Last Wednesday I went to a lecture at the Jewish Community Project building in SOHO. Billed as “Jewish Identity Online: Blogging, Ethics, and Community” it was moderated by Gary Rosenblatt of the Jewish Week. On the panel (and pictured above) were (from Left to Right) Shmuel Rosner of Haaretz, Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Gary Rosenblatt and Izzy Grinspan an editor at Jewcy.
Let me preface this by saying that one of the nice people attending the event asked me what the difference was between the Web and a Blog. Sigh. The average age of the attendees at the event was… well, these were mostly not on the cutting edge of technological innovation. Consequently much of the discussion was kind of, you know, basic. Which is fine of course but it might explain why Kelsey was so damned cranky.
The issues that we were supposed to discuss were pretty important. Issues relating to a publishers responsibility for the content of their Web sites, accountability, truth, lies slander, ethics etc. These are important issues, and while we certainly touched upon all of them, we didn’t really explore any of them in detail. Perhaps it was because of the audience, or the time constraints but clearly we need a do over. We need to find an appropriate venue with an appropriate audience and have an in depth discussion on the matter.
Shmuel Rosner turned out to be a pretty damned cool guy, a straight shooter and very, very sensible. Rabbi Joshua Hammerman was very Rabbinic and while I wanted to dislike him based on some of the things of his that I read, well, I just couldn’t. Izzy Grinspan did as well as she could under the circumstances and was charming, informative and well spoken. Gary Rosebnlatt can give advanced graduate level seminars on how to be a good moderator! The fruity nosh at the end was great too but next time, invite me and Kelsey to be panelists and hold the event at a bar or at an abandoned warehouse and do it by invitation only and serve lots of alcohol and have weapons available and techno music.
OK, maybe not the weapons and the techno…