"Snow-Covered Chanukah Menorah in East Sussex" image by Dominic's pics (Dominic Alves)
When I realized that Hanukkah was upon us, and how few articles I'd written about Jewish events in Toronto, I hastened to write "Celebrating the 2012 Hanukkah in Toronto" in DeHaan Services.

My article points to a couple of Hanukkah events outside of synagogues, and gives a brief explanation of the menorah and the origins of this Jewish Festival of Lights.

My Xanga blog ("A Very Simple Guide to 2012 Hanukkah in Toronto") also publicizes this article.

One Surprising Statistic for Hanukkah

Readers of DeHaan Services almost certainly have noticed that it is a monetized site. Advertisers pay a little for page-views, usually more for clicks on advertising links and definitely should pay if a reader actually buys a product after coming through my site.

The advertising services companies that handle this process also provide some interesting statistics about these click-throughs. Today I was chuffed to see the top outbound link from my article went to the official site for the local organizers of this Hanukkah celebration.

My interpretation is that people read the article and acted to get the extra details they would need.

In this particular case, I think it was important because the follow-up activity consisted of eating in a synagogue or schul, and the official site contained some important notes about that.

Plus, the fact people went to that official site meant that they had not already known about that organization or the event in question.

Therefore my actually presented new information to some people who found it interestng enough to follow through to another site.

One Festive Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is a spin on an old favourite.

This week, I'd noticed that Hanukkah was upon us; and also realized that I'd written almost nothing about Jewish celebrations in Toronto. (Other than "Toronto Ashkenaz Festival 2012 at Harbourfront or BuskerFest?", wherein I learned that the Ashkenaz are one branch of modern ethnic Jews).

I quickly decided to write about Hanukkah with the same approach as for Christmas caroling or Diwali. I would look for outdoor or public venues, and mention a bit about the history or significance of the event.

My impression is that Chanauka is more of a religious and family tradition, rather than something that is celebrated in the town square. Either that, or everyone who wants to know is already well informed through their religious or familiy affiliations.

Despite the effort, I feel it is very worthwhile to balance the religious and ethnic coverage in my blog. That fits with my views about inclusiveness. Toronto, of course, has an incredibly diverse population which deserves to be celebrated as much as each group wants.

So the writing tip is to keep one ear open for news that you may want to cover; and an eye out for what you've been missing in your articles. Just as I'd been sparse in covering Jewish festivals such as Hanukkah.

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    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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