Or-Tal's Writings

entrepreneur/mother/education revolutionist/high tech addict



The Linkerview: Abusing the Holocaust Memory

Last week my friend, Vincent Mespoulet, a history teacher in France and the founder of “Hors Les Murs” (School beyond Walls, an international online education community), posted a link to a Le Monde article on his wall. It was a news item dealing with the Jewish orthodox demonstration in Jerusalem, which used the yellow star of David as a tool to express their feelings: “A demonstration shocks Israel”, the title read.

Why did you post it, Vincent?

“To share information among my friends. I have many contacts who are interested in Israel and Palestine. Many are also interested in feminism and the status of women around the world. The topic of women has raised special interest during the current Arab revolutions. The French media publishes many articles about it. But while we are used to finding articles in European media about extremists in Islam, we are not used to hearing about such extreme behavior in Judaism. From here it sounds exactly like in Saudi Arabia.”

In what way?

“Oppression against women is an impact of religious extremist behavior. But we have to remember the fundamentalism around the world isn’t another word for “Islam”. This article shows that fundamentalism can happen everywhere and is not specific to a single religion. Intolerance can be found everywhere. Religious fanatics are trying to re-live religion as it was thousands or hundreds of years ago. They have to realize this is not possible. Take the Egyptian female blogger who published her own nude photos to defy fundamentalism in her own country.”

But you have another interest in this story.

“Yes, I am a history teacher. As a history teacher these images where especially shocking for me. The German where shocked, and the Jewish community in Germany was ashamed. It is a cheap use of the Shoa (the Holocaust) for propaganda. Commercializing the Shoa whether of propaganda or any other use is unacceptable anywhere in the world. I would think in Israel too. It is hurting the memory of the Shoa.

When you see these people in Israel protest this way you think they are not only mad, but  they don’t know history. Don’t they learn history in schools? These people don’t really understand what had transpired then. To use the Shoa this way is shocking when used by anyone, more so when used by Jewish people in Israel.”

Could you work out the connection between the topic of the demonstration and the Holocaust visual?

“Not really. There is no connection between their rights to discriminate against women and the Shoa. There is just a fantastic connection in their minds. Unfortunately such small groups of extremists gather strength through this sort of propaganda. I would think your country needs a big debate on how history is taught throughout the country. I think people outside Israel wouldn’t dare instrumentalise the Shoa, especially in Europe. Sometimes you encounter a very small group of a few provocators that might attempt this. But to construct a full demonstration based on it… It’s all a matter of education.”

Follow Your Followers

Well, these two guys, veteran internet entrepreneurs, are starting a new web venture. Obviously I got curious. So I googled them up and found that each of them has about 3 pages: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. In that order. Their LinkedIn profiles seems relatively detailed, but I noticed for the first time that there’s no way to discover when they visited LinkedIn last or when was their profile updated. Their Facebook pages where private – which is understandable. OK, but their Twitter pages where the final straw: just a few twits, from about a year ago.

My instinctive reaction: these guys are talking about a new web venture? They don’t get the present day web at all!

Hey, I am open to your feedback on this one. Is it possible that because I am so very much connected and involved with a cloud of undefined worldwide web community that I am biased? It just feels to me like this is what the current web is all about, it’s a global conversation, and if you are not part of it – how can you make any offer to this web community, trying to sell a new web venture, product or service??

These guys are obviously not alone. I’ve recently came across several people who are similarly not “floating on the web current”. I divide them to two major groups: one is those who have never been involved in any type of online presence, and find the current personal openness and entangled involvement in this elusive community somewhere between overwhelming and intimidating.
The other group is actually people who were pretty much on top of things up to 5-10-15 years ago, but sort of let go in the recent years, to a point where they missed the big and still growing social revolution. At this point they are too embarrassed to admit they are no longer on top of things, and they claim they are either not interested, or don’t need it, or – those very important persona – don’t have time for it.

Well, just so you know – I too do not have time for social networking. Strangely enough I also don’t “make time for it”. Facebook and Twitter are present in my work day the same as my outlook, Firefox, post-it, my pens and pencils, my mobile phone and my coffee.

I found various tools that help me stay connected to my trade floor, that’s this odd social web community, with minimal time investment.

First of these tools is Digsby. This is an instant messaging program, but it also connects to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and my major online email accounts. It allows me to get streaming updates, and I don’t have to open any web page for this.

