Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

26
Sep

Voice your opinion

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Shalom all!

In the past few weeks I have been thinking about ways to improve this service, and new features to add, within my limits. I want to make this service as friendly as possible to all, and as an evidence – I produced a new instructional video (watch here) that explains how to use this service, step by step (and thanks again to Adam from his help). I also want to add new features, that you the users (many of you I consider my online friends) would love, appreciate, and use.

So this is a call from me to you, to voice your opinion. Tell me (either in the comments, or email, or with Twitter) what are your thoughts. What should I add to this service, which new features you would like to see, what needs improvement, and any other thoughts you might have. I’d like to hear anything you have to say!

So, please take the time to write your suggestions. I promise to consider them all!

Thank you and all the best from the Holy Land!

Alon

22
Sep

Announcing next Jerusalem ride

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Shalom all,

Just wanted to say that next week I plan to go to Jerusalem and the Western Wall again. The exact day is unknown at this time (depends on the availability of volunteers in Jerusalem), but it’s going to be either next Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (Sep. 29th, 30th and Oct. 1st, respectively).

If you tweet your prayers until next Monday (Setp. 28th), it is most likely that your prayer will be placed in the crevices of the Western Wall next week (I say ‘most likely’ because as we all know there’s nothing certain in life but death and taxes). If you send your prayers after Monday, It’s going to require a lot of efforts on my behalf to get them ready in time, and so I make no guarantees.

Moreover, please tweet about this service to all your followers, and give them a chance to send their prayers on this occasion. I’d like to take this opportunity and really give many people something meaningful to them.

Please don’t leave your prayers in the comments below. If you need guidance on how exactly to tweet your prayers, you’re advised to take a look at this video.

Yours with love from the Holy Land,

Alon

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21
Sep

What my father and I built on Rosh HaShana

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Here’s a teaser for you: The pictures below show a part of a contraption my brilliant engineer father and I built during Rosh-HaShana long weekend. It DOES have to do with this project. Could you guess what it does and how it is used? More details to come soon… :)

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Feel free to write your guesses in the comments :)

UPDATE: It’s not enough to say what it is, you also need to say how it’s used.. :)

UPDATE #2 (Sep. 22, 6pm Jerusalem time): I guess it wasn’t such a big mystery to you guys.. yes, it is a part of an automatic prayer spooler. It is meant to be put on a sewing machine instead of the regular roll of string, and should roll any piece of paper it has in it. It’s just a prototype and we still have a lot more to do, but you have to admit it’s pretty cool  :) I’ll take a video of it in action and will upload it to youtube.

Congrats to Mandi, for being the quickest person to say what it is. Kelly from Ohio gave the most complete answer and also deserves praise. Mark Ferneau, Adam Hanin, QuarkSpin, Fr. Allen Peyton, Anderson Rodrigues, Kelley and Effie Suggs – You are all right!  Each of you is rewarded one cookie; Mandy and Kelly get two.

17
Sep

Tenacity- Sticking to your goals

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Shalom everyone,

Today I bring you some exciting news.

1. As many of you may know, for a long time there were many users on Twitter that weren’t able to send their prayers to the Kotel, because of reasons I explained in the past. Mainly it was because Twitter limits the number of people you can follow at once (so I couldn’t follow them back), and because I had to follow thousands of people completely manually, one by one.

I’m happy to announce that both these problems were solved. First of all, a few days ago Twitter emailed me to say that my request has been accepted, and I will no longer have a following limit. Secondly, I managed to get a semi-automatic solution for following many people at once. In the past few days I followed-back over 3,000 people; they can now tweet their prayers. I know I’ll be under heavy fire with prayers coming in from 3,000 new followers – but it’s definitely something I welcome. :)

Here I have to give a huge thank you to my brother Rouli, who was patient enough to help me with that solution. I bugged him a lot recently (you have no idea how much), and he came through for me, though I know he had absolutely no time on his schedule. So – big brother – I truly appreciate what you’ve done for me. I am in your debt. I feel that thousands of new followers ow you a thank you for helping them convey their prayers. I’ll thank you on their behalf.


2. What this means is that now things will run more smoothly. New followers will be followed back soon after. I’ll have more time to keep developing this service. I have many ideas regarding more features to offer you, and will start working on them soon.

3. For me, this is a personal accomplishment. You see, I never gave up looking for a solution to this problem. I bugged the good folks at Twitter to lift my following-limits (also knows as API calls). I kept looking for a technical solution to automate the process. I met with the above mentioned developers, and searched the internet for the right solution. This tenacity is what made it all possible. Not giving up and not letting go has yielded an incredible situation where people all over the world could send their prayers without hassle (for them, at least :) ). I am truly happy to have found a way to make this work.

When this service was first discovered by the media, I was overwhelmed with prayers pouring in in all directions. I didn’t give up then either. Here’s the result in pictures. all 3,000 prayers or so were printed, made into notes, and placed in the Western Wall. I know how much it means to so many people.

4. This is the important part: So why am I telling you all this? It’s not to brag, neither to fish for compliments. It’s because I’d like to send you a message. I want you to see that even when things seem overwhelming, even when all looks impossible and the easy way out is to quit, you must keep going. Being tenacious, working endlessly to find a solution, will bring results. Stick to what you want to achieve. It’s all possible if you put your mind into it.

So think for a minute about something you want to achieve and seems too hard to try. Now think of a way to make it happen. Try to plan what you need to do to make it work. Then, just do it. Keep going, even if it’s hard. You’ll rip the rewards at some point, as long as you keep going.

Hope this inspired at least one of you.

Thank you to all those who waited patiently to be followed back. Thank you all the tweeter-ers that keep communicating and throw a good word. I appreciate you all.

Yours,

Alon

P.S. – Tweet, ReTweet, and tell everyone about @TheKotel & TweetYourPrayers. I can now serve everyone :) .

17
Sep

Shana Tova! Happy New Year!

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Today we, the people of Israel and the Jewish community around the world, celebrate the new Hebrew year.

It is customary to exchange greeting cards for the new year. I thought I’d do something a bit more creative this year. I took a photo I took in the last trip to the Western Wall, and with my incredible computer skills changed what’s written. Here you go:

ShanaTova

Have a truly blessed new year!

Best regards from the Holy Land,

Alon

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