The primary goal of etanu.blog is to establish an online communal gathering place for temple college students, and recent college grads who share a connection with Temple Solel. (Secondarily, the blog has become 'the' blog of the congregation as well - though my postings are always geared to college students first and foremost.) The content is important. I work hard on it, and the congregation has a lot of pride that its rabbi is writing/reaching out to college students and recent college grads on a weekly basis. But, for me, the content is only a means to a greater end: establishing a relationship with our college students, and providing a forum for us to dialogue together. Sometimes those dialogues are about my postings. And other times, they're not.
What kind of successes have you achieved in using this technology so far?
Thanks to the fact that video/audio can so easily be integrated into the blog, I'm able to use all sorts of pop culture to draw my audience in. Again: this is just a means to a greater end of establishing a connection and relationship...a way of letting my audience know that their rabbi is approachable and relatable. At the end of the day, success for me is not measured in number of people who comment online at the blog (a small number). Nor is it measured in the number of hits the blog has (much more substantial). Nor is it measured in the many emails that people send me in reply to my postings (people seem to be more comfortable replying off-blog). For me, success is measured in the periodic phone calls, coffee dates, and meetings that I get to share with our college students. In those meetings, I counsel them, or help them plan a year in Israel. It is humbling for me to know that my blogging helps to make sure that those meetings happen.