One of the things about blogging that continues to thrill me is the ease at which anyone in any language can share their thoughts, feelings, daily life, experiences, history, culture, and expertise with the world. One of the things that pisses me off the most is the fact that there is a huge wall blocking the flow of communication through blogs: the language barrier.
There are translation WordPress Plugins and sites where you can have a web page translated from one language into yours, but only the “big” languages are covered. You have to have access to the Plugin or jump through hoops to get the page translated – which is still a barrier to learning about what Boris in St. Petersburg has to say about his life working as an engineer at a aircraft maintenance facility; or Paolo in Brazil who worries about the floods that recently threatened his home town a few hundred kilometers away and how that will impact his family who has a farm there; or reading what Chyun has to say about her friends at school who teased her recently because she told them that she liked the new boy in class; or learning more about what Siniyah thinks about investing in India and globally.
Until the language barrier is broken on blogs, we’re left with reading blogs written by those who speak and write our language. That is, unless you have friends who can read the language and help you learn more about what others are saying in a language you don’t understand.
Thus it was that I asked two new Israeli friends of mine to help share with you some our favorite Israeli bloggers in honor of WordCamp Israel, October 25, 2007, in Tel Aviv. be I will attending and meeting many bloggers from around the county, and I wanted to share with you some of those who may be attending the conference.
My two cohorts on this project are Miriam Schwab, the blogger behind Illuminea, WordPress Garage, and Israel Plug, the latter being a “good news” blog about Israel, and Tal Galili of Tal Galili and Bio Statistics.
Because Israel attracts so much controversy, there are a lot of bloggers who thrive on controversy, but we wanted to focus on blogs that deal with the day to day life of Israelis, their fears, tears, hopes, dreams, and life in Israel. Between the three of us, we dug up business bloggers, family bloggers, work-at-home bloggers, cultural perspective bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, personal bloggers, and a ton of different types of blogs all written by Israelis or foreigners living and working in Israel. We wanted to introduce you to the real people, the ones who get up in the morning, go to work, raise their families, and want what we all want in the world – to get along and through.
Israeli Bloggers Blogging in English
The first group of Israeli bloggers are written in English. The second group are written in Hebrew.
Hummus 101, in Hebrew and English, is considered the foremost expert blog on the subject of hummus/humus/humos/hummos, that chick pea paste ground up dip for pitas, crackers, and anything you want to smear humus on. The blog features recipes, trivia, video, and recommended restaurants where you can find the best hummus around the world. It’s called “hummus for the masses”, and it is a treat. Who knew there was so much you could write about this ancient recipe enjoyed (and claimed) by Jews, Arabs, Turks, Russians, Spanish, and more. Okay, there is a lot more to write about, but it always comes back to hummus.
- Voting for Hummus [updated]: so I’m Anti-Bush
- Everything you need to know about Msabecha (plus Recipes)
- Video Tutorial: Making Hummus like in New-York’s Hummus Place
- Are Falafel and Tahini nutritious too?
- Israeli Salad recipe
- Who stole my hummus?
Six Kids And A Full Time Job is written by Michael Eisenberg, a partner at Benchmark VC. With seven children, he has a lot of responsibilities and knows how to juggle his priorities. He blogs about his insights into technology, venture capital, and business issues related to Israel as well as the international marketplace.
- New Way to Recruit Execs to Israeli Companies
- How Not To Say I Am Sorry Before Yom Kippur
- Yahoo’s Woes
- My Travel Week: Great to Worst
- Funny Collaborative Filtering
- In-Video Ads – How Do You Define Relevance?
Blonde 2.0 offers a woman’s perspective on Israel life, but her main focus is on social media and Web 2.0 technologies. While there are many female bloggers in Israel, she is recognized as one of the few and best blogging on technology issues.
- Social Networking At Its Best
- The Extraordinary Everyday Lives Podcast Show
- The Weakest Argument Against Web 2.0 Yet
- The Death of Web 2.0? C’mon…
- The Art Of Conversational Marketing
- Have We Forgotten How to Sustain Deeper Relationships Due To Web 2.0?
This Normal Life is a general look at life in Israel with restaurant reviews, commentaries on the news, life as a parent, religious and cultural news and more about living in Israel “normally”.
- Rosh Hashana Food Fight
- New Minyan in Jerusalem Brings Jews, Christians and Muslims Together
- Day Away 2: From Pre-State to Post-Modernism in Tel Aviv
- The Charms of Rehovot
Ouriel Ohayon, an immigrant from France, blogs about entrepreneurship, venture capital, investments, startups, social media, and pauses once in a while to share his love of jazz. He will be speaking at the conference on the business of blogging.
- What is Facebook waiting for…?
- StyleShake is open for business
- Is there space for MySpace in Israel?
- The 2 media realities
- Go2Web2 now in Hebrew and the 2 kinds of Israeli websites
Media, Technology, and Rebel Filmmaking covers social media and web technologies, with a special emphasis on Internet video and multi-media. Another speaker on the business panel at the forum, his articles are very indepth and often tackle tough subjects on web technologies.
- Quality, Not Quantity of Readers, is the Value Driver of Your Business Blog
- Tjoon – A Refreshing New Video Application
- LinkedIn Adds Profile Pictures – So What?
