Blogging

Bloggers of Color set to gather for largest conference ever

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'Blogging While Brown' to be held June 18-19 in Washington, DC

 
Washington, DC --- At a time when many social media conferences are struggling with issues of diversity and inclusion among their speakers and attendees, the Blogging While Brown Conference continues to provide one of the largest lineups of Black social media experts and serves as one of the largest gatherings of Black bloggers each year. Since its launch in 2008 Blogging While Brown has grown to become the premier blogging conference dedicated to collaboration, education, and innovation among bloggers of color. 
 
Blogging While Brown 2010 will be held in Washington, DC, June 18-19, 2010 at the
Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Despite challenging economic times the conference has grown exponentially and this year's conference promises to be the largest ever

 
African Americans are embracing their roles as independent digital media content creators and are emerging as a burgeoning class of media owners.
 
"Blogging While Brown is a must-go to conference if you are looking for the next Black leaders in American culture. If you're a blogger who happens to be African American, this is the place to go to connect with and learn from those who have succeeded in the blogosphere," said Cheryl Contee of
Fission Strategy and co-founder of the blog, Jack and Jill Politics. Contee is a member of the Blogging While Brown Advisory Committee.
 
"For sponsors and media influentials, this is where the action is - look no further to find the next generation of influentials who already have strong, vital audiences who have flocked to build active, motivated communities online," Contee says.
 
Conference organizers predict that this year's conference will be the largest ever. "If the initial response to our Call for Ideas is any indication, this year's conference will be our largest ever," said Gina McCauley, the founder of the Blogging While Brown Conference.
 
This year the conference is once again expanding by adding a Blogging Day of Service. Conference organizers will be offering a FREE
Beginning Blogger Boot Camp aimed at non-bloggers in the local Washington, DC community. The Boot Camp will be held Friday, June 18 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Public Library.
 
"It's our gift to our host community and a tangible manifestation of our goal to live in a world where everyone can blog," McCauley said.
 
Conference activities will kick off Friday morning with our pre-conference Beginning Blogger Boot Camp. Conference registration check-in begins Friday afternoon followed by our Friday night social event. Saturday will be a day filled with workshops, panels, case studies, and a town hall meeting. 
 
For more information and to register visit
www.bloggingwhilebrown.com.
 

20 Questions with Ife AKA Affrodite

Ife_affrodite_ifelicious[1]

Blogger:    Ife

Blogs:   Affrodite’s Adventures In Nappy Hair (affrodite.net) and Ifelicious Thoughts (ifelicious.com)

Maybe it was the screen name and maybe it was the whole accepting and celebrating the nappyness of our hair that was the connection; whatever the reason, I enjoy reading this young lady’s blogs. She has a wonderful blogging spirit and voice. It’s also apparent that her wonderful evolution continues as she shares what’s on her mind through her blogs.

Enjoy...

 

1.      When did you start blogging?

About a year ago, in February 2008.  Affrodite.net was first followed by ifelicious.com about 2 weeks later.



2.      Why did you become a blogger?

I've always enjoyed journaling and creative writing since I was a child.  A friend of mine mentioned she was starting a blog, and I thought I would give it a try.  Once I started, it was like the flood gates opened.



3.      What do you hope to accomplish through your blog?

Affrodite.net has evolved to primarily communicate issues impacting or of importance to the black community.  There are also portions that touch on current events, politics, and activism to the world at large.  My intention is to develop a mix of posts to inform, spark debate, and connect with my readers through the issues, articles, stories, pathways less traveled in mainstream media.

Ifelicious.com is my fun blog.  Again, I hope to inform, spark debate, and connect with readers, but I want it to ultimately be entertaining.  I enjoy poking at pop culture, particularly my love of MTV shows.  My favorite aspect of this blog is interviewing celebrities and emerging artists, bringing their stories to life beyond what you'll find in a google search.



4.       Which blogging platform do you use?

Wordpress

5.      Mac or PC?

Mac.  I treated myself to the MacBook Pro after about 4 months of blogging.  It's my baby!



6.      How many hours per day do you spend on your blog?

I spend 8-12 hours per day total working on some aspect of my blogs.



7.       How frequently do you post to your blog?

I try get at least 1 post up on each site every 1-2 days.  Sometimes a lot more.  Occasionally, a little less frequent.



8.      How many hours per day do you spend reading other blogs?

About 2-4 hrs/day.



