Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some Thoughts on the J-Blogger Convention

I, like Batya, arrived late and missed the workshops and/or hanging out. My reason was a fruitless wait for a refrigerator repairman. He showed up later and we ended up throwing out a bunch of spoiled food. Oh well.
Before school started would have been a better time so more people could participate.
I was glad to see various people I know and don't get to see very often, such as Batya and Yisrael Meidad, David Bedein and a few others. Sorry more weren't there. I had an extensive and very friendly conversation with Jonathan Rosenblum. He likes my comments on Cross-Currents, calling them thoughtful rather than the usual reactive. That was nice. Go there and see if you agree.
Ron Dermer as a speaker was a guy who I would love to vote for if he was running for Congress, but it seems to me Bibi will use him and throw him away. It will be interesting to see the results of the next vote for leader of the Likud. Bibi will lose support and may even lose.
With the emphasis on free enterprise, pluralism and individual initiative, why were there no exhibitors in the lobby selling books, tapes, software, internet, whatever? Hey, it defrays costs, people.
Food should have been mehadrin and it should have been clear where it was coming from and the hechsher.
The pitch of the conference organizers seemed to be to the left and to the non-frum direction compared to the people attending. Yet, an international Jewish bloggers' gathering should have been not exclusively Anglo. French, Hebrew, Spanish and Russian should have been around.
The Web Yeshiva should have been around. I know Rabbi Brovender was out of the country, but someone should have been there representing that significant experiment in Torah online networking.
This is my scattershot reaction at present. Please comment and I may have more to say later.


Batya said...

Fantastic points, goyish.
The jblogging world shouldn't fear "coming out" more strongly as Jews. There's so much Yiddishkeit on the internet. The organizers should have celebrated it, rather than hiding it behind their idea of potential popularity.

Please blog more often, here, of course.

Hadassa said...

I'm not a blogger, but I've noticed quite a few complaints about this conference. Perhaps it's time to organize a conference that not ashamed to say, "we are Jews first and bloggers second"? It doesn't have to compete with the existing conference. I imagine that the blogging world can handle two conferences a year. If more sprout up like mushrooms after a good rain, the best will continue and the others won't have a big enough following.
Rav Levanon says that honest competition brings improvements.

goyisherebbe said...

Nefesh B'Nefesh was started by religious people, but it wants to work with the "mainstream" to bring all sorts of Jews home on aliya. The Jewish Agency has "privatized" North American aliya by subcontracting it out to NBN. The J-Blogger thing is being harnessed to serve that worthy purpose, so they are trying to make it look as "general" as possible. Grin and bear it. If there are any general bloggers' events online or anywhere where any of our friends are, we should get our presence in there.