So, What’s Going to Happen to Racialicious? [State of the Blog]

by Latoya Peterson

work station

A month ago, Carmen promised I would have news for you about the future of the Racialicious blog. Now that New Demographic has dissolved, a lot of things changed. We are in the process of making a lot of decisions about what Racialicious is, what we do, and where we will focus our future efforts, but I can give you a little peek at what is in store.

This Year

Redesign of Racialicious Site

We are looking at ways to make the site more user friendly, and fix some existing flaws. We are also going to make sure we have a mobile ready site (m.racialicious.com) and make all of our archives easier to navigate. We’re adding a staff page, a media page, an FAQ page, and a recommended reading page.

Racialicious mobile apps

These are still in development, but there will be one for iPhone, one for Android. The easiest way is to make these just RSS apps, but some of our friends have told us we could do something a lot cooler. Not sure how these will look yet, will let you know when we have some solid ideas to play with.

Racialicious Book Projects

We have a few plans for these – probably an anthology and some e-books. This also may be an opportunity to address some of the “Race in the Workplace” issues that come up that don’t get enough attention.

Addicted to Race 2.0

Arturo and I are figuring out the format for the new podcast, how we will support it, what topics we will cover, etc. I want it to go a bit beyond what we discuss on the blog, and eventually incorporate some reported/community based segments as well as a cultural segment and perhaps even some new music. Still working out the details. However, it should relaunch in August/September.


In the Future

Community Based Projects/Racialicious.org

A big part of Racialicious moving forward will be giving back. We will be reaching out to community organizations to help assist in teaching, youth outreach, and social media. Maybe some other things. We will be open to suggestions.

Original Research on Diversity Trends

Market research is time consuming, but worthwhile, particularly when a lot of the data about how race impacts our lives in various ways is difficult to come by. There are always data gaps (see the Women of Color and Wealth report -and it’s lack of media pick up – as a key representation.) Also want to do more pan-racial research, as most focuses on one specific group/ethnicity.

Racialicious Live (Conference)

Bringing everyone together for some kind of summit. I’m not thinking about this until January, so probably for 2012.

Racialicious Academic

Bridging the gap between really compelling scholarly research (games! fandom! race! gender!) and the rest of us who can’t get past the paywall.

Racialicious Investigates

Investigative reporting. Seriously. I know I wasn’t the only one frustrated with coverage of the situation in Detroit, South Philadelphia High, and Aiyanna Stanely-Jones. This won’t be a news replacement – we still don’t have the resources for that kind of an endeavor. But I’m envisioning that we go in depth on something that occurred about four times a year. Stay tuned for more details.

Racism 101 Wiki

Long time readers will remember this project. We still think it’s a good idea. But it’s a lot of work, so we’re seeking funding first. Will update when something happens.

So, those were the plans for expansion. But then, of course, life happened. I went out for a few things while I was freelancing, and got all of them. The biggest thing is probably Public Media Corps. I’m part of the first class and really excited about the goals and mission. In essence, it’s a community based effort here in DC to take public media and technology, and bring it into our communities – teaching people how to create. The project sites include WHUT (Howard University Television), PBS Interactive, WEAA, Anacostia Library, some local high schools, and community centers that work with youth and adults.

I’m really excited to be a part of this project – it has the potential to make a huge difference in the community, and to empower many other people to become content creators and community advocates. I’m also thrilled about the program itself, with trainers coming in from the Future of Public Media, Lyricist Lounge, One Economy, AiR, New America Foundation, Guerrilla Media Arts, and the Center for Asian American Media to share the tools of the trade with us before we start planning projects. (And we got free passes to Silverdocs.)

By the end of this program, in addition to having created some awesome project, I will have more skills in video and radio production, and have worked behind the scenes with some of these organizations to learn to produce and create more multimedia content. (You all will probably be able to see some of this process in action.)

The problem? It’s a full time, six month project.

So here’s what is happening:

  • Arturo is taking over the day to day operations of the blog, with Thea still assisting as Deputy Editor.
  • I’m still around, but not on a daily basis. I’ll be working on the partnership side, legal side, and the tech side to figure out how we need to start implementing some of these goals.
  • At some point, maybe September, maybe October, we will have a fund raising drive to raise some seed money to help offset these costs and reorganize as a new, non supported entity.
  • And in January, it will be a brand new Racialicious.

    So that’s it! I started at PMC boot camp this week with the other fellows so I’ll send some dispatches through Twitter if I can.