9.      What's your best blogging experience?

For affrodite.net, it was my recent/current featuring of 10 year old Aquan Lewis.  He was found hung in his elementary school bathroom and the coroner ruled it a suicide.  It brought tears to my eyes to think of someone so young to see life to be so gloomy that suicide made sense.  It raised a lot of questions for me that thankfully resonated with others.  This story is way more interesting to me and necessary to grab the spotlight than Nadya Suleman and her octuplets.

For
ifelicious.com, it was last March when I got to interview Lil Al B. Sure, son of my high school crush Al B. Sure.  Lil Al B. Sure was competing on MTV's Rock The Cradle, and it was the first time I was contacted by a publicist to conduct an interview.  Interviewing celebrities and artists never entered my mind, and this was the jump off for me to look at myself more seriously in the blogosphere.



10.  What's your worst blogging experience?

For affrodite.net, it was a post I wrote about interracial dating.  My intention was to share my experience growing up in a predominantly white suburb and to open the floor to discussion.  The post was taken on so many tangents including racist posts and people airing out their dirty laundry.  To top it off, it cost me a friendship with someone in an interracial relationship.  It hurts me to know that their significant other will not speak to me because they think I'm a racist.  I removed the post about 2 months ago.

For
ifelicious.com, I journaled the time I spent in DC during Barack Obama's inauguration in a series of daily posts that I've now archived offline.  The post from my second day included my perspective on a dinner I had with a couple that didn't seem to connect to me following my passion of writing full time.  After writing the post, I received an outpouring of support by my friends and readers who commented on my blog and on my facebook page.  Then I got a curve ball when one person from the dinner was angered by my point of view so much so that they wrote extremely inflammatory comments (yes, more than one) on my facebook page and told me off by phone.  I was hurt and embarrassed by that person who showed off on my facebook page that is where I connect with a range of personal and professional contacts.



11.   Why do you think there are not more black bloggers?

Actually, I've found that there are way more black bloggers than I originally imagined.  We're out there but perhaps not networked as much under the premise of black bloggers.  I don't think there is a stand out organization that has emerged to bring black bloggers together.



12.   How would you go about increasing the number of black bloggers?

Again, I think we're out there already in numbers.  I just haven't seen a true breakthrough black blogger emerge that is on par with a Huffington Post.  In the meantime, we need to continue to network and support each other through doing things like you are by featuring black bloggers.



13.   What's your favorite color?

Red



14.   What's the last book that you read?

Boundaries (self help book)



15.   Who's your favorite author?

Maya Angelou



16.   What's your favorite type of music?

In general, I'm a hip hop, RnB, top 40 person.  In moods, I listen to folk, neo-soul, reggae, house, calypso, and soca.



17.   What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have a conversation with?

My grandparents and great grandparents.  I would have loved to document their life stories in the context of their time for my generation and those to come.



18.   Who are three of your favorite bloggers?

The Field Negro (field-negro.blogspot.com), Steve The Penguin (stevethepenguin.blogspot.com), Ephphatha (ephphatha3.blogspot.com)



19.   What one piece of advice would you give to new bloggers?

Do you, no matter what stats or friends or the media dictates.  Nobody wants regurgitated information.  Speak from your heart and the right people will find you.



20.    What don't we know about you that we should know?

I wish that people would not let their perceptions of me guide them and spend more time getting to know me.  I'm opinionated at times, competitive at times, feisty at times, funny at times, shy at times.  At the core is a girl with big heart who has a craving to be heard and be loved as much as she loves others.

Thanks for a great interview, Ife!



Follow Ife on Twitter.

© 2009, on the black hand side, www.blackhandside.net

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


20 Questions with Anika Myers Palm

Anika Myers Palm

Blog: Write Black


1. When did you start blogging?
*** I started a personal online journal circa 2001, but that, along with a couple of later personal blog efforts, petered out quickly because even I find my life mind-numbingly boring. I started WriteBlack in 2007.

2. Why did you become a blogger?
I wanted to talk about books, and I didn't think many other sites had the high/low (for lack of a better term) mix of books I read, especially when it came to black authors.

3. What do you hope to accomplish through your blog?
***I generally think black authors get a poor shake in the world of criticism and the book blogosphere. They're often either ignored or patronized, by critics black and nonblack -- especially authors who write genre or mass-market novels. I wanted to take these books seriously.

4. Which blogging platform do you use?
***WordPress

5. Mac or PC?
***Oh, Mac. I'm an Apple junkie. It's quite sad, actually. I have to resist the urge to genuflect when I hear Steve Jobs' name.

