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What I Really Think of the 1st Int’l Jbloggers Conference

22 Aug

I am still shaking my head over the 1st International Jewish Bloggers Conference hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh. It had so much potential…….

I am going to preface this blog post with a small disclaimer. ****I attend a tremendous number of hi-tech conferences every year and as such expected the conference to dig a bit deeper into the Jewish blogging world. I am also very involved in the user generated content(UGC) world (known as Web2.0) & expected at least a superficial conversation on the types of web technology bloggers use to increase their web presence ****

Blogging is a tool used by every day people to share their ideas/thoughts/feelings to the outside world. A successful blogger is one that engages their readers in conversation online and hopefully the reader will take it offline.

Blogging about life in Israel helps demystify the oleh’s daily existence and allow the readers to better understand and maybe relate to our lives. Nefesh B’Nefesh understands how vital it is for olim to blog and share our stories with the outside world. Maybe our blogging will encourage others to follow suit and move here. Maybe it will just increase support for Israel and it’s citizens. Granted not all of the Jewish bloggers at the conference blog about life in Israel but most of them do.

It was very apparent to me that the organizers of the event understood the value of blogging but are not very familiar with the blogging world and could have used an expert in blogging & in the user generated content world.

I am not a fan the First Int’l Jewish Blogging Conference conference on so many different levels but I am not going to discuss all of the reasons why in this post. Last night I was in the mood to write a post ripping the event to shreds but in the morning light I decided that would not be a productive solution to my frustrations. Instead I am going to post my advice on how to make the next conference that much better.


Here is some of my free advice:

The conference should last one whole day & be split up into two separate parts. First half of the day should be how to become better bloggers and create a larger audience and the second part of the conference should have multiple panels showcasing the different types of Jewish blogs.

How to blog better should cover:

How do we as bloggers create more flow of information online and hopefully offline with our readers?

How does a blog gain new readers and retain readers?

Topics to be Discussed are: regular postings, limiting the length of the post, using pictures, videos in the post to make it more engaging, blog aesthetics, linking, interacting with other blogs, blog statistics & etc

*A very important aspect of blogging is to understand the pattern of behavior between the blog and its readers. Who is the target audience for your blog? Are you addressing their needs or just your own? Do you respond to comments?

The second part of the conference: Showcasing popular Jewish Blogs and their authors

Getting to know the blogger –
What made these popular bloggers start writing, continue writing (when we all lack time in our lives), share funny stories about meeting readers offline, discuss controversial posts that gained a lot of +/- feedback online, share with the audience funny key words that have driven traffic to their blogs.

For the attendees:

*Stream the entire conference live but it must be archived on the web and broken down into the different segments of the conference so we can all review it.

*Create a open list of all the blogs and authors in attendance so that we can read/link/connect to new bloggers and create more online dialogue.

*Share with the audience why these specific blogs were picked for the panel.

*Share with the audience the statistics for the blogs showcased on the panel. Average unique visitors/day, reader locations and words that drive traffic to their sites. This information should be distributed in the folder.

**change the name of the conference. It was not representative of the international Jewish blogging community. Where were the South America, South Africa, Europe, Russia etc. bloggers?

I am sure I have more ideas on how to better the conference but at this point I have severely exceeded my 140 character limit and my brain hurts.

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