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The Nefesh B’Nefesh’s First International Jewish Bloggers Convention takes place next Wednesday, and while there are those who see it as a great opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and discuss how to improve the craft, there are predictably those who see it as a great opportunity to bitch and moan.
A number of bloggers are complaining that the conference is slanted in favor of Orthodox bloggers with right-wing political leanings. I assume they base this on the list of attendees and panelists, which does seem to have a large proportion of such bloggers.
But here’s the deal. Anyone can register, and the panelists were chosen mainly on the basis of traffic and influence. And given that Nefesh B’Nefesh’s agenda is to promote aliyah (immigration to Israel), they have chosen pro-Israel bloggers, and probably tried to steer clear of controversial Jewish bloggers, who’s agenda includes bashing their fellow Jews.
I am particularly disappointed in the attitude of fellow anglo-Israel blogger Lisa Goldman, who claims no interest in the conference since she’s “more interested in the complexities of Israeli life than in blogging about aliyah-related themes,” and “would have preferred a conference for Israeli bloggers where Arabs could participate.” She also throws in the “politically slanted” argument. Besides the apparent condescension, Lisa also claims she doesn’t “like agenda blogging.” Sorry, Lisa, but I am calling BS on that. What you do is agenda blogging (your agenda being to promote Arab-Israeli dialog). What you meant is you “don’t like blogging for an agenda that does not fit mine.”
I have to also laugh at the Ha’aretz article’s mention of the blog Failed Messiah:
Although Failed Messiah was a finalist in the 2007 Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards and has been quoted in newspapers ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Haaretz and The Forward, Rosenberg was not contacted by Nefesh B’Nefesh about the conference.
Firstly, given I founded the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards, I am qualified to say they are meaningless in terms of the “worth” of a blog. (I always love it when blogs invoke their performance in the JIBs as proof of their blogging credentials). Secondly, the argument that this anti-Judaism blogger should have been contacted by Nefesh B’Nefesh about the pro-aliyah blogger conference – because he has been cited by the mainstream media a few times – is ridiculous beyond belief.
Blogging opens up a lot of doors for a lot of people. But on the downside, it can also unleash people’s untamed egos. To the bloggers who believe they should have been invited to the conference (instead of registering like us common folk) or should have been invited to be a panelist, I say get over yourselves. And if you don’t like it, how about getting off your posterior and organizing a conference of your own. Perhaps the First International [Name of Your Blog] Admirers Convention?
Update: Check out Jameel’s post What is a JBlogger?