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.

Old school.

Lately it seems like so much of old school life is stopping by to visit; I blame the gosh-darn social networks on the inter-thing.

It hit me yesterday that I’m at the stage in life where at any point, I can bump into a kid I was a camp counselor for, 12 years later when they are no longer 4 years old and they are strewn across a Facebook profile littered with txt speak.

Yikes. Old much?

Or I get tagged in photos so old they must have been scanned into the computer because there were no consumer digital cameras in the mid-90s. Standing around with a couple of high school sophomore boy friends on some Brooklyn street.

Then of course, there is getting friend requests from high school classmates I never would have remembered existed if I never went back and skimmed my yearbook (where is that thing, anyway?).

It sure is nice to have it all out there, stopping occasionally for a cyber tap on the shoulder instead of crashing into me at a high school reunion.

You think *this* blog is cool?

Check this out: Shin.Tech Blogs

It’s a site put together by the Shin Bet (also known as the Shabak), Israel’s general security service (like the American FBI). It follows the blogs of four agents who remain anonymous but talk about different angles of their service:

י’ – המוח הטכנולוגי

‘Yud’ The technological mind;

ח’ – האישה הסודית

‘Chet’ The ‘secret’ woman;

א’ – המומחה

‘Aleph’ – The expert;

נ’ – על חייו הכפולים

‘Nun’ – The double life.

The idea for the Shin Bet was to give potential recruits a peek into the life of a secret service agent. I think it’s also probably nice for these agents to be able to express something in public, however little it may be, since their own families don’t know about their professions.

Of course, it’s all in Hebrew. Plus they don’t seem to update very often… But what do you expect from the people fighting terrorism, drugs, counterespionage?

Tel Aviv might be hi-tech, but Jerusalem is Online.

Last night I spent a lovely evening at a hi-tech geek party, otherwise known as MashBash. I love it when my hi-tech self and my Israel self combine into one crazy combustication of awesomeness.

There are so many reasons I love these gatherings:

  • They are parties with a premise, so the drinking is casual, the conversation is lively and everyone is just about on the same level of awesomegeek; there’s pretty much one wavelength.
  • It’s a chance to network for business but also to meet Israelis and other immigrants.
  • And usually, the drinks are free.

Of course, the center of hi-tech in Israel – or at least, hi-tech parties – is Tel Aviv. Jerusalem does have a fair effort (like my company, among others) and it’s blogosphere can stand on its own. Bloggers usually meet at each other at parties or events and it’s always fun to see the face behind the URL.

So last night I met the owner of Jerusalem Online, which is

“the first video news update from Israel in English sent directly to your e-mail on a daily basis. This short, to-the-point, balanced update is brought to you by Israel’s leading television news source, Channel 2 News.”

It’s a great way for Jerusalem bloggers to keep Israeli news on their sites and a convenient tool for people outside of Israel to get direct news in English. You can get the video code by pressing “Get this” under the video and embed straight into your blog.

Like so many others, I’ve fallen deeply in love with the Israeli hi-tech scene, whether Jerusalem or Tel Aviv style. Next time I’m at one of these events, I’ll raise a glass (of free alcohol) to hi-tech, to the Israeli brain and to the wealth of the new-age Middle Eastern oil machine.

Internet Media and me.

I was asked to participate on a panel discussion on Monday, representing Mideast Youth. The panel is called: Internet Media: Strategies and Challenges facing Internet News Web and Blog sites.

I think I’ll focus on the fact that Mideast Youth is more than a media center or news blog. It’s actually about communication between people across the region who can’t otherwise communicate… if it weren’t for the convenience and openness of the web.

In case you’re in the area, and interested, here are the details:

SPJ-Arab Journalists

Monday, Dec. 3, 2007
Ambassador Hotel, Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem
1st Floor Conference Room

Sponsored by NAAJA, SPJ-Arab Journalists

PANEL 1: Internet Media: Strategies and Challenges facing Internet News Web and Blog sites
Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, 12-2:30

– Moderator, Charley Warady, co-host, Israelisms, an online weekly audio blog of life in Israel (Confirmed)
– Alan Abbey, Former editor,, one of the most popular English language news sites from Israel (Confirmed)
– Khaled Abou-Aker, Editor,, a center for Palestinian, Israeli and Middle East opinion (Confirmed)
– [Me], one of the highest ranked Middle East news blogs on the Internet (Confirmed)
– Fadi Abu Sada, Director Palestine News Network, an online news agency (Confirmed – or a representative if he is not allowed to cross from Bethlehem)
– Sherif Hedayat, standup comedian, online video producer

PANEL 2: Traditional Media: Strategies and Challenges facing coverage of the Palestine-Israel Conflict
Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, 2:45-5:30

– Moderator: Ray Hanania, syndicated columnist, SPJ-Arab Journalists coordinator, and Arab Writers Group Syndicate manager. (Confirmed)
– Steve Linde, managing editor, The Jerusalem Post, editor at Israel Radio. Linde has worked at the Jerusalem Post for the past 10 years and 18 years at Israel Radio. (Confirmed)
– Lisa Zilberpriver, reporter Haaretz Newspaper. (Confirmed)
– Dion Nissenbaum, McClatchy Newspapers Jerusalem Bureau (Confirmed)
– Joel Greenberg, Middle East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune (Confirmed)
– Zaki Abu Al-Halaweh, correspondent for al-Quds Newspaper (Confirmed)
– Issa Sharbati, correspondent for al-Hayat al-Jadida newspaper (Confirmed)

The event is open to the public. We encourage you to have lunch at the Ambassador Hotel prior to the conference.

Would you buy Internet from the guru parrot?

In the last week, Bezeq rolled out a new edition to it’s psycho parrot ad campaign. I meant to post it earlier, but let’s face it: I don’t get around to doing things that turn me off as quickly. But as Lena points out in her comment, this one is not that bad. I still think it’s strange, but it looks like the parrot found religion and sobered up:

sober parrot guru