Thursday, May 10, 2007

Plugging in to the World *********UPDATED***********

Three weeks ago...
It's no secret: I visited the USA recently. Including in my itinerary was Los Angeles, where I have both a brother and many cousins. My oldest cousin's granddaughter is a recent college grad who majored in Communications, and now works for a leading-edge Web 2.0 technology startup. She was busy with her new job, but we managed to have dinner one evening after work and I got to learn that my own family member is involved fulltime (and then some) in extending blog capabilities from writing/reading to writing/reading/talking/listening: she works for blogtalkradio.

When it comes to an unseen and unknown audience, I'm more comfortable writing than talking, but luckily Web 2.0 doesn't depend only on my preferences, and blogtalkradio and youtube give platforms - and in the case of blogtalkradio, even a realtime platform - to just about anyone who wants to present almost anything (pornography and inciting to riot excluded).

Two nights ago...
I've been home from the USA for two weeks, and felt rested enough to join three American bloggers visiting Israel and Jordan for a meal two nights ago: Mary Madigan blogs at Exit Zero and Judith Weiss at KesherTalk. Their traveling and dining companion Steve doesn't blog (yet), but was introduced as an F.O.B. (Friend of Bloggers).

An hour ago...
...Judith emailed me a notification of some of her recent posts about her visit. To take a sit-down break from preparing soup for tomorrow's salon, I read this post, and clicked on Judith's link to her friend Fausta's podcast. It's an hour of accessible education on Middle East politics. Judith and Mary talk for a few minutes at the beginning, via cellphone to Fausta about the sites and sights they've seen, then Ben Kerstein (blogger at Diary of an Anti-Chomskyite) gets the phone and talks knowledgeably about current Israeli politics for about 30 minutes, and finally Noah Pollack (Azure editor and war zone travel companion of Michael Totten) contributes some informed, intelligent observations on why the American Left is anti-Israel.

Right now...
I feel like such an insider: Fausta is using blogtalkradio! Now this insider is going back to the kitchen to finish making soup.


Next Day
Well that was fast! The gazpacho was pretty well all gone, Judith called Fausta and - voila! - you can now hear a one-hour podcast from today's Soup Salon with Fausta, Judith, Noam, and me. Fausta asked such good questions she had me holding forth about her favorite subject, Israeli politics. Noam proved himself more knowledgeable and even said things I agree with. If Israel had more tourists like Judith, the world would understand us better.