Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why Be Social?

For immediate release

September 2009


For more information:

Heidi Estrin,





“Why Be Social?” is a four-part podcast mini-series created to encourage lovers of Jewish literature to engage in social media in order to promote and support the genre. The project was inspired by a social media workshop at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in June 2009 in Chicago, arranged by podcaster Heidi Estrin ( and led by podcaster Mark Blevis (,


“Mark’s session at the convention opened the floodgates of attendees’ curiosity about blogs and podcasts, and how these websites can be used to promote Jewish publishing, library use, and reading. I created the ‘Why Be Social?’ podcast as a way to continue the conversation beyond the convention,” says Estrin.


Part 1 of “Why Be Social?” addresses philosophical aspects of the human relationship with technology. Part 2 offers definitions for "blogging" and "podcasting." In Part 3, host Heidi Estrin and guest Alx Block of the Jewish Publication Society suggest relevant blogs and podcasts for Jewish book lovers. Part 4 wraps up by bringing back Mark Blevis to discuss social media participation, or as he calls it, "create, consume, contribute." All four podcast episodes offer extensive show notes, and the series is an excellent resource on getting started in social media engagement.


The four episodes of “Why Be Social?” were posted to Estrin’s regular podcast, The Book of Life, a show about Jewish books, music, film and web that has been online since 2005. Visit to listen to the “Why Be Social?” series, and to check out earlier episodes featuring interviews with Jewish authors, musicians, and other creative people.



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