The second tool I use occasionally is Tweetdeck, which is of course useful when you create twitter lists. I only start Tweetdeck when I want to take an active role in a twitter conversation, like #edchat for example.

But really, the Twitter lists should be the topic of this post. I think each of us have several areas of interests and we follow people who belong to various groups of topics. When Twitter introduced the lists earlier this year it was one of the smartest things they have done. I can’t remember the prehistoric era. I’ve created several lists among them lists of educators, gamers, techies, entrepreneurs. If I do have some reading time allocated, I browse the lists, according to the most relevant topic to my work at the time.

Today I started to wonder how comes that Facebook, who allow grouping of contacts for ages, doesn’t enable sorting the news stream or recent updates, to group views. This would save so much time!

If you want to look for me online search for lemino. Just letting you know.

The Paradox of Online Privacy

Last night, at a diner party, people were discussing the latest online privacy issues concerning the recent changes by Facebook. One friend mentioned what she likes about people’s online presence is the fact that it is so easy to gather so much information about people. The other said she doesn’t have a Facebook account out of fear for her privacy, and mainly of loosing control over her information online.

This morning I found the latter’s personal details online: her name, position, home address, land line and mobile phone number, email, and at least one clear photo with her husbands on some non-profit organization’s newsletter.

Privacy is no longer.

Or at least it is re-defined.
If you live in this online era, you have to understand that defining your privacy on Facebook, even before the recent changes in the privacy settings, is like whispering to a friend when you are in a packed mall. You might think that only your friend heard what you whispered, but you can never be sure that a lip reader haven’t got you from the other end of the passage. You can also never be a hundred percent sure that this friend won’t repeat what you said and quote you.

Being online is being public. Being connected is being part of the public. I am not saying you can’t live without it, I’m just saying that chances are you are friends with someone who is online, and that means that a part of you, belongs to your friend, and is probably already online in a way. I think it’s valuable to gain control over your online presence. People can tag you in a photo even if you are not on Facebook or not connected to them. When you are, and the photo didn’t come out nice, you can remove your tag. If you are on Facebook and you want to see what people can see about you – use this tool. What ever is there – is available because you put it there.

The big commotion in the recent days concerns Facebook sharing your preferences and interests with advertisers, which are 3rd parties. The loss of control can justly freak us all out. Even though you are not obliged to fill out all this information – your preferences, favorites, activities and hobbies – many choose to do it, as a way of declaring their identities to their online friends, some of which don’t really know them closely. The only upside I see about the transfer of this information is that I might actually get to see some targeted advertising, and not irrelevant sometime offensive ads. If I chose to publish my interest to my hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Facebook friends, I see no problem in advertisers using this data. As long as they don’t get my personal data such as phone numbers or email or private address. There I would definitely draw the line, or start using fake data, which would back fire to Facebook.

The other thing is the Facebook “like” button populating other sites. Clicking it shows on this site, to your friends, that you liked the site or the post, and it shows on your profile too. The only difference from the previous share option is that the site may present its likers too. As a blog owner I want to use it too. Unfortunately, don’t enable this yet, and so I have to settle for the lesser version of “getsociallive” and present my likers on their servers.

The Young Problem

The main problem with online presence really concerns kids. Officially Facebook meets the COPPA laws by limiting the age of registered users to 14 and up. Practically, the average user age is dropping every day. Kids lie about their age without a blink, not thinking about it twice, and consider Facebook their own environment.

They connect with classmates, sometimes with older kids, sometimes with younger kids, but they also connect to their parents, or teachers, or guides, or friends of their parents, or older friends of the older sister… I hardly know any kids on Facebook who is not connected to adults.

The connection itself is OK. Sometimes even blessed. It leads to better relationship between youth and adults and opens a sort of a back channel of communications. But many of those kids, sometimes “friends collectors” aren’t fully aware of the face that each status may reach many circles. It’s pretty complicated for a child to manage his connections into groups and then choose each time who gets to see what.

In addition, when they submit information about themselves they often use humor and exaggeration, and not necessarily their true interests, which in turn might lead to exactly the wrong type of ads for them.
Facebook is ignoring this problem. Officially they have no data relating to kids. But at some point they will have to create a young Facebook, to enable safe and legal usage of Facebook by kids.

The United State of Now

The “140 characters – The state of now” – a globally wondering conference by Jeff Pulver arrived in Tel-Aviv this week, and I was proud to be there, even if I couldn’t attend the full day.

