A lot of people approach me in person and comment on the sharing I do on-line. And truth be told, I share a lot. Ever since we made Aliyah, my social media posting has hit all time highs.

Why? Simple. Keeping in touch is important and I want to share our life with our family and friends. What easier way than to mass post on social media!

You Spend All Day Online Don’t you?

But I do get lots of odd questions from people.” Do you spend all day on the computer?” “Don’t you have better things to do?” “Doesn’t it take a ton of time?” “Who the hell cares about what you post?” “Really, who the hell cares?”

The answers to these questions are:

  1. Yes & No
  2. Yes (which is why the last one was a hybrid)
  3. No
  4. People
  5. Lots of people.I will explain

Turns Out, People Do Care

How do I know people care? Because in a strange twist of events, many people talk to me about social media offline. I never expected that, but I don’t care. What stinks though is the perception people have of my online behavior. The truth is, I do spend all my time on the computer, but not on social media. While my job is on the computer, 90% of all social media I am involved in comes from my trusty phone. And more specifically, it happens when I have “free time” or need a break. From a time perspective, I make it take as little time as possible, while getting the most “reach” possible.

It actually takes me very little time.

How I Share Online

Lets break it down. I really only share a handful of things online, which is pretty limited to Facebook and Twitter (I dabble in Google+ but still haven’t jumped in head first yet aside from work):

  • Images of my family, interesting observations, and funny things
  • Articles mainly related to technology, SEO or Social Media.
  • Random tweets: Much less often than anything else but I share them.

How Do You Share Images?

My go to for sharing images is Instagram. Not because I love Instagram, but more because it allows me to share on Twitter and Facebook at the same time. The wrench in this was when Instagram started fighting with Twitter and images stopped showing up. For a while there I just dealt with it, but I almost left Instagram because of it. Then, I discovered this IFTTT formula which takes every image I post to Instagram and converts it into a Twitter Pic, which means the image shows up on Twitter natively. People actually get to see it again.

If Instagram Then Twitter

h/t http://www.businessinsider.com/instagram-twitter-ifttt-2013-12

What About Article and Video Sharing?

The little secret here is that while it might seem like I post all the time, the reality is, most of the articles are scheduled. Buffer is my go to app for tweeting. I love the idea that I can read an article and share it at a later time. it spreads out engagement over the course of a day. Not only that, if you sync it with Followerwonk, it creates a schedule for you based on when your following actually is active on twitter. With the very simple click of the share button, I can easily send it directly to buffer to go out later.

And Then There Is Blogging

So this is the obvious biggest challenge because to do it well takes the most time. I put up my first blog post on a blogger account Tuesday February 10th 2009, and it is embarrassing (good luck finding it). I can see how my writing has evolved. How I took on my own voice. And I have gone through waves to figure out what “works best” for me. First it was just random no direction blogging. Then it turned into a news outlet (for about 2 weeks). Then I started writing about work which is where things started getting the most serious. Only later did I realize that I liked writing about life more than anything else. Well, life and my social media life. The point is, blogging is where I have seen my work life and personal life intertwine more than anywhere else. Which is why, usually, it will have the most personal twist to it.

And after I write, I share. And this is practically the only one I do manually.

How About Browsing, Reading, and Just Being Social

My go to app for finding information is Feedly. It is on my phone so whenever I am in a tremp, or waiting room, or whatever, While it is the best replacement for google reader that I have found to date. It’s not perfect. For instance, it doesn’t send me to the actual article. I can only browse from within the app… which is more annoying than you would imagine. Especially when you want to share that article.

Pocket is awesome, but I basically save articles I want to read and rarely get to them… which stinks.

Here is the crazy little secret. I don’t use any special apps on my phone to browse through my social networks.

  • For Facebook I use the organic app
  • For Twitter, I use the organic app

And That’s It

As much as I want to be social, I also don’t want it to take over my life. The above ways are what I have found to limit that as much as possible. So, I hope this post helps some of you. And if you have some other tricks that can make it easier for me, I would love to hear about it.


Sometimes our lives on social media can be deceiving. Sometimes things aren’t all they seem and our perfect little lives are a bit more complicated than seen. And sometimes, those perfect moments are a flat out lie. I agree with the sentiment my friend Sarah shares when she writes about the lies we tell on Facebook.

h/t Jon Henshaw's Facebook

h/t Jon Henshaw‘s Facebook

What You Think Happened

Allow me for a moment to share a photo and caption of a delightful day I had with my daughter.


