Daniel Sieradski‘s creativity has continued unabated since our last update on his 31 Days 31 Ideas project.
One common thread among many of the latest ideas is the benefit of creating centralized resources for the Jewish community. You might think a self-styled anarchist would enjoy the current status quo of messy everyone making Shabbos for themselves, but Dan is first and foremost a digital native and he understands the logic of the Internet. A singular Google and a singular iTunes have replaced local telephone books and record stores. Shouldn’t the Jewish community have single web interfaces?
This principle underlies ideas:
- #10 ShulShopper for Facebook, which takes Dan’s guide to shuls everywhere to the next level.
- #11 Jmetros is Dan’s vision for JTA: a platform for Jewish news with national, regional and local aspects
- #13 Universal Jewish CRM (customer relationship manager) provides a single sign-on for all your Jewish memberships
- #14 Jewish CMS/CRM & Hosting Platform, because why should every Jewish organization and institution need to reinvent the web wheel?
- #15 Kickstarter + Back Office for Jewish Innovation, a one-stop site for innovative ideas to gain funders, tax deductibility and back-office support.
- #18 JDocs: Jewish Documentary Film Portal: One spot to watch, rent, download, and support Jewish documentaries.
A couple of ideas, however, seem to run up against the principle of centralization, inventing J-wheels where standard wheels are already rolling along quite fine:
- #16 Social Auctions suffers from the same problem of all non-Ebay auction sites: Ebay is where the buyers are. Unless… if you can make it a mitzvah imperative. Can we make TzchatkesForTzedakah.com a web destination? Maybe with the right Facebook interface. Do I want to let all my friends know that I just bid $10 for a used Star Trek model to benefit Haitian relief? Hmm….
- #19, JStock: The Jewish Designer’s Marketplace, also suffers from the same problem. I turn to iStockPhoto when I need cover art for my Jewish books… and iStockphoto.com currently has over 5000 Jewish images. Shutterstock has more than 6000. So do we need a specific Jewish site? Read Dan’s proposal for yourself.
The final ideas in this update’s minyan don’t deal with centralization, but are certainly worth discussing:
- # 12 Jewocracy lets people vote on issues facing the Jewish community.
- # 17 JCiv: Civilization (the game) for the Jews turns the classic video game into a Jewish history lesson and Jewish history into a classic video game.
Finally, Dan announced that the brainstorming project will continue through February, as Jewschool, JTA, The Forward, eJewish Philanthropy, Jewcy and the Jewish Federations of North America play tag team with Dan in producing 28 more ideas.
So: What are your thoughts on centralization in the Jewish community?