About Kesher Talk

  • "Kesher" means "connection" in Hebrew. The banner image is the mosaic floor of a 6th c. synagogue in Jericho, showing a menorah flanked by a shofar and lulav; the inscription reads "Shalom Al Yisrael." (This synagogue was destroyed by Arab vandals a few years ago. The condition of the mosaic floor is unknown.)
  • Contributors:
  • Judith Weiss
  • Van Wallach

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December 31, 2010

Technology Marches On, and On

This has been the year of Facebook, both the site, the movie and for me personally, as it has become for me a primary place to post ideas and links and get feedback. Even better, to get instant feedback. If an idea catches fire, it can generate 10-20 or more comments, often veering off into unforeseen directions. The number of comments far exceeds anything I've ever garnered on Kesher Talk, although in the past some KT entries got picked up on other blogs.

This pattern led me to think on how my use of Internet media has shifted over the past decade. First came anonymous postings to sites, followed by essays on Texas to a site called the Back Word, which operated on a magazine model with articles selected and posted monthly. That led to my earliest personal essays that helped me build my confidence as an essayist with something to say.

Then the Back Word stopped publishing and even vanished from the Net -- it didn't even remain as a ghost site.

After that I decided that blogging was the way to go and I started a long-anonymous blog, mission2moscow.blogspot.com, which was fun until I was graciously invited to start contributed to Kesher Talk in December 2005. For a while I cross posted items but that proved both confusing and pointless, and I finally gave up on mission2moscow four years ago. The name, by the way, refers to my hometown of Mission, Texas and that I've been to Moscow, Russia. "Mission to Moscow" was also the name of an infamously naive book by the U.S. Ambassador to the USSR during the late-1930s show trials, Joseph Davies. I have two copies of the book.

Kesher Talk absorbed my Web energies for years, but then I started looking for outlets for my interest in essays, and I found that elsewhere. As the number of KT contributors shrank, I felt my enthusiasm lessen, although I've always posted at least one item per month. Earlier this year I resolved to post an item a day, and that resolve lasted for about two glorious, creative weeks, until I got too busy with the day job.

In between, I found other places to post essays, some with my name, some without. If I have something to say, I'll say it.

And now Facebook rises to the surface as a place for short dispatches -- Twitter without Twittering -- with feedback aplenty. Until recently, I didn't see it as the next wave of communications, but I'm changing my view. I still do journalism that appears online, my articles for the Princeton Alumni Weekly, for example, and quick thoughts for dear old Kesher Talk, for which I have enormous affection, but my focus is shifting again.

Where will it be in 2011? I'm trying to come up with big-impact essay ideas, which have tailed off lately. I still have the dream of cracking the New York Times' "Modern Love" Sunday essay section, where I've submitted two essays in the past, two no avail. I have an idea for something new to try. The new year will tell. Even if the TImes doesn't bite, I'll get it posted somewhere in this age of self-publishing. FBers are sure to know.


Van | 12/31/10 at 03:15 PM | Categories: Life and how to live it

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Anonymous | December 31, 2010 03:15 PM

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