The Traveling Geeks Revealed

by on April 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm

The Traveling Geeks became a community during our five day visit. We partied in the evening with Israeli hosts and were schlepped in vans from site to site during the day to meet with Israeli VC?s, entrepreneurs, and innovators. We schmoozed, ate, laughed, and kvetched together?so I have come to know these people.

As a group they are bright, funny, curious, passionate and savvy about trends and technology. They are all practitioners of a new electronic journalism that is more experiential, informal and visual than traditional print and broadcast media. Chosen for their audiences and credibility in the technology field, they are as competent and knowledgeable as one could hope for to comment on Israeli innovation. Please read their blogs and view their photos and videos to gain their perspective.

In no particular order, here are my revelations on each of them:

Craig Newmark: One of the best known personalities on the Internet for his Craig?s List, Craig has an amazing following and reputation. He began to Twitter (posts of what he was doing at any particular moment) that had a thousand people for each post within days of his beginning to Twitter. Craig was the resident comic who had us in stitches with his self-deprecating, dry wit. On several occasions he showed what a Mench he really is. Highlight was taking cover together during a rocket attack alert in Ashkelon. So Craig, “We will always have Ashkelon.”

Robert Scoble: One of the most followed bloggers on the Internet, Robert is as cool and funny in person as he is on line. Hard at work or play, Robert has a curiosity and intelligence that just does not quit. He lives, breathes, and snorts technology; his knowledge of tech trends and innovative businesses is awesome. We all agreed Scoble writing for Fast Company is a perfect fit.

Renee Blodgett: Great spirit and lots of energy. Renee is fun, free wheeling, and friendly. Her writing and visuals beautifully tell stories. Her blogs reveal her self and her experiences. She is a great example of the experiential blogger who seeks knowing rather than just knowledge.

Susan Mernit: First time in Israel, Susan may have had the greatest personal transformation of the group. Her personal background combines poetry, creative writing, business, anthropology, arts, and a dozen more interests. Writing from a personal style and interest, Susan brings the social scene and personal interests to her readers with wit and insight. Warm, funny, and bright, Susan is a Techie with heart.

Cathy Brooks: An extrovert, Cathy fills the room with her presence. Her writing is insightful, cool and heartfelt, but her skillful use of visuals and video distinguish her. She is a dynamo. Losing her voice from Laryngitis early in the trip, Cathy still could dominate the conversation just with her facial expressions. Her connection to Israel was awakened a few years ago and this trip had a personal and professional impact on Cathy that you will see in her blog posts.

JD Lasica: A veteran journalist who has focused his talents to expand the reach for groups through the use of technology in the media for social and cause based organizations, JD combines visuals and writing masterfully. JD also blogged on the human side of the Israeli/Arab conflict. He was responsible to get the Traveling Geeks website up and running and made a major contribution through that effort, working with Susan Mernit and her contacts.

Sarah Lacy: A savvy business writer and blogger, Sarah can weave her personality and experience of the moment into her stories. She is about to publish a new book on Web 2.0 (if you want to learn about Web 2.0 check out her book) and understands as well as anyone the potential for business with these new capabilities. Ironically, the moment I will always remember to distinguish Sarah is not from her awesome business and writing acumen, but how emotionally affected she was during the prayers of the Christian pilgrims in the Jerusalem Room of Christ?s Last Supper. Her spontaneous emotion revealed more about the power of the religious experience in Jerusalem than any words or visual images could portray.

Deborah Schultz; The most connected, knowledgeable, and active person with Israel and Israelis among us, Deborah is the best to bridge US and Israel reality in her writing. She knows and feels Israel and her writing shows it. A New Yorker who now lives in the strange land of the SF Bay Area,, her passion, insight, and familiarity with Israelis and new technologies make her the perfect blogger to highlight Israel Innovation.

Brad Redderson: As the only podcaster among us, Brad?s work will be mostly developed from the interviews he conducted with thought leaders and tech innovators on his own time away from the activities of the group. Thoughtful, steady, and dependable, Brad was my volunteer partner in putting the trip together with the Israeli Consulate. He contributed greatly to the project. There were lots of bumps along the way before and especially during the trip when Brad and I could easily consult each other about how to solve problems.

View and read the work on Israel Innovation from these extraordinary people at Collectively we hope to contribute to the better understanding of Israel Innovation for those in technology and for those who just want to know more about Israel.