Females have played a significant roles in blogging, social networking, and shaping the internet…but apparently not Wikipedia. A recent study conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation found that only 13% of Wikipedia contributors are women.

The results were presented last week at a conference in Buenos Aires. (The study itself was taken last Novemeber.)  A total of 53,888 respondents indicated that they were Wikipedia contributors, but only 6,814 of them were women. According to the Wall Street Jorunal,  “among the reasons for not contributing, many respondents cited time constraints, satisfaction with just reading entries or simply not knowing how to edit the pages. One quarter, however, said they’re afraid of making a mistake “and getting ‘in trouble’ for it.”

It wasn’t just fear that stopped them…According to Jennifer Van Grove of, it may have been their educational background as well. “The research also showed that women are less likely to read articles as well, with 31% of women and 69% of men reading entries, but not writing or editing them.” Here are even further statistics to support that claim:

  • 69% of respondents were motivated to contribute to Wikipedia to fix an error
  • Nearly 73% contribute because they “like the idea of sharing knowledge”
  • 19% of Wikipedia contributors hold Masters degrees

My Opinion? Women have better things to do…

Honestly, I hate to say it…but why can’t the answer simply be “B/c women have better things to do”? It makes sense. They’re busy writing blog posts about wikipedia stats, or doing other forms of work. I mean yea…they could be busy on MySpace or Facebook, but I highly doubt that’s the reason. For now, we can all agree this study is far from over. Anybody out there have their own opinion? I’d like to hear it.

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Social Networks

How is Michael Jackson slowing down the internet? (Top 10 List)

In yesterday’s article, How Will The Internet React?, I said it very clearly: “This is going to be HUGE!”And I was right! According to BBC News, “the internet suffered a number of slowdowns as people the world over rushed to verify accounts of Michael Jackson’s death.”

MJ Goes Viral: Top 10 List

Effecting almost every area of the net, here’s a detailed lists of how MJ’s Death has literally slowed down the internet…(*sources include BBC News, ABC News, and MTV)

  1. GOOGLE: It’s true that between approximately 2.40PM Pacific and 3.15PM Pacific, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson and saw the error page,” said Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker. 
  2. GOOGLE: According to ABC News, Of the top 100 Google searches Thursday, more than 50 were related to Michael Jackson, the company said, adding that as people searched for lyrics to favorite songs, “Thriller,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Billie Jean” were three most popular.
  3. TWITTER: According to initial data from Trendrr, a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites, the number of Twitter posts Thursday afternoon containing “Michael Jackson” totaled more than 100,000 per hour. That put news of Jackson’s death at least on par with the Iran protests, as Twitter posts about Iran topped 100,000 per hour on June 16 and eventually climbed to 220,000 per hour.
  4. NEWS-SITES: Keynote Systems reported that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web sites of AOL, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo.
  5. BLOG SITES: Popular websites TMZ, Perez Hilton and other related blog sites reportedly blacked out continuosly
  6. YOUTUBE: In Jackson’s honor, YouTube spotlighted Jackson’s memorable videos on its homepage and linked to the artist’s YouTube channel. The channel has garnered more than 9 million views. The “Thriller” video alone has attracted two million and counting.
  7. iTUNES:In Apple’s iTunes store, Michael Jackson’s music quickly shot into the top 10 charts within a matter of hours.
  8. NEWS WEBSITES: Full-blown memorial sites, such as and Michael Jackson Memorial, have already been launched and invite fans to post videos, news and messages commemorating his life.
  9. FACEBOOK: Less than an hour after Jackson’s death had been confirmed, more than 500 groups remembering Michael Jackson appeared on Facebook, some with more than 50,000 members. The fan page R.I.P. Michael Jackson (We Miss You) had attracted more than 220,000 fans by midday Friday.
  10. WIKIPEDIA: Contributors  arewarring over official confirmation of Jackson’s condition and engaging in back-and-forth edits of the star’s entry eventually forced administrators to lock down all information related to Jackson until there was agreement among mainstream media outlets.

So yea…i’d say he took the internet by STORM :) On a final note, here’s Thriller with 61,348,893 views and still climbing:

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, SEO/SEM, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

eCommerce On Saturday: What Should Jews Do?


