Y’all know Jewcy.com, right? They first got attention with their Jewcy t-shirts – available in a rainbow theme or with “shalom motherfucker” written on the back? Then they branched out into parties and shows – most notably their production of Modern Orthodox starring Molly Ringwald. There was also that time when Jewsweek was rebranded as Jewcy, until Jewsweek editor Reuven Koret wrote an editorial the Jewcy people took umbrage with and there was a much publicized and contentious split.
Since then Jewcy’s presence online has been languishing, although they did have that awesome Chanukah party last year. The ostensible plan was to relaunch Jewcy as a hip Jewish portal. This was accompanied by murmurings of job offers and interviews for jobs at what was sure to be the coolest, hippest, Jewciest online venture ever!
The months rolled on and on. Finally, 2 days ago, one of my evil spies told me about Jewcy’s beta site – which you can see at http://beta.jewcy.com. So far they haven’t password protected the site and I’ve had the opportunity to see in detail what’s in store.
To be sure, it’s rough. There’s still lots of work to do… President and Editor Tahl Raz (and ladies, he’s single!) writes that:
Jewcy is basically an online ideas-and-culture magazine. But itâ€™s a magazine born of and for a time when technology has made personal expression far easier and far more democratic. The site attempts to integrate original top-down editorial (hatched, crafted, and made pretty by terrific writers and editors and artists in the traditional production process) with content that users generate with the new tools of participatory media, such as blogs, comment sections, wikis, and forums.
We want users, not just readers. Our articles are only the first â€“ not the last â€“ word on the site; and the best of them will stimulate debates in our forums, provoke arguments in the comments’ section, create healthy tension between users in our community (that theyâ€™ll hash out on their own Jewcy blogs), and catalyze collaborative projects in our wiki pages.
So what we have are original articles, blog posts, an events calendar, social networking and wiki fuelled online collaboration.
Uh oh… now where have I seen this before? Mobius may have rejected their job offer as editor-in-chief, but clearly Jewcy was paying attention! Will this unleash a shitstorm? I guess we’ll have to see. In the meantime, check out this image used to illustrate an article on radicalism and compare it to Dan’s new Orthodox Anarchist logo…
In the meantime, in terms of content, Jewcy looks like it’s going to provide much of the same old same old. They claim that:
Jewcy excels at creating a stronger sense of affiliation among open-minded spiritual entrepreneurs who are bored with traditional Jewish media but turned off by the empty edginess of other players in the â€˜New Jewâ€™ movement. Weâ€™ve proven we can inspire and motivate the hard-to-reach 18-34 demographic like no one else in the Jewish community.
I don’t know about that. There are others who have inspired and motivated “the hard-to-reach 18-34 demographic” into doing a little more than just wearing edgy Jewish t-shirts and going to the occasional cool party. Hopefully when they go public, they’ll be a little more self-effacing. In the meantime feel free to feed your Jewish identity with articles like an interview with a Jewish porn star (and her mother), or an article titled Why Israelis are Pricks or yet another article about Porn or dating blogs or… well you get the point. Apparently the recipe for motivating “the hard-to-reach 18-34 demographic like no one else in the Jewish community” is to mix one part Jewish content with 6 parts sex and three parts the promise of sex. Wow. That’s so groundbreaking! Other than feeding off the flesh of other people’s efforts, Jewcy also needs to work on its interface so that the easily bored 18-34 demographic will not be confused and overwhelmed by all the choices and then run back to their MySpace and FaceBook pages.
Good luck Jewcy!