I’ve been busy the past two weeks readying for a last-minute trip to Israel. I’m honored to be past of a blogger/citizen journalist delegation heading to the Holy Land.
The trip was arranged and paid for by the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, which covers California and the greater West, though we’ll be paying for some items. The goal is to meet and mingle with some of the best and brightest in Israel’s tech field.
Here’s who’s going: Robert Scoble, Craig Newmark, Susan Mernit, Cathy Brooks, Deb Schultz, Jeff Saperstein, Brad Reddersen, Renee Blodgett, Sarah Lacy and the consulate’s Ishmael Khaldi.
Some of the places we intend to hit: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, of course, Peres Center for Peace, Weitzman Institute, the Marker conference, Matam (Israel’s oldest high-tech industrial park), the Garage Geek Party, a blogger dinner with high-tech luminaries, the Bedouin village of Khawalid — and, I’m hoping, Hebron and Bethlehem in the West Bank. We won’t be posting minute-by-minute updates because of security concerns in some cases, but expect tons of videos and photos.
How to organize all of the material and media we’ll be publishing? We decided to create a new blog that will aggregate our individual blog posts: TravelingGeeks.com (I came up with the name and designed the site).
It’ll be interesting to see how all this works out, and whether the Israeli government thinks the output was worth it. (On the question of paid trips I like the bloggers’ approach: Let’s disclose the arrangement and maintain our independence by writing what we’d like. Not sure I’ll be invited back if there’s a return trip.)
But a far more interesting thing to look for will be: How will these bloggers communicate their journey? Most will publish to their individual blogs. Others will post to Flickr (with the tag innovationisrael). Others will twitter. Others will upload from cell phones to their favorite moblog site. Scoble — a prodigious video producer and one of the world’s most famous bloggers — will go nuts, as usual, with multiple media streams, including live streaming at Qik.
Some will emphasize the visual, through video, SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras, while others will write mostly text. Some will think about leaving long, substantive posts that can withstand the test of time while others will dash off quick tweets. Some will try to post whenever they’re in range of wi-fi, while others may wait until the sanctuary of their hotel rooms late at night.
We’ll kick this off this weekend. It will be a live experiment in group dynamics, personal media habits and gadget hound one-upsmanship.
And it should be a hell of a lot of fun. I fly out in the morning.