Category Archives: Blog Insider

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

check

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

paperwork

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

Introducing: Blogging Insider [$2 Challenge]

by Latoya Peterson

mouse_money

Recently, I did an interview with Mike Green, titled “Media, Entrepreneurship, and Birth of a New Nation.

Mike had asked me about what the ultimate goal was for Racialicious. It’s a tough question to answer, since it’s such an evolving space. Here’s what I said:

[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, eke 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.

Q: Why is it important for there to be more Black-owned media and, in particular, women-owned?

A: One reason is the corporate control of media in general: media consolidation. Just the fact there are thousands of media outlets but when you start tracing it’s really owned by basically eight people. (laughs) There just a few companies that control about 85 percent of what you watch and see. And there’s just a few families in control. It’s a small number, maybe 40 or so that have access into the ridiculous range of how we consume media.

And since media is how we understand ourselves and society, media helps to project not only things that provide understanding, like the news, but also projects things that stereotype. And so the media is this very powerful tool and it’s really disconcerting that there aren’t that many institutions dedicated to representing minorities in a fair light.

And the employment practices also reflect that. There’s always a very dismal representation (percentages) of minorities on television, radio and news. It doesn’t matter the format. It’s all the same problem. It keeps going. Continue reading