakers did. One guy began baiting liberal blogger [email protected] about his left-wing politics, and everyone was thoroughly bored, as far as I could tell. I left early.

This was the low point of the conference.

-6-

Benji Lovitt, a comedian who blogs at What War Zone was invited to do his thing.

He was "on" and often funny; I laughed out loud a few times. He spoke a little too rapidly and low at certain points, which wrecked a few of the punchlines for me.

-7-

Ron Dermer, Senior adviser to the PM spoke on Defending Israel. (Last year Bibi spoke.)

He started assuming that there is a generational gap for technology, but the audience proved him wrong (the majority were over 30). He admitted he was wrong.

He said: Govmt is looking for ways to use this tech. This tech is highly transformative.

Israel Govmt's have put too much emphasis on peace and not enough on rights. Our argument against their argument of "occupation" should not be "give 9X% of the land back". Also, the conflict has been taken out of context; namely that it is Israel (underdog) vs Arab nations, and not Palestinians (underdog) vs Israel.

Then he said something about the Palestinians dedicated to killing our innocents, while Israelis is dedicated to protecting our innocents. We each have engineers, but they are working on different projects.

We must use the right strategies, and our distribution of our ideas must be enhanced with social media.

So we should all use our blogs to ensure that "rights" are the subject of discussion, not occupation.

He promised to make sure bloggers gain press credentials, and that he will work on getting things going in the govmnt regarding social media.

He spoke very well.

-8-

The last panel, about aliyah and social media. Half or more of the people left before this panel began. I was falling asleep.

[email protected]: build your brand (via blog, social media) for employers to see. He spoke well, but later, in the questions, he appeared to not know that there were other Israeli job sites other than his. Which was annoying. So much for being a geek.

Zev [email protected]: Janglo is a social network.

[email protected]: Spoke about her blog, and why it's a good read for olim.

[email protected]: Spoke about OyPeople, and why it will be a big social network for Jews.

[email protected]: Said that social networking is about relationships.

And that was that.

Conclusion
Better prepared speakers on appropriate topics (with exceptions), good physical organization, and separate tracks of interest, all contributed to making this a more successful conference.

However:

The level of the conference talks must be raised, or additional higher-level tracks must be added. We need to get into Wordpress plug-ins, JS tools, out of the ordinary marketing techniques, and other more substantial discussions.

Panel speakers must stick to the topic, and have something of general interest to say, and not simply pimp their site.

Moderators must enforce that questions stick to the topic, and blowhards who turn every discussion into political or religious bashing should just stay home.

Yehuda

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yehuda Berlinger

Yehuda Berlinger has been programming since he was eight years old, and consulting about the Internet since he was twelve. He has worked professionally for more than fifteen years as a UNIX systems administrator, a web programmer, and a technical writer. His interests include social aspects of technology and board games. He is now 37 years old and lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife and four children. He blogs at http://jergames.blogspot.com.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.