Archive for April, 2010


What do I get out of Twitter?

April 15, 2010

This post is actually an email I wrote to my boss. We were both supposed to speak today at a meeting, and circumstances prevented me from being there with her. She asked me to simply tell her a few things I would say about twitter to this audience of Jewish professionals.. and here is what I wrote.

What do I get out of twitter?

I use twitter in two different ways from two different accounts.  One is personally and one is professionally as @JewishBoston.

The value I get from both is different as well. My personal account allows me to share news and tips about subjects that interest me, parenting, social media and cooking for example. I have over 600 followers and I follow close to that same amount. It is not overwhelming and I am able to get information that I might not have otherwise found on my own, because my peers are also sharing their thoughts on those same topics.

Professionally is different and tweeting is not for everyone. You really have to devote time to it and be active. If you cant make that commitment, then perhaps starting a twitter account is not part of your social networking strategy. Empty twitter accounts are boring and not worth following.

One of my favorite groups of people to follow are Rabbis. There are many of them active on twitter and they use a hashtag* #WhatRabbisDo when posting things like “Writing a sermon, but I’m stuck. Need ice cream”. Here is the search for the hashtag to see who is using it

One of the most creative uses of twitter was when a group of Rabbis and Jewish educators got together and started a “Tweet the Exodus” campaign. They tweeted the whole story of Passover, leading up to first seder in 140 characters or less as different roles in the story. Currently that same group is doing “Tweet the Omer”

  • A hashtag is something people use if they want to link a subject they are speaking about with others who are talking about the same thing. A great resource for hashtags can be found here

For JewishBoston, I tweet about events and voices that are appearing on to drive them to the website, but I am also re-tweeting from my colleagues such as JWA, Mayyim Hayyim, JVS and more. This allows us to promote each others work to our unique set of followers. While some of those followers overlap, they are different enough that we all benefit from retweeting. I also retweet from other news sources and blogs if I think that the subject would be of interest to a audience and respond when someone retweets something I have posted (Hey! Thanks for the retweet!). This grows your audience and cultivates the conversation for further retweeting. The reason for this kind of audience cultivation is to expand your reach in the community. People need to know you are out there, so keep the conversation going, the tweets interesting and be generous when it comes to promoting others in the community. Be patient and your follower list will grow. Share and collaborate and it will grow even faster.


Team sports and four year olds

April 12, 2010

Alex really likes sports. He has a soccer goal in the backyard, he’s been playing t-ball with us for a couple of years now and can crack that ball over the fence over and over again.

Now that he has turned four, a whole new world of team sports has opened up for him.

My sisters played soccer and my dad coached. They all loved it so I figured soccer would be a good place to start.

We signed him up for Salem Youth Soccer.

He was so excited when we picked up his jersey (#8!) and his ball and we talked about how fun it would be and all the new friends he would meet.

And then Sunday was the first day of soccer.

He did great in the drills. He had his own ball, he listened and did what was asked of him (and did well!).

Then they split them up for the first scrimmage. 5 boys on each side and ONE ball. Alex had never played soccer like this before and I don’t think anything was really explained in the moment, but he went along with it.

He ran with the other boys (all older than him, he was the youngest and we barely made the cut off to join) and tried to kick the ball but he couldn’t quite get in there.

And then he got tackled and down he went. He got back up. No tears. And he kept playing. But visibly more timid than before. He stayed in for about 6 more minutes (which is a long time for a four year old) and then he started walking toward me.

His little lip was slightly quivering and his eyes filled with tears as he put his arms around my neck and he said “mommy they won’t let me play with the ball. I don’t have a ball to play with.” I did my best to explain how the game is played, one ball and everyone tries to kick it in the goal etc. But he still wasn’t sure.

He was also upset that he was knocked down (I had to drag that out of him).

He did not play the rest of the scrimmage, he just wouldn’t get in the game.

When the scrimmage was over, Dave brought him over to listen to the coach give a pep talk. Once the time was up, all Alex wanted to do was kick the ball around with dad.

He really likes soccer but I think this first day was filled with a lot of strangers and unknown factors. Maybe four year olds and six year olds shouldn’t be on the same team. Maybe explaining the game before playing would have helped. I don’t know what would have made a difference.

Regardless, we will still be there next Sunday. Alex will proudly wear his soccer jersey. And we will try again.