New Article: Greenberg and Bar-Ilan, Comparing Virtual Reference Services in an Israeli Academic Library

Greenberg, Riki and Judit Bar-Ilan, “‘Ask a Librarian’: Comparing Virtual Reference Services in an Israeli Academic Library.” Library & Information Science Research 37.2 (2015): 139-46.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2014.09.005

Abstract

This study considered two Web-based virtual reference services (VRS) at an academic library in Israel: chat (116 interactions) and email (213 exchanges). The contents of a set of questions and answers in both VRS services were analyzed, along with an open-ended questionnaire administered to the library’s reference team (n = 16). Differences were found in the question and answer distributions. Face-to-face reference is preferred by the librarians although they acknowledge that the best fitting service is dependent on the users’ preferences and their information needs.

New Book: Lev-On, ed. Online Communities

לב-און, אזי, עורך. קהילות מקוונות. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2015.

LevOnOnlineCommunities

The rapid penetration and intensive use of the Internet in general and online social media in particular allowed for the flourishing of a new type of communities – online communities that share some common traits with traditional geographic communities, but differ from them in other respects.

An online community is a dynamic association of individuals based on a common characteristic or a shared interest as the basis of a social relationship, and whose members engage in sustained interaction through the Internet. The voluntary affiliation of community members, the size of the community, the professionalization of its members and the self-regulation mechanisms that it engenders, helps the development of large-scale networks in which members choose to share information and engage in common interest over a substantial time period. In this way, online communities can be a magnet for large numbers of savvy individuals, and at the same time open a new world of opportunities for them.

Online Communities is a collection of articles written by Israeli scholars who are engaged in online communities of various kinds: parents with special needs children, adolescent girls, social workers, online forums dealing with health issues on the one hand and pro-anorexia communities on the other, and more. The chapters of the book address issues such as the structure and function of these communities, uses and gratifications derived from community membership, as well as methodological issues raised by the study of online communities.

The editor, Dr. Azi Lev-On, studies the social and political uses and influences of the Internet, especially social media arenas such as forums of Ultra- Orthodox women and of political activists, Facebook pages of municipalities and Knesset members, knowledge communities and online venues for public involvement.

 

New Article: Zeitzoff et al, Social Media and the Iranian–Israeli Confrontation

Zeitzoff, Thomas, John Kelly, and Gilad Lotan. “Using Social Media to Measure Foreign Policy Dynamics. An Empirical Analysis of the Iranian–Israeli Confrontation (2012–13).” Journal of Peace Research 52.3 (2015): 368-83.

 

URL: http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/52/3/368.abstract

 

Abstract

Does social media reflect meaningful political competition over foreign policy? If so, what relationships can it reveal, and what are the limitations of its usage as data for scholars? These questions are of interest to both scholars and policymakers alike, as social media, and the data derived from it, play an increasingly important role in politics. The current study uses social media data to examine how foreign policy discussions about Israel–Iran are structured across different languages (English, Farsi, and Arabic) – a particularly contentious foreign policy issue. We use follower relationships on Twitter to build a map of the different networks of foreign policy discussions around Iran and Israel, along with data from the Iranian and Arabic blogosphere. Using social network analysis, we show that some foreign policy networks (English and Farsi Twitter networks) accurately reflect policy positions and salient cleavages (online behavior maps onto offline behavior). Others (Hebrew Twitter network) do not. We also show that there are significant differences in salience across languages (Farsi and Arabic). Our analysis accomplishes two things. First, we show how scholars can use social media data and network analysis to make meaningful inferences about foreign policy issues. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we also outline pitfalls and incorrect inferences that may result if scholars are not careful in their application.