6. How many hours per day do you spend on your blog?
***An hour in total, I'd say. When I get home in the evenings, I'm always searching for material for the blog, and usually writing, editing and re-editing two or three posts at a time.

7. How frequently do you post to your blog?
***A minimum of three times weekly.

8. How many hours per day do you spend reading other blogs?
***I'm not sure I could say. I generally have a tab/window open with my RSS reader when I'm online (which is most of the time I'm awake), and I snack on it several times a day.

9. What's your best blogging experience?
***When Beverly Jenkins, an author whose work I like a lot, discovered WriteBlack in its early days and responded graciously to a not-entirely-complimentary post I'd written about one of her books. I've also been experimenting with video lately, and the response has been better than I'd expected.

10. What's your worst blogging experience?
***I can't say I've had a bad experience. Even when people haven't liked something I've written, I try to use the criticism to get better at what I'm doing. It has occasionally been frustrating to update to new versions of WordPress, although the latest update solves that problem.

11. Why do you think there are not more black bloggers?
***I think people haven't been aware that it's so easy to make their voices heard. Our numbers are rising, though.

12. How would you go about increasing the number of black bloggers?
***Improving access to broadband will go a long way toward giving people the tools they need to blog.

13. What's your favorite color?
***Green

14. What's the last book that you read?
***I've been on a kick of re-reading stuff lately, and I'm always in the middle of several books. Most recently read: The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan; Welcome to Temptation, by Jennifer Crusie; and Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin's much-hyped history about Abraham Lincoln's cabinet.

15. Who's your favorite author?
I'm hard pressed to choose just one, although top contenders are Octavia Butler, Beverly Jenkins, Isabel Allende and Carl Hiaasen. There are other authors whose books I buy automatically with no questions asked, and on that list would be Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, Nalo Hopkinson and Kelley Armstrong. Probably Tananarive Due, too.

16. What's your favorite type of music?
*** You've probably heard this before, but I really do listen to all kinds of music. It's impossible to go wrong with Sam Cooke or Ella Fitzgerald, though. My ears have lately been attracted to the sounds of opera, so I've pledged to learn more about that genre in '09.

17. What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have a conversation with?
***My fantasy dead-people-dinner-party list includes Octavia Butler, Alexander Hamilton, St. Augustine, Hannibal, Dorothy Day, Sojourner Truth, Marcus Garvey...and those of my ancestors who were herded onto slave ships to cross the Atlantic and whose names have been lost to time.

18. Who are three of your favorite bloggers?
***How about more than three? I'm terribly fond of all the bloggers at Teach Me Tonight; I love Sarah's snark at Smart Bitches Trashy Books; author Steven Barnes always has a can't-miss take on pop culture, race, martial arts and self-improvement (sometimes all at the same time) at Dar Kush; and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ezra Klein and the smart folks at Jack & Jill Politics became my go-to sources of political commentary during the protracted presidential election and have earned permanent spots in my RSS reader.

19. What one piece of advice would you give to new bloggers?
***Don't stop.

20. What don't we know about you that we should know?
***My day job is as a business reporter for a newspaper. I'm a native Floridian and now live back in my home state, but I've also lived in New York City and Washington, D.C. I'm an aspiring vegan (My sad, sad pattern is to eat a vegan diet for several months at a time, but then fall off the wagon dramatically, usually around the time of a major holiday). I plan to run a marathon -- or maybe two -- in 2009.

 

Note: You can also follow Anika on Twitter and Friend Feed.

 

© 2009, on the black hand side, www.blackhandside.net

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


20 Questions with Shawn P. Williams

Welcome to the resurrection of the Black Blogger spotlight feature, 20 Questions with… We’re kicking off this year with a blogger who is one of my personal favorites. He keeps his readers/followers informed with frequent media updates and has been known to scoop major media outlets on hot topics.

An astute businessman, his blog has grown into freelance writing opportunities, national recognition as a source for political commentary, a radio show and the establishment of a new media venture to name a few of his accomplishments.

We’re sure there’s more on the horizon but for now, meet this week’s blogger...

Shawn p williams

    Shawn P. Williams

  Blog:  Dallas South  

1. When did you start blogging? I started Dallas South Blog (now Dallas South) in June of 2006.

 

2.Why did you become a blogger? I read Men's Health Magazine diligently and it suggested starting a blog if you felt like you had something to say. I went to Blogger that night and did just that.

 

3.What do you hope to accomplish through your blog? I want to give light to stories missed or undervalued by the mainstream media.  I also want to give an alternative opinion to general stories. There's a lack of African-American voices in U.S. newsrooms.  We have opinions on politics, foreign policy, and any number of topics, not just so-called "black issues."

