Sunday, May 9, 2010

Twas the Night Before Launch

Twas the night before launch and all through the Dira, one CEO and a very talented webmaster were frantically getting all last minute action items crossed off the list.

This is it. We're finally here. The day I've been waiting for since August 2006, when I came up with the idea of Diramates. Its taken four years of website development, research, coming up with appropriate funds, marketing and PR plans and logo creation to get to this point.

First, I'd like to thank Karen - my extremely talented and amazing webmaster. She rescued the website when I thought it was doomed to fail. And, in less than a year, turned it around to be this great platform to help hundreds of thousands of single Olim find the perfect roommate when they make Aliyah to Israel.

Next, I must thank my business partner, who shall remain nameless. For his years of support, both financially and emotionally, and for giving me the creative license to basically do whatever the heck I wanted to do with this site.

Finally, to my loving family, who has supported me and Diramates since the site was in its infancy. To my husband, who spent hours working with Karen, testing links, filling out profiles, e-mailing suggestions on how to improve the site, and putting his own blood, sweat and tears into this project to help it succeed.

I'm so excited about tomorrow, I have that nervous rumbling in my belly. I doubt I'll sleep much tonight.

It's like Black Thursday at Walmart, and I'm envisioning people lining up at the door for that 4:00 a.m. opening. No stampeding please, folks, there's more than enough for everyone. Obviously, I'm not selling a Playstation and people aren't buying Christmas presents, but that's the excitement I feel about tomorrow morning!

So folks, here are my wishes and hopes for your experience as a member of Diramates:

1) That you should meet the perfect roommate for you. Making Aliyah is hard, and there are a lot of difficult situations which lie ahead. Everyone deals with it, it's an inevitable part of the experience. But what I wish for all you dear members, is that finding a roommate isn't one of them. May you join the site, and meet the perfect person to live with when you first make Aliyah. Someone you connect with, someone who can be the support you will need to make it through acclimating through life in Israel. It will just make such a difference.

2) May you find the perfect apartment for you - and your new roommate - in Israel. There are very few English language apartment search resources in this Country. Again, it's difficult enough as it is to move here, it shouldn't be so difficult to find an apartment too. My wish for you, deal members, is to be able to browse through a plethora of appropriate apartments listings in English. So you don't have to do what I did, break my teeth on Hebrew language sites and cry in frustration when I kept mixing up the word for furnished and airconditioning.

3) May the information on our site help you navigate through the apartment rental situation. When I moved to this Country, I had no idea what a Vaad Bayit or Arnona was. I also was shocked when my crook of a landlord (that story later) insisted I hand her a year's worth of pre-dated checks at contract signing. Oh, and the contract was in Hebrew and I mention my Hebrew language skills are on par with a 7th grade Yeshiva student? Fortunately, I was able to find a couple of friends to vouch for me, but had I been prepared before I moved to the Country, the shock wouldn't have been so difficult to absorb.

So dear members - and future members - I'm off to finish tweaks on our launch press release, plan the first newsletter, check to make sure links are working, work with Karen on last minute aesthetics of the site, and then I'm turning in for the night.

I hope you'll comment and let me know what you think about our site! And, we are always interested in hearing your suggestions on how we can make your experience as a Diramates member, much better.

Thank you, and Good Night!

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