B&H Photo and Video, one of the largest non-chain photo and video equipment store in the United States closes their doors to observe the Jewish day of rest. Simply put, WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

I first heard about this in’s article “E-Commerce: Religion Versus Revenue“. The author of the blog, Kieran Hawe, was on the hunt for a camera this past Saturday and came across the following message:

Please note that B&H does not process web orders from Friday evening to Saturday evening!

Kudos to B&H for religious observance, but what about the 100’s of other Jewish eCommerce sites that happen to keep their online stores open on weekends. I decided to do a little research of my own… I am quoting sensitive opinions so please, read this with an open mind…

Jewish Weekends 101: What is Allowed On ‘Shabbat’?

Shabbat (Hebrew: shabbat; Yiddish, shabbos; “rest” or “cessation”) is the day of rest in Judaism and lasts from sundown Friday until Saturday night. About a month ago, someone posted the following question on “Does anyone know what’s a Jew to do about selling via an e-commerce website on Shabbat?” Overall, the response remained consistent. “The website can be available for browsing, but NO buying,” but this was no a universally shared opinion.

On the other hand, Nicholas Zamiska, previously a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, provides an opposing opinion. He published an article on in which he concluded that “Technically speaking, the vendor’s monetary acquisition, happens on a weekday so there is no issue”  (Rabbi Heinemenn). Web sites don’t process transactions on Saturdays…no money changes hands, so the sites should be able to remain open.

These are simply 2 different opinions. It all boils down to the companies choice and the ability to rationalize “religion vs. revenue” when a company could potentially be missing out on millions of dollars.

What Is There To Lose?

Some websites simply can’t give up selling on Jewish holidays. “One of my hottest business days was on Rosh Hashana,” says Rabbi Mayer Pasternak, creator of Considering it’s one of the most important holidays of the Jewish year, this wasn’t an easy decision for him. “I felt a twinge of guilt, coming back and there were a couple hundred orders.” ( But that’s simply not the case with B&H Photo and Video. Owned by Herman Schreiber, an observant Jew, they decided to close both their store and website purchases on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Of the 1,500+ employees, Jews and non-Jews both support this decision. Richard Spiess, 34, a salesman at B&H for 2 1/2 years, said there are some advantages to being non-Jewish in such a heavily Jewish environment. “We get a lot of nice holidays off,” he said. ( The employees may be happy about this, but this is still a huge loss for the company.

I had the chance to speak to one of their employees earlier today. Joshua Grashin, a Search Engine Marketing Optimizer at B&H for the past 2 years also agress that “it’s great to have holidays off”, but adds that he believes Herman’s decision actually improves the companies image in the public eye. “At first I thought that is must hurt them in some way becuse they’re literally closed for a 7th of the week which can add up over the course of a year. But the more people I talk to, the more I realize its something that people universally respect. People are fine with it because they still know they’re getting the best service. They respect their religious decision to close, to the point that they view B&H as a respectable company –  a company that has ideals! And any company that has ideals will directly relate to the business as a whole.”

To get an idea of what they’re missing out on, B&H serves over 11,000 customers daily, while a considerable amount of the company business comes from their website (sales, affiliate ads, etc.)  “The amount of money lost during the 24 hour +/- time period of Shabbat is significant, however it is obvious the owners of the business could care less about the lost revenue and focus more on their core religious beliefs and principals,” says Kieran Hawe, Co-Founder of Hawe Digital and  previously Sr. Director of Online of Online Marketing at This does wonders for their repuation. In fact,  Sergey Brin, President and co-founder of Google, said that B&H “happens to be my favorite camera equipment store.” (Google Q3 Earnings Call Transcript) Whether he relates to their ideals or not, there’s no doubt that this is a decision everyone respects.

In Coclusion

It’s apparent there are two strong opposing opinions. Based on Nicholas’s article, you can remain open without worrying about fiscal transactions occuring on Shabbat. On the other, you can maintain a stricter approach. Simply shut down and in return, come off as a business built on strong convictions and values. The choice is ultimately yours to make.

