Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

15
Apr

Exodus in the Internet age

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Shalom everyone!
Here’s a great video from Aish Hatorah, showing us what Exodus would look like in the internet age. Great writing & execution. I enjoyed it immensely!

Happy Passover everyone,
Your friend in the Holy Land,
Alon

25
Feb

NHK News Story

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Shalom everyone!

On October 15th I was interviewed by Japan’s #1 TV station – NHK. The crew and I also went to Jerusalem together, where they filmed me placing your prayers in the Western-Wall.

When they interviewed me on my home court, they wanted to show me ‘in action’ so they asked me interact with my followers on Twitter (which means, you!). The story was broadcasted a few weeks ago in Japan, and this is what the Japanese population saw:

If you look closely (click on any photo to enlarge), you’ll see me tweeting you guys and asking to say Hello to NHK TV.

Then, they showed your reactions:

and:

The NHK crew was completely surprised when they saw the dozens of tweets that greeted them hello. I think it’s pretty nice to see this interaction between you – the people who consume media and manufacture  “New Media” – and the “Old Media”, like the TV stories.

Here are a couple more pictures from that day:

Here you can see the end-result – The river of blue prayers inside the Western-Wall:

and here’s the camera-guy making sure he has this blue river on video for the Japanese people to see:

Thanks everyone for interacting with me in front of the cameras!

All the best from the Holy Land,

Yours,

Alon

6
Sep

Lots of great news!

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Shalom!!

I have just returned from a “Twitter Cocktail” event and I am very happy to say I bring you good news from that event, alongside other important news. Here we go:

1.

I spent a good portion of the time speaking with a very talented young man, also names Alon. He is responsible, among other projects, to the Israeli adaptation of Twitter. We also spoke for an hour on the phone a couple of days ago. Anyway, he’s willing to help with the automation process, which means that all of you who are waiting to be followed back (and unfortunately there are quite a few of you, sorry about that) will be followed by @TheKotel very soon. Then you’ll be able to tweet your prayers. Sorry it’s taking so much time; just hang in there. It’s coming. Soon!

What’s needed now is to be whitlisted by Twitter. What does whitelisting mean? Well, you can only follow so many people on Twitter for a given period of time, and also send a limited number of messages/tweets. If you exceed Twitter’s limit – your account is suspended. It already happened to @TheKotel in late July, if you were around back then and remember. It is better not to play games with Twitter, because they can suspend, and even delete your account. This is why I couldn’t follow-back all those needing to be followed. Just didn’t want to be suspended again – and in such event I wouldn’t be able to process any prayers at all. Anyways, to make a long story short, whitelisting means that Twitter decides your account doesn’t have a following/tweeting limit. Which would allow, technically speaking, to serve an infinite number of people. Pretty cool huh? :) So I’m still waiting to hear from Twitter regarding the whitelisting status. Hope to get good news very soon.

2.

Alon and I also discussed new features and services, which would definitely make your use of TweetYourPrayers more exciting. But one thing at a time.

3.

I was invited to speak and present @TheKotel and TweetYourPrayers at two conferences. One is in Tel-Aviv in about a month’s time. The second is abroad. Where exactly? Well, I’ll tell you in good time :) . I hope it will get enough attention to attract donors and sponsors.

4.

I’ll add a Gallery section to the website in a day or two. It will have pictures from Jerusalem and the Western Wall. Just adding the finishing touches to the gallery; so far it looks pretty good.

5.

I spoke with an accountant. He told me I should put up a donation box on the website, and that the technical procedure of paying income taxes here in Israel is nothing to be scared of. So I added a donation box; If you’d like to make a donation – you can just click on the yellow/orange “donate” button to the right, or go to the Help Us page and donate from there (again, click on the donate button). All donations are carried out by PayPal.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned!

21
Aug

Media Coverage

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Shalom all,

I thought I’d give you another update on what going on with @TheKotel. You might want to read this update from a couple of days ago, because this blog post just builds on it.

First off – I’d like to once again apologize for not following-back everyone right away. Got about 2,500 new followers in the past couple of days (not that I’m complaining though :) ) and since this operation is manual, by just me, it takes a while to deal with all the requests but I’m getting there. Yesterday I followed-back approximately 400 people, and today I intend to keep at it. Last time I followed so many people all at once (around the end of July) – Twitter actually blocked me for a couple of days from following any other users. Hang in there – eventually I’ll follow all of you back, and deal with all your prayers. As I said in that last post - I’ve proven I’m a man of my word in the past.

Second - I got an important phone call today from the secretary of a man of great importance in Jerusalem that might really help this project. This means I’ll head to Jerusalem the coming week, or the one after that at most. It’s likely that I’ll take all of your prayers with me that time.

Finally - at the end of the day, keep in mind that I’m just a 25 year old student. I’m a regular person, so yes – the media interest flatters me to some extent. I just discovered I was on Romanian TV, and also got a link to this coverage on CNet (roughly 3 and a half minutes into the clip). I’d appreciate it if you could send me newspaper articles and TV stories I’m featured in. Surely you can understand.

Send me those stories to tweetyourprayers@gmail.com . Thank you!

Thanks a lot to all those who help or just send me a supporting email. I really appreciate that and it energizes me to keep going! :)

All the best from the Holy Land,

Alon!

18
Jul

Tales of @TheKotel – Part 1

   Posted by: Alon   in Blog

Not even 2 weeks have gone by since @TheKotel was launched. There’s still much work to be done, including many improvements to the site and of course – reaching the masses and making the service more widespread.

Though the service hasn’t been operating for long,  I have already received a few dozen prayers. It feels good to give people this service, and I’ll be honest – it gives me some satisfaction. What’s more, I’ve been contacted by some very interesting people, with interesting stories and goals, and it’s those people who inspire me to keep going, though I spend too many hours a day working on this project.

I wanted to share with you the stories of these people, so I started writing this blog. Hope you find the blog interesting and inspirational.

The first person I’d like to introduce is Wyman Brent (@jewishlibrary). He is a remarkable person, and though he is what we might affectionately call a “goy”, he is fascinated with Jewish culture. He went all the way from San-Diego to Vilnius, Lithuania with a very ambitious goal in mind: to restore the city’s rich Jewish culture that was wiped out during WWII. Why is he doing it? He revealed his motives  in an interview to The Baltic Times:

“I’m fascinated with Jewish culture. I fell in love with Lithuania when I went there the first time in 1994. So it was kind of like, I love libraries, I love Jewish culture and I love Lithuania, so let me put this all together into this Jewish library.”

He aims to open a public library with 100k books in English about the Jewish culture, hoping to once again make Vilnius “The Jerusalem of the North”.
As one could expect, he needs help achieving this noble goal. He wrote me an email with details:

What I would most like is for readers especially in Israel or the US to gather books, CDs, and DVDs for the library.  The best is if say someone in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem had a central storage area where people could send material.  Then after a certain amount of items were gathered, then someone could send them to Vilna.  It is always less expensive per item if everything is shipped at once.  I would love to see someone do the same in New York City.

The last two lines of that email enchanted me even further:

The only way that the library can grow is by people everywhere helping out.  I am only one man and I am as rich as Tevye.  It took thousands and thousands of people to destroy Jewish culture in Lithuania.  It will take more than just one person to restore the culture which was lost.

Please contact him on Twitter or email and see how you can help.

For more information about Brent and his undertaking I recommend reading The Baltic Times article (link) and also an article on The Jewish Press (link). There’s a lot more material on the Vilnius Jewish Library blog (link).

So far for the first blog post. Next time – how one young lady from NY is using Twitter to fight for Gilad Shalit.