 

4.Which blogging platform do you use? WordPress (Massive Press theme)

 

5.Mac or PC? PC

 

6.How many hours per day do you spend on your blog? I spend 2-3 hours daily on blog related activity.  That includes writing, reaching out to guest bloggers, working on my newsletter and recruiting advertisers.

 

7.How frequently do you post to your blog? I shoot for two posts per day, but sometimes I'm only able to get one up.

 

8.How many hours per day do you spend reading other blogs?  I spend about 30 minutes a day catching up with other blogs.

 

9.What's your best blogging experience? Hands down my best blogging experience was as a credentialed blogger at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.  We had better access and work conditions than most of the mainstream media.  They spoiled us.

 

10.What?s your worst blogging experience?  My site was down from about 3 days after Christmas.  I was sick about it because I was disconnected from the Dallas South family.  We’re back now.

 

11.Why do you think there are not more black bloggers?   I think we as African-Americans are still in the mindset of demanding media coverage rather than embracing the fact that we can now create our own media.

 

12.How would you go about increasing the number of black bloggers?  I’d have to think about that one and get back to you on that.

 

13.What?s your favorite color?  Black (with gold as a close second)

 

14.What?s the last book that you read?  The Art of War by Sun Tsu

 

15.Who?s your favorite author?  J. California Cooper (The Wake of the Wind is my favorite Cooper book)

 

16.What?s your favorite type of music?  90's Hip Hop and anything by Mary J. Blige or Jill Scott.

 

17.What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have a conversation with? Malcolm X

 

18.Who are three of your favorite bloggers?  Wayne Hicks - Electronic Village;

Pam Spaulding - Pam's House Blend; and Michael Davis - Dallas Progress

 

19.What one piece of advice would you give to new bloggers?  Consistently post new information to your site.  There should be new information on your site every day.  It doesn't have to be a long dissertations, just something that wasn't there the day before.

 

20. What don’t we know about you that we should know? I’m a Star Wars geek.  I’ve seen all the movies at least 20 times each.

 

 

Jeff Bolton talks to Shawn Williams at the DNC

 

 

Shawn, we are thrilled to say we met you before you blow up anymore. Thanks for the interview and for keeping us informed.

 

Peace and Blessings.

 

 

Note: You can also connect with Shawn P. Williams on FaceBook and follow him on Twitter.

  

© 2009, on the black hand side, www.blackhandside.net

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Am I Not Human?: Too Much to Eat for Thanksgiving

I am grateful…blessed…appreciative of all the favor bestowed upon me and my family through the years. I am thankful that both of my parents are alive and still together. I have an awesome circle of friends both offline and online; I'm even grateful for my brother and I hope he never reads that. When all is said and done, no matter how hard I try, my family has too much food leftover after Thanksgiving dinner.

There was a time when I could eat enough to put any guy to shame but now I just really don't feel like it. No matter how much I try to put it out of my consciousness, my thoughts drift back to those less fortunate: my tortured brothers in sisters Darfur; missing, murdered and malnourished children in Haiti, still displaced citizens from the Gulf Coast, and the homeless in any town anywhere in the world.

The world has been energized by the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the next president of the United States of America. It is my wish that he also make it a priority to help stop the poverty, genocide, rape and torture that many have to deal with on a daily basis all over the world. The more we talk about the horrific conditions many live in, the more we expose the horror and can do something about it. it's time for us to do something meaningful and sustaining.

These monthly blog posts are a way to send a message from a united front of concerned citizens around the world. Feel free to join us each month in this message of hope, love and respect until we can affect the change needed by our brothers and sisters in Darfur and around the world. Are they not human?

Peace and Blessings to All and Happy Day of Thanksgiving.

 

© 2008, on the black hand side, www.blackhandside.net

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Check Out Common's Blog

OK, if you've been reading this blog, you know that I'm a big time Common fan. Well he's finally taken the walk on the wild side and ventured into the world of blogging. Check out his new digs on the internet and let him know what you think.

Make sure you check out the side and his new album available for 99 cents.

h/t = 8thlight

thinkcommon.com



Howard Witt, Mainstream Media and the Black Blogosphere

Here is a video interview of my favorite journalist, Howard Witt, of the Chicago Tribune. He gives props to the black blogosphere (Afrosphere) and the effectiveness of the activism generated by black blogs in the case of Shaquanda Cotton and the Jena 6.