Posted under Blogs, Events, Jewish Marketing, Online Marketing

Protect Your PC: Free Anti-Virus/Security Tools

computer viruses

Remember Quake? The first-person shooter video game that was released by id Software in ’96? I’ll never forget it, b/c it was the first time I tried to download to download a game off the internet. It was also the first time I downloaded a virus. 5 minutes later my Macintosh hard drive shut down for the final time, never to turn on again. 13 years later and my father still doesn’t trust me on his computers.

13 years later and the internet is exponentially filled with harmful crap. Now more than ever, it is import to have Antivirus software on your computer. You need them to prevent and remove computer viruses  including worms, trojan horses, adware, spyware and other forms of malware.

Viruses: 30 Second History Lesson

Before Internet was widespread, viruses were spread via infected floppy disks. Soon after Antivirus Software came into use, but unlike today it  did not require frequent updating. Emails soon became a central target using executable attachments. Virus checkers essentially had to check executable files, floppy disks and hard drives. As Internet usage became more common so did the online-virus. Check out the evolution of online viruses on Wikipedia’s: Timeline of Computer Viruses and Worms.

Virus 2009: Still A Relevant Issue

This past January, “businesses worldwide were under attack from a highly infectious computer worm that has infected almost 9 million PCs, according to antivirus company F-Secure”. (PC-World) It is known as the Conficker Virus and it was predicted that on April 1st, 2009 the creator would activate this virus on all the effected machines. Computers in schools, hospitals and government departments (including the defense forces of Britain, Germany and France, grounding the French Navy’s fighter jets for a time). In march the House of Commons memorandum revealed that the parliamentary IT network had been infected. According to TimesOnline, Microsoft had offered $25,000 (£17,500) for information about Conficker’s creator. So as you can see…Virus’s continue to pose a serious threat.

Protect Yourself: Free Tools

Unless you have online-storage and don’t care about your computer, I would highly suggest you get Anti-Virus software ASAP! Check out the following 3 tools. They’re free, easy-to-use and without them, you’re computer is at risk of getting sick:

This is an easy-to-use programs that kills virus’s and spyware and stops users from going to infected websites. AVG also prevents users from opening infected executable files or programs already on your computer. Type “anti-virus” into Google and AVG ranks #1. The beauty is how fast it works and everything is pretty much automated and auto-updated. I’ve been using for 10+ years and haven’t had a single issue.

Advanced Systemcare by IOBIT
The pitch is simple: “A Click A Day to Clean, Repair, Protect & Optimize your PC”Advanced SystemCare Free (formerly Advanced WindowsCare Personal) has a one-click approach to help protect, repair, clean, and optimize your PC. With over 20 MILLION downloads since 2006, this fantastic, award-winning, free PC repair software is a “must-have” tool for your computer. 100% safe with no adware, spyware, or viruses; a PC maintenance program that’s incredibly easy to use.

AVAST! Home Edition
This all-inclusive program will protect you from viruses, malware, spyware and creepy little programs that try and hide on your PC. They’re known for protecting computers from malware picked up by peer-to-peer programs (LimeWire, BitTorrent, Napster, eDonkey, etc.) and Instant Messaging Services (AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, etc.)

Posted under Tech2.0

Keyword Statistics For The Jewish Holiday of Purim

Wikipedia defines Purim as “a festival  that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from Haman‘s plot to annihilate them, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.” It is celebrated annually, and as an Online Marketer, I am curious which month receives the highest volume of “Purim” based searches?


The approximate average search volume for keyword “PURIM” is 74,000 (the approximate average monthly number of search queries for “Purim” performed on Google and the search network over a recent 12-month period). It only happens once a year, so what about the other 11 months of the year?According to Google, in the month of February, there was an average of 60,500 searches.  But take a closer look at the stats above…”Highest Volume Occured In: March“. Google hasn’t produced March’s #’s yet (probably because we’re only 9 days into the month), but if you take a look, the 2 months with any traffic is February and March. The rest of the year is pretty static.

So according to those numbers and assuming the rest of the year gets no traffic, March 2008 got around 87,500 hits. Not exactly astronomical numbers, but good enough to try and build a yearly campaign around. Every other keyword derivation (Purim Costumes, Purim Parties, etc.) fails in comparison. So there ya go…Purim in a nutshell!


Posted under Events

This post was written by Joshua Russak on March 9, 2009

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