Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Voice Behind Daat

The Voice Behind Daat

After readers contacted me and asked me to write something a bit more personal, I couldn't help but oblige. I've decided to publish a monthly blog with my personal opinions under the title, "The Opinion of Daat." As always feel free to contact me with questions or requests through the
site.

From the very beginning: The idea behind Daat

Despite the fact that ultra-Orthodox women are now a significant portion of the workforce in the country, these women are still left with limited options for work. Even today, most training seminars for religious women focus mostly on teaching kindergarten, and they only grant diplomas for teaching in Orthodox institutions. This is why over the years ultra-Orthodox women have sought after teaching positions in Orthodox institutions, and since most of these women are mothers, they must find a profession that is suitable for them as mothers. But when there were no more positions in this field, religious women had to turn to other fields that would work with their religious way of life, positions in which professional training wasn't necessary. Striving for professional development and excellence were not priorities in the lives of ultra-Orthodox women.

Nevertheless, there was still a shortage of jobs for religious women. Due to this stressful situation, many seminars began offering more courses for women including Bachelors' Degrees in Computer Science and Software Engineering, similar to the academic courses of various leading universities in Israel, such as the Technion. Yet, even with enhanced educational and professional knowledge, many ultra-Orthodox women who aspire to find professional success still face a major difficulty that prevents them from entering into positions in the fields that they studied. These women do not have suitable environments to work in, ones that will respect their religious beliefs and their way of life.

No matter how you look at the situation, Orthodox women still need a working environment that matches their lifestyle, their faith- a place which isn't open on Saturday and a predominantly female working space with complete separation from men. Because most Orthodox women are mothers with large families, they need flexible working hours that respect the Jewish holidays, which begin on evenings, in addition to fasting days. All of these aspects are part of a suitable environment.

At Daat, you can find this environment and something special with the intellectual abilities of each employee. Daat is an environment that offers the possibility for women to develop professionally and realize their personal potential.

My personal story is a little different from most ultra-Orthodox Israeli women. I received my professional and technological education in the U.S. I had to learn to adapt and fit into a competitive secular male-driven society. So it is easier for me to now fit into the Hi-Tech world. But I can't help but notice the difficulties that my friends around me face. They are intelligent and educated but they still can't find their place in the work force due to the lack of an appropriate working environment.


These women are extremely talented and we have been able to harness their potential by creating jobs in an ambitious, technological work environment that is appropriate for mothers. Still with all of the challenges that we face, Daat will continue to excel in creating the highest quality of services for our clients.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Twitter in the Classroom

It seems as if everyone is on twitter these days: kids, adults, all of Hollywood. Regular blogging has been replaced by this instantaneous communication tool.

For all of you who feel as if you've been left out in the dust, Twitter is a service that allows you to write short messages to friends and other twitter subscribers in "real-time" with a variety of communication devices and networks, including the cell phone.

Twitter as an Educational tool?

It's natural for teachers to be apprehensive about using twitter in the classroom. When people right about their daily aggravations or silly comments about nothing, it's difficult to imagine twitter benefiting a classroom environment.

Nevertheless, David Parry, Assistance Professor of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas, decided to experiment with Twitter in the classroom. It started with one assignment as a trial-run, and Parry noticed that the students liked using twitter and it helped them open up communication between each other and between his students and himself. One assignment led to another which led to another and finally Parry wrote some tips about using "Twitter in Academia," which he posted on AcademHack.
http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/2008/twitter-for-academia/

One benefit from using twitter in class was that it offered a communication service that could be used in class and continued outside of class. A greater feeling of community arose from the constant communication. Parry outlined some of the ways in which one can use twitter in the classroom: in writing assignments, instant feedback, tracking conferences, grammar, following the famous, and more. You can also use Twitter to send messages to your students, reminding them of upcoming deadlines. It's nice not to have to know each individual student's number in order to update your class, and yet they get the same messages on their cell phones or online as long as they subscribe to your Twitter feed.

Improving the Learning Process

Educause created a
PDF article that discusses the use of Twitter in the classroom and how it benefits students and increases their ability to comprehend and learn. The discussion talks about "Metacognition, which is the practice of thinking about and reflecting on your learning -- has been shown to benefit comprehension and retention. As a tool for students or professional colleagues to compare thoughts about a topic, Twitter can be a viable platform for metacognition, forcing users to be brief and to the point -- an important skill in thinking clearly and communicating effectively. In addition, Twitter can provide a simple way for attendees at a conference to share thoughts about particular sessions and activities with others at the event and those unable to attend."

Creative Uses for Twitter


George Mayo, an eighth grade English teacher at Silver Spring International Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland, decided to use twitter to write a story with his students. But the story didn't just end up being written with his students, it continued with collective tweets from over 100 students in six different countries.
"It was incredibly simple and really amazing," Mayo said. "My students and I would come in, and suddenly kids in China had written a chapter for the book." When the book was finished, Mayo published the book online for his students to
download for free.

Paul R. Allison, a teacher at the East Bronx Academy in NY, created a site called
Youth Twitter after teachers wanted to have the ability to edit student's tweets. Teachers are now given "administrator" status in which they can alter students' tweets and provide them with better feedback.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Please contact me via our website.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where can I learn SEO?

So still I'm asking myself, how is it possible to excel in a field which has no standards or guidelines or rules? It's something that continues to baffle me. How are the experts, experts? How did they learn SEO when no one knew what SEO was?