Witt has wisely and effectively harnessed the power of the media working with bloggers as opposed to viewing blogs as competition. I do hope the bloodletting in mainstream media ceases soon because there is a tremendous probability that the masses will never be made aware of injustices such as the Jena 6 and Shaquanda Cotton.

H/T = The Urban Report and The Electronic Village


My New Guilty Pleasure: Jay Smooth’s Ill Doctrine

Shout out to my blogging sister, Purple Zoe for turning me on to Jay Smooth and his sharp, comical, sometimes painful (but always true) video blogging over at Ill Doctrine. He's posted several videos at YouTube; check him out and let me know what you think.

Here's the first video I saw. It's definitely on point. It's so logical that I hope more folks see it and follow this guy's advice.

How To Tell People They Sound Racist

Now here's my favorite video on Russell Simmons whom I admire for his business acumen but deplore his contribution to the marketing of the trash he peddles to our children as musical poetry. Russell doesn't get a pass because he's black.

Truth, Poets and Money

I'm looking forward to watching more of Jay's work. The guy is smart, has a great sense of humor and great camera presence.


20 Questions with Lola Adesioye

This week's Blogger in the Spotlight is another new read for me. She's quite a busy and accomplished young lady with a fresh writing style. You don't want to miss her perspective as a Black Briton living in America.

Her passion for utilizing the music industry and the media to effect positive change is awe-inspiring. To describe Ms. Lola as creative would be an understatement. Check out her website: www.lolacreative.com. Without further ado, it's my extreme pleasure to present Lola Adesioye.

Lola Adesioye
Blog: Something2Say

  1. When did you start blogging? Late in 2006. I have a spiritually orientated blog which grew out of some reflections on life that I used to write and email out to my friends. In 2007 I started my Something2Say blog (http://something2say.wordpress.com) which is more politically orientated.

  2. Why did you become a blogger? I wanted an outlet for expressing my views and opinions.

  3. What do you hope to accomplish through your blog? I hope to add some valuable insight, to challenge mine and other people's minds, to engage in constructive and valuable discussion and to put out a different perspective on things. Also, I would like to raise my profile as a quality writer within the blogosphere.

  4. Which blogging platform do you use? Wordpress.com

  5. Mac or PC? PC

  6. How many hours per day do you spend on your blog? I probably spend on average about a 45minutes to 1 hour per day.

  7. How frequently do you post to your blog? It depends, but I try and post at least twice per week. I believe in quality over quantity though, so if I only have 1 thing to write about, I will only post once.

  8. How many hours per day do you spend reading other blogs? On average maybe 20 - 30 mins a day. I use Google Reader and tend to have a thorough read of the feeds I subscribe to once a week.

  9. What's your best blogging experience? It's great to get comments from readers, especially when people engage in debate and discussion.

  10. What's your worst blogging experience? I haven't had any.

  11. Why do you think there are not more black bloggers? Maybe people are not familiar with the technology or even with blogging as a medium that everyone can use, for free, as as way to have their voices heard. Saying that, there are a number of really high quality black bloggers out there at the moment.

  12. How would you go about increasing the number of black bloggers? Raising awareness of blogging as a tool and platform is key. I'd like to see a black version of the Huffington Post, where you have a number of black bloggers contributing to one news site. That could help more black people become familiar with blogging as a viable medium.

  13. What's your favorite color? Fuschia

  14. What's the last book that you read? Half of A Yellow Sun - by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I'm also currently re-reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.

  15. Who's your favorite author? That's hard! Deepak Chopra is one of my favourites.

  16. What's your favorite type of music? Soul. Give me some Stevie Wonder anyday! 

  17. What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have a conversation with? Wow, that's a hard one. I'd love to have a good conversation with Oprah. But Nelson Mandela, Quincy Jones, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X are all on that list!

  18. Who are three of your favorite bloggers? Electronic Village, Racialicious and James C Collier at Acting White

  19. What one piece of advice would you give to new bloggers? Cultivate your own unique voice and style, don't try and copy anyone else. Say what you want to say - just say it in a way that others can understand, even if they don't agree with you! Offer your own unique spin/perspective on a situation if you can.

  20. What don't we know about you that we should know? I was born and bred in London, England. My parents are Nigerian and I now live in New York. My day job is a freelance writer and cultural critic, and I'm also a singer-songwriter! I currently write for UK newspapers about my experiences as a black Briton in African America, and hope this year to turn that into a book.

     


~Thanks for a fabulous interview, Lola. See you at the top with Oprah and Russell Simmons!