As I was wandering about, saying a personal face to face hello to my work colleagues, people who I meet daily online, but only get to meet offline in such events, I thought about this thing that connects us all to this event. Teachers and students, marketing specialist and technology geeks of various sorts, journalists, writers and bloggers, artists and musicians – all were there to socially network about social networking.

Social networking, since status updates and twitter – had become indeed a “state of now” thing. The sense of immediate reach is intoxicating.

But here is the thing: the dimension of now is not really there. Now turns from “in a minute” to “a minute ago” faster then we can blink. We cling to our social networks in the constant pursuit of the illusive state of now.

Journalism is probably one of the first trades to be equally threatened and excited by this new development of the NOW. Old school journalism defined the reporter as a human channel through which the news flow from the happening to the readers, listeners or viewers. In this modern “state of now” we are all reporters.

We are creators of news, transmitters of news and consumers of news. We are also editors – having to choose from the enormous amounts of channels at our disposal. We don’t have to watch the news at 8 o’clock when they are aired in order to remain up to date. We get to watch the news sources hours earlier when someone posts a link or reveals a discussion on our networks. We get to choose when we want to consume our news, what topics really interest us, how much time to dedicate to each piece of information – and Oh! We get to talk back to the news, and not just make faces to the news anchor behind the screen.

Are we infantilizing? “We are like a very young child demanding to get our satisfaction NOW! Right NOW!”, Said Yoav Tsuker from TV channel 1. “If I need help in homework – I need it NOW!”, said Michael Matias, 13 years old, “Yesterday’s news won’t help me”.

And so the attempt to capture the moment continues.

Ready to step out of the box and into online reality?

It was a strange call from reality. The whole time I have been planning my startup and working on its development I felt a little protected from reality. That big wide world I will eventually embark on, in a quest to turn my plans into a real business. But that call last week was a much needed shake.

Sivan Biran, a young and vibrant entrepreneur and the founder of her own company – Sergata – told me about the Internet-startup reality-style competition they will be running – exit09. For 4 weeks the general public will choose their favorite startup idea. The public will eventually choose 4 finalists, and a team of judges will choose their 4 finalist, and 2 of the 8 finalist will win a week work on the development of whatever you can develop in a week. The two developments will compete on the final prize – 100,000 dollars plus hardware to start it up.

I must admit, I might be a competitive person, but I am not the competitions person. I am even less a reality shows fan than I am a competition person. I wish the daring competitors all the luck and success they deserve. Of course I can’t help wondering what would have come out of twitter, for example, if it had to go through a popularity competition to justify its launch. How many votes from the public would it have received? I am not even sure about the judges votes.

It’s pretty scary out of the box. There are things there which we do not completely comprehend. Not to mention expect. I mean Twitter, again. I’d expect all the contest’ judges to have an account there. How can they judge a competition of Internet ventures if they are not ON the Internet?

No names, but here is a quick research, excluding Sivan.  Judge 1 – cannot be found on either twitter or FaceBook. Too private? Judge no. 2 has a FaceBook account with a nice photo and exactly 4 friends, and no twitter presence. Judge 3 is a lot more web active, still couldn’t find a twitter reference. Judge 4 is on Twitter, yey! Private twittering though. FaceBook page doesn’t reveal number of friends. Judge 5 has a FaceBook account, with more friends than judge 2 but a lot less then judge 3 and no twitter. Judge 6 is a mystery. Judge 7 is probably the wildest web animal of them all.

Now to the general public. Do they even know what’s a browser?

Going back to my roots I am examining the communications strategies. Reality shows communications strategies are very simple: they work like the basic popularity contests, much like in high school. They are great when you want to be a pop star. I’d even go for it when you want to market a pop product. But is the general public ready to step out of the box and into the online reality?

Facebook Therapy for Teens

I have a privilege. I am connected to so many young people, my kids age, around the world, and basically invited to peek into their lives. I am not involved. I dare not speak. But I look and listen and try to grasp their reality. I have an opportunity my parents never had.

So, first of all, I am flattered, of being trusted enough. Now comes the observation. What are they talking about? What is the mood? What impresses them or occupies them? How much of their social life is managed online, and how much is offline?

And when I am looking for the answer to this question, I wonder about the difference between online and offline socializing. What does online give, that offline can’t (there’s been enough talk about the other way around…).

There has been so much criticism about the online social life. About kids clinging to their facebook-myspace pages for hours a day. Fears regarding net-safety and cyber bullying. Scares about the re-wiring of these young brains. Talks about their physical shape, changed by the growing number of sitting hours that they spend each day.