Honestly, it was a perfect day at the park. We were having a great time.

And, if I had left it to Google+ you would also think the rest of the day was one that any parent would be envious of

What Actually Happened

Now let me break down for you what you are ACTUALLY seeing.

We went to the park, started by having a great time. Swings were fun, playing in the rocks, standard, climbing on the jungle gym. Scared lifeless by an octopus. Made to leave the park. Tried to console by blowing bubbles and sharing endless supplies of chocolate with child. All good.

Oh, whats that? You missed the octopus scene?

Thats right. Google censored that piece out, and until a few days later, I didn’t share the real footage that piece was censored out because I was busy dealing with the traumatized child.

Here is what really happened.

So there you have it. Just realize that things aren’t always as they seem. Lucky for all of you, I am a bit too transparent so you get to see this gem.

P.S. She has gotten over the trauma. She is back at the park :)


Keeping In Touch

by Aaron Friedman on February 14, 2014

in Life

This morning, I started thinking about some of our friends back in the states. Why this morning more than any other morning? I don’t know. But the truth is, we think about our family and friends back in Chicago (and all over the states) all the time. Not because we sit around missing them terribly and wondering what has become of their lives. The opposite. To some extent, because of technology, we still feel involved in their lives on a day to day basis.

Years ago, when people would make Aliyah (or move anywhere else in the world for that matter), while an exciting event, they also became extremely disconnected from the people they left behind.

Israel Cake

Sweet cake… sad feelings

Thanks to modern day technology, we get to keep tabs on whats going on in the lives of lots of our friends, share ours with them. And its REALLY easy to get in touch.

Call Me… Maybe? (like I am sitting right next to you)

The cellphone plans we have here are dirt cheap and allow free calls to the US. Awesome. But that is only one way. How could people call us?

Well, right before we left America, we transferred our US cellphone numbers to Google Voice. The plan was, in order for our friends and family to call us easily, we would have this little device called the Obi100 hooked up to our Google Voice creating a land line. Shortly after we moved here, Golan, which is our service provider, was handing out free oversees numbers that people could call and would ring on our cells.

Since we had our numbers on Google Voice, we just forwarded our Google Voice numbers to that free US number Golan gave us and magic, our family and friends can call the same numbers we had in the US and it will ring all the way over here in Israel.

Games On the Phone Actually Have Value

Ariella enjoys this much more than I do, but she keeps in contact with people by playing games with them like words with friends. I don’t play games as much but when I do I share it with people on Facebook and make them hate me for getting them addicted to Flappy Bird (sorry!! :) )


Sharing Our Life on Facebook and Following Yours

Years ago, when people moved across the ocean, because of the time zone differences, it was just hard to see what was going on over on the other side. Well, I know how big my friends kids are getting, and when something exciting happens in their lives because these things show up in my news feeds. Sometimes we miss things, sure, but it is extremely easy for us to check up and see whats going on.

We can also share our lives and whats going on with us. I know people probably think I share waaaaay too much (I can’t believe I have become that stereotype, but it’s ok, I can handle it). You should know before you pass judgment though, that we do it for you. We share so you know whats going on with us and we love when you do the same. We want to see how big your kids are getting, and we want to know when you are having a tough day so we can send you words of encouragement.

We still want to be part of your lives.


Video Conferencing and Google+ Hangouts

Facebook only goes so far. So does phone. I am a big fan of video chats and try to use it as much as I can. Forget about family for a second (because we skype with them multiple times a week), but friends who we would only see on a vacation back to the states or if they come here we get to see. It makes all the distance just a little closer.

Ross and Aaron Hangout

Embrace Sharing and Keep in Touch

So I guess what I am saying is, while people have problems with what technology means as far as giving up some privacy (I have something coming on this soon), honestly, I say bring it! The pros for us far out weigh the cons and I welcome these advancements which make keeping in touch that much easier.

{ 1 comment }

A Year To Never Be Forgotten

In January 2013, I saw the new year come in from within Israel and I see it leave from here too. I was here for SMX Israel, and when I returned to Chicago after the conference, I knew this year would be exciting / scary / thrilling /  Stressful / and any other emotion you can likely think of.

