Thursday, May 04, 2006

What A Rabbi Needs To Know About Blogs

I will, God-willing, be speaking next Monday (5 pm) at the RCA convention on the subject of what a rabbi needs to know about blogs. The following is a brief outline of my planned remarks. As usual, feel free to comment. I'm more than prepared to change some of this speech if someone comes up with good ideas that I'm missing.

(Before anyone asks, this event is only open to members of the RCA.)

  1. Introduction

    1. Why should a rabbi care about blogs?
    2. 3 types of rabbis

  2. What is a blog?

    1. Technical definition
    2. 2 types of blogs
    3. Blog stats

  3. Who writes a blog and why?

    1. Insiders, outsiders, professional commentators, the seldom-heard everyman
    2. Amateurs

      1. Outlet for the frustrated
      2. Anonymous commentary
      3. Get out a message
      4. Fun

    3. Professionals

      1. Immediate
      2. Less formal
      3. Testing ground

  4. What impact do blogs currently have?

    1. Media: source for stories and quotes
    2. Breaking news, immediate reports on events, inside perspectives
    3. News the media will not report, for better or worse
    4. Continuing discussion of stories
    5. Online learning
    6. Reach of blogs

      1. Chassidish and Yeshiva worlds
      2. Rabbis
      3. Academia
      4. Global village

  5. What blogs and topics are popular?

    1. JIB awards
    2. Inspirational blogs
    3. Commentary on current events blogs
    4. Torah blogs
    5. Israel blogs
    6. Skeptic blogs
    7. Prominent personality blogs
    8. Scandal blogs
    9. Hipster Judaism blogs
    10. Miscellaneous

  6. Which blogs must a rabbi follow?


  7. Are blogs a permanent part of the Jewish community?

    1. Yes and no
    2. The fading thrill of scandal and skepticism
    3. Other internet media that have diminished in importance

      1. Communities/forums
      2. E-mail lists

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