But I would like to point out some really great things that the online socializing does and might be overlooked.

I don’t know if anyone ever bothered to run a statistics about the percentage of teens who kept a diary or expressed themselves in various forms of writing 10 or 20 years ago. But I do know they percentage of teens who do it nowadays is extremely high. According to a recent publication from 93% of teens ages 12-17 use the Internet. 64% of teens are content creators. Writers.

What does it mean? And why is it of significance? I am thinking writing and biblio-therapy here. Venting.

I remember what it was to be a teen. Flooded with extreme emotions. Living a daily drama. Struggling to gain my independence, discover and re-shape my self. Wanting to do well at my studies, yet stay alive socially. I used to write a diary. I also wrote hundreds of poems. That was my way of venting. However, I didn’t have too many sharing options, and at times, the feeling you are alone, was the toughest. This sort of writing was more “for the drawer”. Looking at my kids I see something else.

What social networks give them is the opportunity for a natural support group. The discovery that they are not alone. This is a great social achievement.

So once we take a break from criticizing teens’ “inappropriate” online behavior, let’s talk about the cultivation of a new type of teen empathy. It might be difficult for them to note in the classroom that one of the students is ‘depressed’, but once he wrote it on his FaceBook status it generates a flood of comments. Suddenly the depressed is not alone, they “joined a club”. There is a kind of comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. That’s the start of therapy.
So I am watching with wonder and see the budding of empathy, caring, humor and intellect of the next generation. I am also seeing how different this blossom is, from any previous generations.

Beware the Social Networks!

About 12 hours ago “The Mail Online” has published an article titled: “Social websites harm children’s brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist“.

The top neuroscientist quoted is Lady Susan Greenfield. She is an amazing 59 year old woman and a specialist on the physiology of the brain, a professor at the department of pharmacology at Oxford university in the UK.  A serious, serious academic.

I am dedicating this post to her achievements and to the Ada Lovelace day, and to this pledge.

I had to read the article several times to try and understand what she is saying. After all, she is a top neuroscientist. You can’t simply dismiss what she says. Being a mother of 3 children – I want to know.

I am already poisoning my kids with un-organic food, we live in a polluted city, there are cellular antennas in the neighborhood, not to mention their personal mobile phones. Am I doing some more damage to their brains by letting them have a Facebook account??

Anxiously I was looking for scientific hints in the article. The research conducted… the methods and subjects… anything to learn a little more. But the most scientific reference I found was: she “believes repeated exposure could effectively ‘rewire’ the brain”.


The article quotes her saying “Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centered” and then adds the quote “My fear is that these technologies are infantilizing the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment.”

Last month, the same lady, who is a member of the house of lords said “I often wonder whether real conversation in real time may eventually give way to these sanitized and easier screen dialogues…, in much the same way as killing, skinning and butchering an animal to eat has been replaced by the convenience of packages of meat on the supermarket shelf,” arguing that exposure to computer games, instant messaging, chat rooms and social networking sites “could leave a generation with poor attention spans”.

Well, hello and welcome to E V O L U T I O N.

Indeed not all evolutions do well for the specie. Think Mammoth for instance. Perhaps we are doomed.

But, does this mean we have to exclude all new media and stick with the old ways? Is preserving the current wiring of the brain more important than developing and arriving at new, yet unknown, places?

Here is something to think of. My 9th grader told me about her new History text book. Text books are rarely noted or gaining any sort of comment from a teenager. But she actually pointed out that this is a rather good book to study from. The book’s uniqueness is by adding several different fields of information into each page. Allowing the students to follow the main text while absorbing other types of information, some are minor others are accented.

When I encountered this fantastic presentation by Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins – things fit. I already wrote about it here.

I am not a scientist. But I believe that Lady Susan Greenfield is right. The young brains do go through some re-wiring. Sarah Robbins is right too. Students today are capable of handling a lot more information then students in the past. Call it “poor attention spans” if you like. I actually think it’s rich attention span.

I know that my Kids find it easier to absorb and process several sensory and information sources at once. They are certainly more successful at it than most adults I know and I believe they are better at it then I was as a student. Excuse me for not crediting social networking or penguin club with these achievements. I give most of the credit to the environment they are growing into and the future they are naturally preparing for.

Some of the many comments made to the article on “The Mail” try to dismiss everything as an oldie attacking the younger generation. Which makes you wonder really, about how society related to various media changes in the past century, or better yet – from print, through phones, to mass and digital media.