Not much later, we packed our lives up into a 20 ft container and sent it across the ocean so we could move to Israel. The build up was remarkable, and when the day arrived, we boarded the plane. And I still have those vivid memories of walking out of the airport, being greeted by total strangers who handed us little flags, candy and showered us with hugs singing “welcome home”.

I still remember getting to our new home and spending the first week sleeping on thin mattresses on the floor because our belongings were still traveling in the ocean. And I remember the day it all arrived. I remember the zoo, playing on and looking over the balcony with my kids at the amazing sunsets. I can remember all my walks down the streets of Jerusalem on my way to work, and my visits to the western wall, and other amazing places around this tiny, brilliant, little country.

On our balcony loving our new life!

On our balcony loving our new life!

Those memories are in my head, for the rest of my life. It’s like a movie I can play on demand whenever I think of them.

Parts of Them Also Live On The Internet

And as the year wraps up, social platforms across the web start sending out reminders of what your year was like. What is fascinating is how different the experiences are summed up in all these videos. According to Google+, we spend the larger part of the year, packing up and moving across the world, we hung out with close friends, went to some excellent conferences, and my 5 year old son may be dating a girl in his class. According to Facebook, my wife and I had a child (which by the way did not happen in 2013), I left a job, started a job, and tried to pimp a childrens book my mom wrote. And on Twitter, to sum it up, Israel, technology, and conferences.

Google+ is probably the closest to reality, and the twitter video I was able to manipulate a little, but in many ways, all these recaps really don’t do my year justice. For me, these memories will have to live on with me, for myself and those I shared them with. Which is nice too. In many ways, those that were there following along, were a part of those experiences.

Creating New Memories Together

Although you can’t share in my unrefined memories, feel free to enjoy the ones that have been created from my social media accounts, which you helped be apart of.

Here’s to creating new amazing memories with y0u in 2014!

Memories on Google+

Also check out my Facebook year end review  and Twitter review via vizify

(***Note: I REALLY wanted to create my own year end review video, but alas, I had some horrendous technical difficulties, and time… always missing time, was not on my side. So the above are y reflections. At some point in the near future, I do want to create this video. I hope 2014 brings lots more video for us to share together.***)



During what has been called the most intense storm in the middle east in decades, with intense weather, frequent blackouts which left us with no power or internet… or heat, bad cell phone reception, and car accidents all over the country, we tried to stay sane and safe. As a native Chicagoan, by Mid-West standards, this Mid-East storm was crazy! I am glad I was here to experience it, since the last time there was a horrible storm in Israel, I literally missed it by a day!

snow ball maker in snowy israel snowman snow affect filter yehudah hamacabi in snowy Israel







With intermittent cell phone connectivity and on and off power, I was lucky enough to be able to capture and share some fantastic images and videos of what we experianced. We also found that an incredible source of information came from Facebook updated from our local municipality. When they shut down the roads to Jerusalem, people were stranded all over the place posting cries for help. Luckily we have an amazon air drone locally which was able to fly some people to safety (ok, ok, I’m lying. We  were cooped up at home… things started to get weird!).

What Did We Do?

Well, there was an igloo which we helped build.

Way past his bedtime but TOTALLY worth it

Way past his bedtime but TOTALLY worth it

There also may or may not have been an adult sledding meetup, at the top of one of the local streets, in the middle of the storm, (alcohol may or may not have been involved).

cooking sheets and cardboard boxes do not work

cooking sheets and cardboard boxes do not work

There were community wide snow ball fights across the streets, snowmen, forts, and hot cocoa.

hot coco in snowy israel

And then, despite the sun coming out, while we were still stuck at home because the roads to Jerusalem were still closed. But we had fun! There were activities at home and some last minute snow fun on the balcony (or so I heard since I was working :) ).

Dovid snowy balcony on mirpeset in snowy Israel Danya Snowy balcony in Efrat







And me and Dovid had a chance to go out and survey the area and all the general shenanigans around here!

What Did I Learn?

Honestly, nothing. There is not lesson. I was just trying to enjoy the time with my kids. But I did realize one thing… I love our life here :)

{ 1 comment }

It’s true I am sucker for a nifty new Google feature. But this last one blew me away! I was apparently late to learn this (yes, work actually keeps me busy), but apparently Google announced a feature in Google+ called Auto Awesomeness… Which already sounds amazing!

Can You Automate Awesomeness?!

