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launched just a week ago israelplug is a new media / social network hybrid platform targeted at Israeli innovative minds and readers who are interested with Israeli inventions. On the same day it was launched the new site made its way to Digg's home page with over 1000 diggs and more than 20,000 visitors arrived at our site within 24 hours.

Miriam Schwab from, providing marketing services to israelplug summarized her seven lessons of the event in her company blog, an interesting reference for anyone interested in launching anything online nowadays and is not already a Dig expert. As I have always been interested with the Internet's ability to have some news spread like a forest fire in an Israeli August, I just had to sign up and have another one of my "additional hemispheres" up online.

israelplug uses the WordPress opensource platform as its core system and integrates with for its community. Other than stories about recent innovations (interesting example: Israel-developed collapsible system for escaping from tall structures) the site features the option of joining a social network and enjoying many common blogger community elements (RSS, comments, trackbacks, pingbacks) as well as a few extended options which are not seen very often.

I like the way user profiles are implemented at with the ability to set each data element for different access permissions (Share this information with... Nobody / My Contacts / Everyone) and the (new) feature titled "Services" allowing users to configure their additional presences so I vote yes for israelplug integration.

According to Schwab the goal of israelplug is to "apply Web 2.0 marketing tools to Israel, with the idea that if it works for our clients, maybe it can work for our country too" and the logo's "Web 2.0 style reflects the approach".

In my humble opinion and personal taste the Star of David symbol is a bit too much for a non political website and might triger antagonist reactions, at least in some in some places I know. Yet, I credit Schwab and the rest of the israelplug guys guess they must have known what they are doing when they decided to go for this logo and had their reasons. Israel has many fans in the global hi-tech community so the Zionist logo might have even had to do with the extreme Dig surge.


Delete Comment Miriam at 14.8.07
Hi Gil,

Thanks for the nice review of israelplug.

I want to explain our thinking behind the use of the Star of David. I have heard from other people that in order to market Israel, we need to move away from strong Zionist symbols that have acquired negative connotations over the years. But our perspective at israelplug is that the whole goal of the site is to show how innovative Israel is, so we proudly display an integral symbol of our country. It's the strongest Israel-branding around.

We tried to modernize the Star by making it look silver, tilting it, and putting it in the place where the "beta" badge usually appears on Web 2.0 sites. Our country is so young, it's like we're still in beta...

Miriam Schwab, Editor
Delete Comment giL at 14.8.07
Thank you for your comment Miriam. The Star of David is indeed the strongest Israel-branding around. I agree. and I also agree it acquired negative connotations over the year... :)

I was just saying this because usually, they say politics and business are never mixed well... they say you might find yourself getting massive negative responses all of the sudden, just because Israel had done 'this or that' yesterday evening and you didn't even know because you were busy doing your non-politicized business.

I have been working with Israeli companies in the past 10 years marketing high-tech products all over the world in more than 30 countries, including Japan. Our rule has always been - keep away of politicized Israel and politics at all. I think it worked well.

Yet, again, I really think the case might be different in your venture. As Israel is (main...) part of the concept here, I guess there is no point in keeping a too low profile on that. its obvious.

Thanks again for the fruitful conversation. It really made me think things over once again and its always good!

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