Category Archives: Blog Insider

A Quick Reminder About the Racialicious Project [Editor’s Note]

Flower Stand

Just a little housekeeping.

Racialicious has been in effect for more than eight years. As a result a lot of people (writers, readers, editors) have come and gone.

It is easy to forget in the current environment that Racialicious is still a labor of love. It is an all-volunteer project. In response to an epic media season and some questions on Twitter and Tumblr, here are five quick questions and answers.

What is happening with Racialicious?

We are thinking about who we are in an when blogging is professionalized and most outlets find a way to discuss race in their pop culture projects. We’ve talked about retiring the blog and leaving it as an archive, but none of us really felt like the work was finished. We are in the process of looking at format and purpose. There probably won’t be any huge changes until 2015.

Why did you go on break?

Essentially, everyone was feeling worn out. Tami, Joe and Andrea departed the project late 2013 to pursue other things, which left Arturo and Kendra holding down the day to day posting. (I deal with the administrative parts, but between the day job and the now 10 month old baby, I’ve been on extended sabbatical.)

We took August off to regroup and figure things out. As a result, Arturo is stepping back to become more of an editor at large. Kendra is becoming managing editor. And I’m a little more in the day to day mix.

Why didn’t Racialicious say anything on xxxx issue?

Occasionally, people ask us why we didn’t post on a certain issue. There are various reasons for why this happens. Sometimes, we’ve covered an issue multiple times and there is nothing new to report. Other times, an issue is in direct conflict with one of our day jobs. You cannot make the news and comment upon it at the same time – that’s generally frowned upon. And sometimes, the ability of the editors to post is low. Silence shouldn’t be read as not caring about an issue – it just means that there are more factors behind the scenes. And we have always been an open admissions kind of place, so if you notice a gap in coverage feel free to submit a piece.

Does Racialicious make money?

Two years ago we put ads on the site, but that was mainly to offset the cost of hosting the blog independently. After we were hacked at the beginning of the year, our analytics and ads stopped working. So we are back to paying out of pocket to host this space until it is fixed.

We are not funded by any other means. While it seems like money grows on trees these days, Racialicious is still a racial justice project which makes revenue channels complicated. (Just putting Google ads on the site to offset costs became an existential conversation.) We are putting intense focus on what would allow the project to be sustainable over the long term, but that is always a work in progress.

I want to help with the project!

Awesome. We need a new contributing editor in the mix, as well as roundtable contributors for the upcoming season. A formal call will go out next week. If you are interesting in helping, and can commit to about five hours per week of work, email team AT racialicious DOT com.


Announcing: The Racialicious Summer Vacation

This year, we’re going to try something different for the month of August: we’re going to take the month off.

Fret not, the site’s not going anywhere bad. But, we think — especially coming off of the vortex that was San Diego Comic-Con — this is a good time for our team to step back, recharge and retool a bit. So we’re going to hit the beach, grab some mojitos, help Arturo celebrate his birthday this Saturday (send well-wishes to him here) and we’ll catch you on the flip side — specifically, Tuesday Sept. 2, with new content and ready to roll hard going into 2015. See you soon!

[Top image by James Jardine via Flickr Creative Commons]

Technical Difficulties

By Arturo R. García

Apologies for the lack of content on Wednesday. About once or twice a year, WordPress decides it’s just not going to connect to the server, and Tuesday night was one of those nights.

So, we’ll reload today with the Links in a bit. And keep an eye out for our first round of Scandal coverage Friday morning before we resume normal transmissions on Monday.

Blog Insider: Why We Aren’t a Non-Profit [$2 Challenge]

by Latoya Peterson


On a cold windy night at WBAI, I finally had a chance to catch up with Samhita Mukhopadhyay, the executive editor of Feministing. Late one night, while waiting for Jay Smooth to arrive at the radio station, we were both excited about our plans to take our sites to the next level.

“We’re becoming a non-profit,” said Samhita. (Edited: Feministing is considering becoming a non-profit. They are still exploring. – LDP)

“We’re going for-profit,” I replied.

We both looked at each other for a long second, wondering, “Well, how do you plan to make that work?” Continue reading

Blog Insider – In the Den of the Venture Capitalists [$2 Challenge]

by Latoya Peterson

It was only 9:30 AM, and I was already dreading my decision.  A gray dress and curly hair amid a wave of business suits and salt and pepper goatees, I had already started to feel a bit out of place at the Federal Communications Commission and their big, shiny, moneyed interior.  Listening to the assembled speakers go on and on about IPOs, spectrum, and other terms that I couldn’t quite grasp, I felt a rising sense of panic.  I looked down at the three names I was supposed to meet with, and felt hideously small.  How the hell did I get here?

I suppose it all started when Mike Green asked me about the big picture for Racialicious – what was our long term goal? If we could wave a wand, what would happen?

My initial response, which seems concrete to me, doesn’t seem to work for a business profile: It would be good to be obsolete. Failing that, it would be good to reorganize, to not need this niche, since the world has stopped being racist on a systemic level.

But since that’s a few years in the works, a more attainable long term goal would be to grow into some kind of culture influencer, like a media company. Why? As I told Mike:

[T]here’s not enough minority-controlled media. There just isn’t. There aren’t that many spaces controlled by minorities, controlled by women that have the power to push back and have the power to discuss issues that are critical to us. To look at things through a different lens. There’s tremendous power in that. In being able to have a stage and to use it for what you will.

So I found myself shifting a bit. At first, my goals were to be financially comfortable, eek out a living and have a job I didn’t hate that was flexible. And now it seems like there’s a bigger responsibility in that I’ve been able to acquire this huge platform and grow it. Now I’m asking, “OK, What can we really do with this?”

Can we provide people with the job training they need? Because that’s one of those things people are up against. They don’t have experience. They don’t have training. They don’t have their first published clips. Can we be that for some people? Can we grow this into something larger? Can we grow this into a media company?

So, I think that’s the direction we’re moving. What does this new media marketplace look like? What does entrepreneurship in media look like online? I feel like there’s tremendous potential in this space to do it. Continue reading

Blog Insider – So, Where Will the Money Go? [$2 Challenge]

by Latoya Peterson


Totaling up the bills, I felt my eyes roll back into my head from shock. How could a cashless blog be so freaking expensive?

But hey, no one said expansion would be cheap. After the crew checked out the plan, we had to figure out how to make things happen. Carmen and I were both more inclined toward self-funding projects, so the original business plan I developed didn’t have a fundraising component. However, commenter @Buchanda urged me to reconsider sometime last May, noting people were inclined to help, and providing the initial idea for the drive.

“What if everyone gave $2,” BuChanda asked, “then how much would you have?”

Good question.

I looked at our traffic and the blog numbers, and filed the idea away for later. Soon, we found out about the Online Media Legal Network, and filled out their application. Then they requested a budget for the year. End total, before all the “oh this would be nice” extras? About $13,000. Continue reading

Blog Insider: So, How Do People Make Money From Blogging? [$2 Challenge]

by Latoya Peterson

Blog Insider is a short series designed to illuminate the challenges and opportunities around working in new and legacy media. It’s open reading to all, but will be particularly useful for those trying to make a living in the media world. – LDP

Short answer: They don’t.

Often, when I am traveling or speaking, I get asked a lot of questions about Racialicious. The most common is, “so the blog’s your full time job?” (Answer: nope, not even close.)

The second most common is, “How much money do you make from ads?” (Answer: zero – no ads on site.)

That’s when people tend to get a bit confused. How do these people that I see with big bylines, or published, or featured places, still complain about being so broke? Continue reading