New Article: An Internet-Based Empowerment Project in Palestine and Israel

Benedikter, Roland and Davide Ziveri. “The Global Imaginary, New Media and Sociopolitical Innovation in the Periphery: The Practical Case of an Internet-Based Empowerment Project in Palestine and Israel.” Continuum 28.4 (2014): 439-53.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10304312.2013.772113

 

Abstract

This paper is concerned with a description of the way in which a particular group of marginalized peoples in Palestine are using digital network technologies as part of a campaign of non-violent resistance to their conditions. It is an engaging story of what is a case study in the way communications technologies are becoming part of broader struggles for liberation not just in the ‘connected’ centres, but also in more isolated areas. The aims of the international empowerment project called ‘Nonviolence 2.0’ are to serve as a forum for developing peace, understanding and tolerance between groups engaged in a long and ongoing conflict. What is significant in it is the use of personal narratives that humanize both sides of the conflict, as well as of mobile technologies to record and reflect conflict by general citizens. The paper deploys some theoretical constructs (such as imagination actions) to frame its – purposefully in large parts rather descriptive than analytic – presentation of this ongoing project.

New Article: Sucharov and Sasley, Blogging Identities on Israel/Palestine

Sucharov, Mira and Brent E. Sasley. “Blogging Identities on Israel/Palestine: Public Intellectuals and Their Audiences.” PS: Political Science & Politics 47.1 (2014): 177-81.

 

URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9135928

 

Abstract

Drawing on our research and blogging on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we make three claims about the role of scholar-bloggers in the social media age. First, as scholar-bloggers with some degree of ethno-national attachments related to our area of expertise, we contend that we are well positioned to issue the kinds of critiques that may resonate more deeply due to the very subjectivity that some perceive as a liability. Second, through the melding of scholarly arguments with popular writing forms, scholar-bloggers are uniquely poised to be at the forefront of public engagement and political literacy both with social media publics and with students. Third, the subjectivity hazard is an intrinsic part of any type of research and writing, whether that writing is aimed at a scholarly audience or any other, and should not be used as an argument against academic involvement in social media. Ultimately, subjectivities of both consumers and producers can evolve through these highly interactive media, a dynamic that deserves further examination.

Cite: Brandes and Levin, Israeli Teenage Girls Constructing Their Social Connections on Facebook

Brandes, Sigal Barak and David Levin. “‘Like My Status’: Israeli Teenage Girls Constructing Their Social Connections on the Facebook Social Network.” Feminist Media Studies (online preview)

URL:  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14680777.2013.833533

Abstract

This paper engages with the relatively new area of research into teenage girls and online social networks, focusing on the experiences and views of Israelis. In particular, we examine how Israeli girls construct social relationships on Facebook. Adopting a feminist interpretive approach, this qualitative study is based on focus group interviews with Israeli girls aged between twelve and eighteen from diverse cultural, economic, and social backgrounds. The girls clearly distinguish between different circles of social closeness on Facebook, with each circle marked by different relationships, dynamics, and expectations. The study’s findings beg the question of whether social networks allow Israeli girls to exercise control, power, choice, and agency in their social world, or whether they remain informed by existing social structures that shape and restrict their choices and actions. The significance of these findings is discussed in the contexts of feminism, girl power, and Neoliberal discourse.

Cite: Stein, StateTube: Anthropological Reflections on Social Media and the Israeli State

Stein, Rebecca L. “StateTube: Anthropological Reflections on Social Media and the Israeli State.” Anthropological Quarterly 85.3 (2012): 893-916.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/anthropological_quarterly/v085/85.3.stein.html

Abstract

While the state’s blueprints for the social media future are currently being imagined by officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the political effects of this project are far from certain. What will digital statecraft mean for Israel’s relations with neighboring Arab states? How might it impact the everyday functioning of the Israeli military occupation and the everyday lives of Palestinians living under its thumb? For even as events in Egypt and Tunisia concretized state investment in social media as an information platform, and also as a tool for counter-insurgency, these revolutions raised other political specters as well. “We cannot but be impressed,” IDF spokesman Avi Benayahu noted recently in relation to current events in the Arab World, “at how Western technology harms regimes…one cell phone camera can harm a regime more than any intelligence operation can” (Fyler 2011). The fact that social media are concurrently employed by anti-occupation activists, Jewish and Palestinian, on both sides of the Green Line separating Israel proper from its occupied territories, is something that state officials interviewed for this article did not wish to address-and herein lie the risks. When viewed with the Arab Spring in mind, these countervailing digital trends raise the possibility of a very different digital future in Israel-far from that imagined in the IDF’s new media offices.