Still one question remains: can we really fight it, or should we find a way to use it to society’s advantage?

Control your info?? On the Internet??

I read Mark Zuckerberg’s blog titled “On Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information” and thought.

I remember a time when I regretted that my phone number appeared on the printed phone directory. Once the directory was printed and circulated there was nothing I could do to change it, delete it, retrieve it or make it go away. Hundreds of thousands of people had this private information at their disposal.
I waited a whole year till the next directory was published without my details, and hoped that people quickly dumped the older, out of date, copy.

But the online life actually awards us better opportunities to control our information, even if it’s slightly more complicated.

True, we cannot control information that was already circulated, distributed, copied or passed on to our friends and contacts, and their friends and contacts. But why not enable us full control on those items which we have published or uploaded and are identified with us? This control should be definitely ours.

Not according to Facebook. Here is the phrasing of their new terms of service, the problematic part only:
“You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.”

Facebook is assuming ownership of copyrighted material. How does that settle even with the friendliest CC? They think they have a right to use any information I put on Facebook for their own commercial gain – and to use it not only when I am using Facebook, but forever. It’s as if Flickr or Picasa will suddenly decide they own all the photos on their servers and can use them for commercial gain however they like.

To be honest, I can’t imagine giving up Facebook at the moment. I am using other networks too. Good old LinkedIn at the top, and Twitter, as one of the recent I joined. But Facebook somehow allows the mixed networking of formal and non formal, friends and family, business and fun. If you want to hear and be heard – Facebook is your main channel. You need to learn of events and happenings – this is the way. There isn’t a day I don’t visit my Facebook homepage at least once, mostly more.

But I must admit I will think twice before tagging images of myself, not to mention uploading any photos I’ve taken, adding notes or blogs or any other creations. I don’t mind very much, though, about my personal profile. Mainly because I carefully created this online profile and coordinated it with my profiles on other networks as well. I carefully chose the information I wanted to post and the information I should keep to myself. On a standard Facebook profile page one is asked, for example, on political views or religion – things that are definitely not for public sharing and eternal storing.

Back to print. I gave someone a business card. Actually, believe it or not, it was on an Internet World convention a thousand years ago. On the back I wrote my private Yahoo email address. I was recently contacted by this person. Looks like my business card survived “for ever”. But I didn’t mind the survival of such info forever. My yearbook photo also exists forever. So what?

However, if the poems I wrote to my high school sweetheart when I was 17 were suddenly published, because I was once a member of some club or network who chose to store and own it – I might have been slightly embarrassed. To some people their past creations, photos or publications can be even detrimental, financially or socially.

My suggestion? Think twice about the information you are donating to Facebook, oops, sorry, publishing on Facebook.

The Best Networking Startup Competition

Am I in the right neighborhood, or what? I know all startups who won the TWS2008 Promising Israeli Startups Competition, held yesterday by ““.   I feel very “in”, to find out I am networked with the selected.

All 10 finalists have been networking intensively and efficiently. You’ve seen the people or the company at every relevant event, on or offline. As all companies are web related, the web, especially the web 2.0 tools, are the main channel of promotion and an essential ingredient in the company’s strategy.

So let me show off and present a partial summary of my networking with these great companies :

Worklight – the natural connection is the Founder and CEO, Shahar Kaminitz. He has one of the best blogs I am following. I met him at his offices about a year ago, learned about his startup strategy and management perception, and understood at once the meaning of investment in people. Shahar, of course, has a distinctive presence on Facebook and Linkedin. Hadn’t seen him in many events though. Worklight is well covered by all web media and was featured on the 2007 Demo in the US. (It was called serendipity at the time).

Nuconomy and Yosi Taguri. I am not sure which is more familiar. Yosi lives and breaths the web. Nuconomy, based in Tel-Aviv and San-Francisco, already got coverage at TechCrunch, ZDNet, Crunchbase, Venturebeat, Readwriteweb, SiliconAlleyInsider, Ynet and many many more. The company was chosen to take part in the IsraelWebTour held last February in the Silicon Valley. Yosi is a compelling web-celeb. He always seems to me like having a blast-in-and-out of parties kind of guy. We met on several occasions including the Eurekamp, a fun get together for the finest web minds in Israel, organized by Roostam Tiger. At every web/industry/entrepreneurs related event I participated I met him: From Meetups to Jeff Pulver’s events, to MashBash and more. One of the promoting agents working for him is the light, humoristic, web-tv program he started to make with Lior Zoref from Microsoft on December 2007. Titled “experimental broadcasts” (Shidurei HaNissayon) it talks about industry news and, well, who doesn’t want to be in these news? Needless to say Yosi can be found in most social networks and is twittering vigorously.

