Monday, May 14, 2007

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On Running the JIBs

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

I haven't posted much about the JIBs (the Jewish & Israel Blog Awards). Actually, I haven't posted much, because of the JIBs.

This started as a fun little community project in an area where I have some expertise (the technology part) and, being a JBlogger, was interested in making a success. It turned into a massive undertaking, with less active organizers than thought, and way more interested people than thought.

I've met (virtually speaking) some great people, and worked with people I wouldn't have otherwise. That's been fun and a pleasure. Building a site has also been great, I enjoy virtual building and working with the tools to make it happen.

I've been surprised at the level of interest, people's actual feeling of competition, and the incredible honestly of some particpants (email: "my little brother logged on and voted twice, can you subtract 1 vote from me please?")

I've been pleased that some JBloggers have been able to report real traffic impact from particpating. I've also found some new blogs to read myself.

I've been saddened by the machlokes, the disagreements. I guess it's no surprise, as many yidden have "the shul they won't daven at", that some people should feel the JIBs aren't perfect enough, or something happened last year, or they don't like somebody who's involved. But the strength and anger level of it has surprised me.

I've been angered by the vandals. Those who feel a need to physically attack the JIBs. Once with the web site hacked by Turkish Muslims, and a number of times with intentional vote hacking (people running automated systems to vote), which is still ongoing. While it's detectable, and we can adjust for it, it ruins the process for everyone. Which, of course, is their point.

I just spent the last 4 hours fighting that battle (and I mean walking through IP logs with a fine tooth comb). Why, I'm not even sure anymore.

It's hard to run a community event, extremely hard. Many have a complaint, but none are heading over to this side of the table to make a difference.

Many lessons learned.

Posted at Mystical Paths. Read it elsewhere? Stop by the source.


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