Apparently yes! Here is what happens, its really rather simple. If you have your images set to auto backup to Google+ (as I have been doing since the beginning) Google puts then together to make a 4 square of pictures, panorama,or even an animated .gif such as this

Ima Danya Bottle

This was the .gif that let me to discover auto awesomness… Really shows the energy of a 2 year old!

(Many more examples below)…

What Kind Of F#*%ing Sorcery Is This???

I have to be honest, I have no idea. I imagine that it has to do with the time stamp and the similarity of the images… But regardless its a ton of fun. And as a parent with kids that cant sit still for a simple picture, I can tell you for one that I often find myself snapping multiple pictures over and over and over and OVER trying to get the perfect one, which sadly never comes. But now…

…. ANIMATED .GIFS! What could be better! No Srsly, Google has miraculously turned a bunch of crappy pictures I had into pure comedy and gold. Priceless!

Will People Leave Facebook

I don’t know and to be honest, in this post, I really don’t want to start speculating. But I will tell you that my immediate reaction was to go and share the .gif on Facebook, only to discover I couldn’t because Facebook doesn’t allow animated .gifs. Instead, I found myself sharing the Google+ post and drove friends to visit me at G+. So when you think of it that way, perhaps.

Either Way, Just Snap Away!

Not that I ever really hesitated in the past, but, given this new turn of events, I will likely find myself snapping pictures over and over, trying to get that perfect shot, with absolutely no reservations since I know that it will still becomes awesome.

Please enjoy the images animated .gifs below from the past 6 months since we moved to Israel. And you will quickly notice which one of the kids is the hardest to get a decent photo of :)

flight to israel

Trying to get the princess to sit still for a 5 second photo on our flight home

dovid eating Pizza

Nom nom nom… Pizza

It's harder than you think to get both kids in the same frame...

It’s harder than you think to get both kids in the same frame…


danya stroller

There was a cute point here… She tried to ruin it on me. I showed her!


horse head gif

Doesn’t everyone bring their horse head to a wedding?!?!


danya 4 square

Turned into a 4 square… And one of them HAD to be a finger up the nose!?!? Sheesh!




6 Months in and a New Year

by Aaron Friedman on September 29, 2013

in Life

Well, its not exactly six months that we have been living in Israel, (its about 5) but I have been working at Kahena for about 6. And it is a new year, so I thought this would be a nice milestone to start writing again. Because of the way the holidays fell out this year, Sunday marks the first full work week we will have in a month.

So where do I even start?!?!

Seeking Inspiration

The other day I asked on Facebook for some inspiration and I got some great ideas from my friends there. I also spent a couple hours just trolling around on Twitter, reconnecting, listening, and observing.

Credit Joshua Henderson http://www.pinterest.com/pin/447686019177942926/

I gotta say, I left inspired and re-invigorated.

Proactive vs. Reactive

One of the big things for me has been at work. Its been amazing at Kahena. Really, we are doing some awesome things there. As a team, we are really pushing the needle and I am proud of what we have done. That said, for me personally, its been strange. I have felt almost entirely reactive in what I do. I am constantly jumping between projects, helping, advising, and mentoring. But, I am missing the proactive parts. The parts that are going to make me jump out of bed and get excited. How can I contribute to the company rather than react to what is already there?

Changing Things Up

So  I have decided to take a few things on:

  1. Blogging: I need to start doing this more regularly. Blogging has always been one of my strongest creative outlets. I know more great things will start coming out once I start penning it all down on paper.At this point, I don’t want to over commit so I am going to settle on 5 posts a month (one personal and one work for sure, and then we will see). This site will likely be taking on a whole new feel which will have more to do with my personal growth, professional growth, and observations. The industry stuff will live on the Kahena blog (which I also want to re-invigorate).
  2. Organization: I need to be better at it. This includes time blocking, to do lists, and planning. I recognize my flaws and know where I need to improve. So, starting today, I am back on an organized Trello. I am back on the hunt to #Inbox0. I am turning a new leaf.
  3. Goal setting: I need to set realistic and achievable goals for myself. I will try to be as transparent as possible about them (in some cases I don’t know if I will be able to) and share my progress with everyone. Some things for sure will be included in there are
      • Exercise / healthy life. I am starting the insanity workout, so wish me luck.
      • Reading. I have an enormous stack of books I need to start getting through. Aiming for one book a month.
      • 30 day challenges (those will come soon)

And that’s it.

begin it now

There is no better time

Here is to new beginnings!

Stay tuned :)