Cite: Kuntsman and Raji. “Love, Hate, and Transnational Politics from the ‘Israel Loves Iran’ and ‘Iran Loves Israel’ Facebook Campaigns

Kuntsman, Adi and Sanaz Raji. “‘Israelis and Iranians, Get A Room!’: Love, Hate, and Transnational Politics from the ‘Israel Loves Iran’ and ‘Iran Loves Israel’ Facebook Campaigns.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 8.3 (2012): 143-154.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_middle_east_womens_studies/v008/8.3.kuntsman.html

 

Abstract

So is there a room for Israelis and Iranians to inhabit, in cyberspace and beyond? Can they get a (“fucking”) room, and what would happen, if they do? The message of love sent by both sides seems to be strikingly powerful, when politicians—as well as ordinary citizens—speak the language of war. Yet, as our brief description of the Israel Loves Iran and Iran Loves Israel campaign suggests, “get a room” signals proximity that is not possible if political violence—inside each of the countries and elsewhere in the region—is not addressed.

ToC: Israel Affairs 17,3 (2011)

Taylor & Francis Online - The new journals and reference work platform for Taylor & Francis

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Israel Affairs, Vol. 17, No. 3, 01 Jul 2011 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.
This new issue contains the following articles:

Original Articles
High-tech nation: the future of the Israeli polity
Gideon Doron
Pages: 313-326
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584659
The diffusion of the Internet to Israel: the first 10 years
Nicholas A. John
Pages: 327-340
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584661
A revised look at online journalism in Israel: entrenching the old hegemony
Dan Caspi
Pages: 341-363
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584663
Religion and the Internet in the Israeli Orthodox context
Heidi Campbell
Pages: 364-383
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584664
Internet, conflict and dialogue: the Israeli case
Ronit Kampf
Pages: 384-400
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584666
Israeli public relations and the Internet
Ruth Avidar
Pages: 401-421
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584668
User generated content in the Israeli online journalism landscape
Idit Manosevitch
Pages: 422-444
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584670
MK websites and the personalization of Israeli politics
Lior Livak, Azi Lev-On & Gideon Doron
Pages: 445-466
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584676
Online Israeli politics: the current state of the art
Sharon Haleva-Amir
Pages: 467-485
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584678

 

 

Cite: Deutsch, Haredi Encounters with Technology

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Deutsch, Nathaniel. "The Forbidden Fork, the Cell Phone Holocaust, and Other Haredi Encounters with Technology." Contemporary Jewry 29,1 (2009): 3-19.

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Abstract:  Haredi Jews valorize tradition and explicitly reject the idea of progress on ideological grounds. Concomitantly, they are opposed to many innovations and are highly critical of the destructive potential of modern communication technologies such as cell phones with Internet capability that serve as pocket-sized portals between their insular communities and the wider world. In response to this perceived threat, Haredi authorities have issued bans on the use of certain technologies and have endorsed the development of acceptable alternatives, such as the so-called kosher cell phone. And yet, many Haredim, both in the United States and Israel, are highly sophisticated users and purveyors of these same technologies. This tension indicates that Haredim have a much more complicated relationship to technology and to modernity, itself, than their “official” stance would suggest.

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URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/6n60322503503v56/

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Keywords:  Haredim – Ultra-Orthodox Jews – Hasidim – Internet – Cell phone – Technology – Israel – Holocaust – Modernity, Ultra-Orthodox / Haredi, Israel: Religion, Religious-Secular Divide