July 9, 2010

Explaining This Blog Part II: Not Hasbarah

Here is a quote from a Wikipedia article:

Israel's public diplomacy efforts are called hasbara in Hebrew, also spelt hasbarah, is a noun that literally means "explanation". The term has been used by the State of Israel and by supporters of Israel to describe their efforts to explain Israeli government policies, and to promote Israel to the world at large. Detractors view hasbara as a euphemism for propaganda.

So that's not what I want to do here. I do not intend to explain the actions of the Israeli government. One of the good reasons I am not going to do that, is that mostly I think the actions of the Israeli goverment are not very clever.
However, the life in southern Israel is interesting. At least I think it is. So I intend to report here about life in southern Israel, in a long and thoughful way.

June 29, 2010

Explaining This Blog Part I: Long and Thoughful

I have been reading blogs on the web for the past three years or so. I know, that makes me very outdated, because blogging has been around for at least a decade. There it is, I'm outdated.
Also, I notice that most blogs nowadays are short, almost twitter like. Some of the blogs I read are very personal, and some belong to the 'general good advice' category.
Most blogs I know by Israelis are in Hebrew. In fact, being a Hebrew speaking Israeli, makes writing an English blog a pretty unusual choice.
Also, most people blog every day.
So. what's my point?
The point is that I want a blog that is more thoughtful. I want to be not up to date. For example, I want to write books reviews about Alice in wonderland, or movie reviews about 'Hair', or music reviews about the Monkees.
I think it is possible to do it from where I'm sitting. Beer Sheva, my home town, has supposedly been around since at least 3,000 years ago (the days of Abraham the patriarch), and word has it that it has not changed much since...
So I'm not going to post every day, I'm not going to be up to date, I'm not going to tell you my personal thoughts about the lines at the post office (unless I'm really mad, because they can are insufferable here...), and I'm certainly not going to offer you advice about how to buy LCD TVs, or how to market your hand woven baskets.
If so, next week I'll explain a few other things that I'm not going to do...

June 22, 2010

Rethinking This Blog

I've been a (very small and unsuccessful) Israeli publisher for a bit more than three years now.
It may be possible to earn money from old paper publishing, heck it may even be possible to make money from old paper publishing in Israel! However, it takes a lot of time (you have to find the right book, have the right connections, do the right marketing, which involves not very small amounts of cash...) and the chances are not that great.
Then you have the English Speaking World. It is a wonderful world in which (a very small precentage of)  writers make huge amounts of money, or at the very least, a decent number of people can make a decent living off of.
Supposedly this world is right at your doorstep, all you have to do is get an ISBN and put your book in Amazon, right?
Dunno, didn't try, some of my (fairly famous and anyway good writer) friends did try, and sold about ten copies in ten years. OK, they are now known all over the world, albeit by a very small number of people, but you can hardly call this a raging success.
So you got to go out there and introduce yourself. Living in Beer Sheva Israel means you can't just go to your local US TV network and do that. Your book will not be chosen by Oprah. So you got to try something else.
Maybe blogging?