10 things about turning ten (celebrating a decade of lizrael update)

Where’s my cake? lizrael update turns ten-years-old today!

That’s six months longer than I’ve lived here. That’s two more years than I’ve been married. That’s five more years than I’ve been a parent. That’s as long as I’ve been out of my first university.

It’s the longest-running project I’ve ever undertaken, with no deadline or end in sight. I’m proud because as a kid and past my teens, my creative pitfall was (and still is) not finishing what I started. I’m probably a bit insane because… really? Who’s blogged for ten years? Who is still blogging in 2014??

Finally, not finishing what I start is worth something.

Here’s to you, once-newfangled writing format I was skeptical of back in 2004 and needed good friends to convince me to try! Thanks for all the good times, the learning times, the up-till-4am-fixing-this-goddam-thing times!

Here are ten things I have to say in honor of my blog turning ten:

  1. In the beginning, I was tracking my move across the world. What I quickly realized was, it was also a way to exercise my writing chops without feeling like homework.
  2. My advice to others: If journaling feels good to you, and you stick it out for those tough first 3 months, I mean three years, I mean forever – it just becomes part of who you are and how you communicate and relate to the world.
  3. ^That said – blogging has majorly evolved in the last decade; that’s probably an understatement. So now you might consider photoblogging, microblogging, Twitter, public Facebook profile, or 39573485 other ways to build your space online in the way you like.
  4. I’m in a relationship with this thing. Sometimes I want to hug it. Sometimes I’m disgusted and want to look away. Sometimes I want to twirl in a field of lilies with it.
  5. Reading old blog posts is like looking in a really distorted mirror.
  6. So much has changed! I started with a private site on LiveJournal, converted over to Blogger, then WordPress.com, and finally WordPress. I did open a Tumblr account ages ago, but didn’t it feel it would work for me.
  7. In a way, getting into blogging turned me on to my career. Among other things (hi, thefacebook), it was part of a greater culture I joined when I graduated from university with my first degree (in nothing practical).
  8. Thanks to all the people I’ve met over the last decade! Seriously – I’ve met tons of readers, fellow bloggers, fellow expats, aliyah-curious – some of whom I’ve spoken to from across the world and met for coffee, some of whom I’ve corresponded with for months till meeting them in person, some of whom have become friends. Like, real-life friends (hi SG!).
  9. I’ll admit: there’s a lot I don’t say. There’s been an internal conflict about being private vs public. Gave up privacy years and years ago. You a pay a price.
  10. I’m glad to be creating some quirky/fun/sentimental footprints for my kids to discover one day.

Blogging may be in or may be out. We can call this something else from now on… content creation, sure. Living online. Personal branding. (It used to be an ‘online journal.’)

Whatever it is…

Whether it’s out there for the world or in a word doc…

Whether it’s for kids or friends or no one…

Whether it’s proofread and polished or riddled with typos…

I do highly recommend carving out a space, sharpening your style, building a bit of yourself in some corner of the written world.

Aright, back to blogging.

The way the Internets are played in Israel.

This is a funny kind of report, funded by Google Israel, but it’s still interesting to note: Arabs in Israel blog more than Jews, study finds (or if you can’t stomach JPost so well, here’s Israel Hayom).

It’s not surprising that over 70% of Israelis surf the internet. It is kinda interesting to learn that Haredim beat out Hilonim (secular) when it comes to video-watching online – it’s 81% over 73%. Wonder what website all those shiurim are on.

Some more bite-size pieces:

  • On Captain Obvious: “The study found that the online habits of Israelis directly reflect the country’s social, economic, cultural and religious makeup, with the secular public being more connected to the Internet than the ultra- Orthodox, higher earners and young people spending more time on social networking platforms and Hebrew speakers preferring to surf Hebrew-language websites.”
  • On blogging: According to the study, Israeli Arabs prove more active in their blogging than their Jewish counterparts. 28.3% of Arab speakers reported writing a blog said they updated it daily, while only 12% of Jewish bloggers said the same. 37% of the blog-reading Arab population does so  everyday, with 24% of blog-reading Jews read with such frequency.
  • On video watching: “Comparing the Jewish and Arab sectors, research found that 76% of Jews and 63% of Arabs watch online videos, although more Arab users (27%) upload videos than Jewish users (19%).”
  • Pretty much true: And not shocking. All the recent immigrants aged 15-17 responded that they’re active in social media.

Also, 87%-98% of surveys are pretty much for entertainment value.