In the beginning of SEO

In the beginning, there were no online courses or certificates for search marketing, not that there are so much now, but there was nothing. So how did people learn about search marketing? So, people just began to test the waters.
After awhile they started discovering what search marketing tactics worked better than others. These people told friends who then told other friends, but still there were no real firm ideas. Little information was found in books, and the rest was spread through forums and word of mouth. People learned through experience, because there was no other way.
The only way you can really learn search marketing is by understanding how search engines and algorithms work. Each website is different and the methods you use for one might not work for another, so it's best to experiment and see what works for what. Until you know the ins and outs of each website, you can't really consider yourself an expert.
These days there is a plethora of books out there on the subject. Read about search engines, gain some initial knowledge and then gain some experience by testing out the knowledge that you learned. And if one thing doesn't work, don't forget about all the forums out there answering every possible question on the subject.

Adapting to the times

Say you have an excellent resource about Websites written in the 90s. This book answers every question you could possibly have about any website. But when you try to use the tools that you learned, they aren't very effective. Now what's the problem?
The problem is that you are dealing with a system that is continually changing. What worked in the 90s isn't going to work in 2000 and what worked in 2000 isn't going to work in 2009. Search engines are ever-changing, updating and changing their algorithms to make their search engines more user-friendly and accurate. If you want to be part of this field, you have to stay up-to-date that means always learning new tricks and tips and working with the changes in the search engines. You can't just fill in metadata into the HTML format and expect that users are going to automatically be directed to a website.

Present day…

How can you learn about SEO today? We are lucky that today SEO is popular and it only seems to be growing. More marketing is focused on the web these days and businesses need practitioners to assist them in search engine marketing. There are conferences, workshops, online classes, in-person classes, websites dedicated to SEM, forums, books, and formal courses from various institutes, such as the SEMPO Institute, offering certification in fundamentals and advanced SEM. Your learning doesn't have to begin and end with blind experimentation anymore. But that doesn't mean you don't need to experiment. You can't be an expert in SEO until you have experience working with SEO. Create a website and practice optimizing the site, continue to learn more from the communities around you and your numerous resources and see how far you can get.

Do you want to know more? Please do not hesitate to be in touch via our website.

Monday, February 8, 2010

LinkedIn can help build your career

Life is about connections and the more connections you have the better off you are. You can't always count on nepotism anymore and not everyone has a rich relative who is going to give them the business. You need to make connections with the people that you meet throughout life: in university, from your first job, that fellowship that you were part of when you were 18, your second job, your wife's third job… And now you can establish more connections with LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an online social networking, mainly used to connect professionals throughout the globe. The site has over 50 million users worldwide, over 25 million in the US alone. With LinkedIn, you can create a profile, upload your resume and the site has a handy feature which puts your skills on display, you can connect with any other user, and use it as a general marketing tool.

Some benefits of LinkedIn

The site can be used to find a job and employers list jobs on the sites. Say you find a listing somewhere for a company that you want to apply to. Chances are the managers of that company are on LinkedIn and you can see their network of friends and see if you have any connections to them. You can catch up with people that you have worked with in the past and who you've lost in touch with.

It's also easy to sign up. Just enter your email, register for an account, create a profile, browse the network for your friends, associates, acquaintances, clients, you can also gain friends by uploading your email contact list. Once you have connections and your network continues to grow, you have more chances to enhance your career.

The site also has common-interest groups you can join, an answer section where people can post questions and answers within your network, a job section for listings, a learning center, and an application directory which allows you to link your blogs, twitter, and special interests into your profile.

Even though LinkedIn has a very large community, it still has a professional feel, which affects all aspects of the site. The answer section offers more business-minded answers. The groups link businesses and are more towards career-enhancing than social gathering. They even have groups on SEO. After typing in "SEO" under the group search, there were 977 results. I say, go knock yourself out and see what you can do with the site.

Question? Comment? Ideas? Please be in touch via our website.

Monday, February 1, 2010

How to develop a career in SEM

Who wouldn't want to have a career in the lucrative field of Search Engine Marketing? I'm assuming that if you are looking at this article on SEM, you're probably at least interested in the topic.

SEM is popular and is only growing in demand by all types of businesses and organizations: corporate, investors, search engines…. The present and future of advertising is through the web, so why not be a part of it and assure yourself a relatively-steady income (if you're good at it that is). Remember the more skilled you are, the more work you get.

How to reach professional status?

Somehow you need to gain those expert skills that will place you above and beyond all the other people marketing themselves for SEM work. Now how do you become an expert? As far as I know, there aren't any SEO degrees in top universities right now. But that doesn't mean that you can't get trained in the field.

How relevant is training to becoming an SEO professional?

Not everyone wants to sit in classroom setting, whether in person or online. Nevertheless, to gain a basic knowledge of the field, the most effective way is by taking a course. It's possible to gain some skills from blogs and forums, but you have to know what topics you're looking for online to be able to get the fundamentals. Once you understand the fundamentals, then you can look online and improve your skills, but you have to know what you're doing at least at the beginning.

Training Options

First you need to figure out the best way for you to learn. There are plenty of online classes, in-person classes, seminars, workshops, and more. But you need to know first whether you want to sit in a class, learn on your own, learn with others, stay at hope, and how much money are you willing to spend.

How much certification do you get from being SEM Certified?

As funny as it seems, it is possible to be certified in something that doesn't have any established standards. After completing an SEO course, you can get certified in that area. And of course it looks better on your resume or CV if you are certified in a particular area and it might even help you land a job. Your resume may appear higher on the list if you are certified and another candidate isn't.

Any comments or questions? Please contact me via our website.