Mo’minis and Aviv Revach can be found almost at every event Taguri is attending. Great minds think alike, don’t they? I first met the very tall Aviv Revach at the Tel-Aviv-Yafo Entrepreneurs Meetup Group I organized. Then we kept meeting at the same events: the Pulver breakfasts, conventions, MashBash, and so on. I was flattered to be invited to his birthday party! Aviv is a warm and smiling guy. His height gives him an advantage, as there is no way he will attend an event and won’ be noticed. Needless to say we are connected on facebook and linkedin and probably several more networks. He and Mo’minis, his company, have great coverage in all blogs that count.

WIX ‘s CEO, Allon Bloch was interviewed on several blogs just recently. Among them VCAFE and TechAddress, CenterNetworks, TechCrunch sited VCafe, even on the company has received coverage and at least 90 more blogs wrote about the WIX offering only in the past 2-3 months. But let’s socialize: Allon Bloch is a member of linkedin, of course. I found him in the NY Israeli Entrepreneurs Meetup Group. On facebook too. The mutual contact is Amit Knaani, who is a product manager at wix. Amit and I connected on thecoils, and our paths have crossed on many networks and events since. We’ve been net-friends by public exchange of views and opinions, experiences and mutual friends, without ever having a proper meeting.

Qoof, located in Bet-Shemesh and Manhattan, was founded by Richard Kligman. I first “met” him online when he requested to join my Linkedin group “Israeli Hi-tech Entrepreneurs Wherever” last March. The company was founded nearly two years earlier. I got to see the people in the flesh at the MashBash event in Tel-Aviv last month.

Dapper is one more fantastic winner. They probably spend some effort on SEO to be first on a 9 million Google results for the word dapper. Eran Shir, CEO, has co-founded the company with Jon Aizen, CTO at the end of 2005. Both have nice presence on Facebook and linkedin. Jon Aizen joined my linkedin group last February. Shir hasn’t made contact, yet.

Kaltura is located in New-York. It was founded about two years ago by Ron Yekutiel, Shay David and more. All have nice presence in social networks. Shay is a member of the NY Israeli Entrepreneurs Meetup of which I am also a member (you never know…). His call for voting from December 2007 is still posted on the message board of our group.

I could go on to unveil the roots of connections to HiveSight, Mocospace and WikiAnswers, but I think I have made my point: None of the winners of the TWS2008 were new to me. And that’s good news to these companies (and to me). These guys network! And networking is one major task on the CEO/Founder’s desk today. Can’t lead if you can’t network.



Open their minds. Break the borders.

Jeff Pulver is an international seasoned business man, who travels for breakfast. He is also a social networking guru. He has almost 5000 contacts on Facebook. Two months ago I met Jeff at one of his Social Networking Breakfast, I think it was the first one he did in Tel-Aviv. The event was organized via Facebook. To prepare for the event Jeff sent to people the following Pulver Kit Video. The idea, if I am to simplify it, is to take tools that we know from web based social networking, into the real world. People tag themselves, and they tag other people they meet.

I decided to run a little experiment. I took three 8th graders (my daughter and 2 friends) with me to the event. They had to watch the Pulver Kit video first, and I also showed them how ning works. Then I let told them that their assignment is to tag others and get tagged. The event was a huge success. Jeff, said it was the largest breakfast event he ever held. More than 150 people attended the cafe at the port of Tel-Aviv. The girls were a little hesitant at the beginning but quickly understood the spirits and became a hit. Look at them here, interviewed by Jeff: Noa, Shaii & Keshet

06-Feb-14 09-06-33

At the end of the event I told them that I thought of throwing a similar event for all the 8th graders (finishing elementary and going to various hi-schools next year) and that this can serve as a good basis to create their own network, aimed at keep in touch.

The girls said that what they really enjoyed is meeting new and interesting people and they would rather do an event with the 7th graders or even an event with the 8th graders’ parents!

They have discovered the greatness of social networking. The ability to meet other people and talk to them like equals. The ability to learn of things one may never reach without the great borderless social networking.

On the way they back they were already discussing how to connect to teenagers like themselves from other cities and nationalities.

Now they are open!

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