- Tailor Your Social Media Strategy to Your Industry’s Rules of Engagement
- Why and How Internet TV Creators Shoot Themselves In The Foot – Myself Included
- My 10 Facebook Tips and Tricks
Adrian Wajsbrem writes on business and Israel and works as a consultant to technology companies. His blog offers statistics, lists, news, tips, and information to help businesses and individuals. While it sounds dry, it is actually very interesting and you never quite know what new bits and pieces he will uncover to help you.
- Global Energy Snapshot
- Top Music Sites
- 17 Highly Useful Firefox Addons
- Israeli Entrepreneur Meetups
- Guide to Low Cost, High-Impact Websites
- Private Securities Exchanges: could Israel advance with one?
An Unsealed Room (A Window on Life in Israel) with Allison Kaplan Sommer is a personal blog that covers family, life in Israel, and more. Some of it is highly personal and touching, some of it funny. The posts tend to be short and erratic, but often worthwhile.
- It’s September 11, and You Know What That Means….
- Johnny Depp Nightmares
- And To Think We Knew Them When They Were Mere Bloggers
- Never Blog Anything Bitchy About Someone At a Conference….
Aliyah! Step-by-Step: Making a Life in Israel is about Yael and her immigration to Israel and is a lovely written commentary on her life, adaptation, and perspective on the world around her, and passionate about animals, especially her seven cats. A teacher, her writing is insightful, fun, and has a lot of satirical punches.
- Strike! Dear g-d yes!
- Free legal help :)
- My cats have taken up sky diving
- Israeli childrens’ home helps children of all faiths and nationalities
- Furious. Outraged. Our police are f’ing useless
- Operation Hide-a-Cat (or 5)
What War Zone, by Benji Lovitt, is a rip roaring perspective on Israeli life and winner of the People’s Choice Awards and Best Jewish Humor Blogs for Jewish and Israeli Blogs. A fairly new immigrant to Israel who is struggling to find his way around this totally screwed up county, Lovitt shares his view on his new life in Israel with a twisted sense of humor.
- He’s Dead! No, He’s Not! Who Cares? KEEP BUILDING!!!
- I Think I’m Going to Name My First-Born Daughter…
- What has three legs, reads the paper, and likes falafel balls
- Stand-Up Comedy in Israel
- The Talentless Biotch Formerly Known as Bar
Israel Plug is a “good news” about Israel site that features news and information on business, technology, education, art, culture, and life in Israel.
- Street and Graffiti Artist in Israel – Profile of AME72
- The homework machine a reality with Israel start-up Shvoong
- Polite Israelis: a possibility in our lifetime, thanks to new contest
- Israeli money makeover: Goodbye 5 agurot, Hello 2 shekel coin and plastic bills
- Fraud Sciences technology to stop online purchasing fraud
Aliyah Blog – Moving Up in the World is another aliyah blog, a blog about someone immigrating to Israel, though it appears that this blogger has been in Israel for a few years. His perspective comes as a religious man finding his way in a, shall I say “unorthodox” country. His posts are funny and delightful, and he has a great skill for poking fun at himself and his religion, while making some good points.
- Condaleeza, Please Go Home, You Mess Up the Traffic
- High Tax Burden on the Minority in Israel
- Can one take a job knowing that he wont be able to daven?
- Learning Hebrew Slang
- 10 Signs that Your American-born Toddler is Going to be Totally Israeli
- Rules of Chazzanut
Treppenwitz is another award winning blogger writing about life in Israel which covers his life as a parent, and trying to cope. His posts are funny, colorful, and often touching as he shares his thoughts.
- A workable solution… perhaps (on smoking)
- A little light doomsday reading
- Make sure they’re nodding when the music stops
- What the heck is a Gadfly?
- [Waste] My time… [spend] your money
Hebrew Language Blogs
My friends had a hard time limiting their choices for their favorite Hebrew language blogs, and came up with these, including why they enjoy these bloggers. Note: Publishing Hebrew in WordPress is fairly easy, but has its challenges, especially when my Hebrew is at the preschool level. Spelling mistakes are mine. Apologies in advance.
שיר השרירים is a play on words for “The Muscles Songs”, this blog by Dina Rult, a doctor of biology, shares the interesting news, articles, and research she stumbles across for her work.
יומן האיקידו ויפן של זאב ארליך “is a pearl”, says Tal. It is the Aikido diary of Zeev Eirlich and covers his life with aikido, Japan, and Israel. Tal says “it’s an amazingly sensitive and gentle blog that often brings a smile to your face.”
בצק אלים is another favorite of many Israelis, and title of the blog is a play on words that could be interpreted as “God’s Dough” or “Violent Dough”. Tal and Hannit say that this is one of the most “beautiful food blogs in Hebrew”.
Some other popular blogs and bloggers writing in Hebrew include:
- דברים קטנים
- קטור בלוג
- העונה הבאה
- ואן דר גראף אחותך
- שעת לילה מאוחרת
- יומנו של האקר
- המדריך לטרמפיסט בסטטיסטיקה
Other Sources for Israeli Bloggers
Do you have a favorite we missed?
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.