So What Did We Accomplish?

Our visit, sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was a pilot experiment to see what would happen if we could turn bloggers and podcasters loose to write about Innovation in Israel. This is a pioneering effort to utilize the connectivity and immediacy of the Web in service of extending “knowing” rather than just knowledge about Israel.

The number of blog posts, twitters, videos, podcasts and photos is prodigious and will grow over the next month as our traveling geeks consolidate their material. These people worked hard to produce a wide range of work that has been collected and will be easily accessible on the travelinggeeks.com/ site.

The site itself, built by our volunteers, is an example to the government and other organizations who wish to connect people to Israel of what can be done with the new technology to represent Israel. Hopefully, it may affect how technology is used to build community through interactivity on the web for many organizations. It is different than traditional media in that it is informal, personal, experiential, interactive, visual, and immediate (real time reporting).

Tens of thousands have followed the twitters (posts by the bloggers picked up by people following their activities); thousands more will see the postings, photos, and videos and will hear the podcasts. This should increase general awareness and knowledge of Israeli life and innovation.

Perhaps the most important accomplishment is the personal connection for each participant to Israel and Israelis. As Robert Scoble said,” I knew Israelis, but I did not know Israel and I want to come back.”

The generous hospitality of of our Israeli hosts enabled each member of the group to connect individually to Israeli peers—formally and informally. Our women bloggers had a special meeting with counterpart Israeli women bloggers—from that meeting there will be further connection that will reverberate from what people will do with each other.

Hopefully, connecting people everywhere to Israelis through our personal experience on this trip,— then using the web to extend those experiences to the awareness of many—will do good for a long time to come.

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