July 28, 2008

Bridges: Build, Cross or Burn?

One of the highlights of the Blogging While Brown conference was panel discussion entitled, 'Bridges: Build, Cross or Burn? Can New Media Work With the Old Guard and Old Media?'.

The panel was moderated by Kevin Ross (3 Brothers and A SISTER). Panel members included Gina McCauley (What About Our Daughters), Clarissa Goodlett (ColorOfChange), Tamera Reynolds (GlamMedia) and Necole Bitchie (NicoleBitchie.com).

The premise of the panel discussion was that there may be some friction between the new media and the traditional media. However, the true friction appeared to be between Black bloggers that want to monetize their blogs versus those that thought any movement toward monetization was a mortal sin for Black bloggers.

Sis. Reynolds is a director of the African American Network at GlamMedia. She shared some insights from the perspective of an ad network business. My learning from her was that GlamMedia was more than fashion. She pointed out to us a soon-to-be announced Blacklife section of GlamMedia.

However, the highlight of the session for me was Necole Bitchie. She is one of the few Black bloggers in the nation able to blog fulltime. In fact, the young college graduate shared with us that she signed an agreement with Gorilla Nation earlier this month. I first learned about Necole in Jan 2008 with her debut on the Black Blog Rankings at BBR #124. She became one of the hottest bloggers in America and today NecoleBitchie.com is BBR #16.

Theo Johnson (Now That's What I'm Talking About) live streamed the workshop ... so it is available for your review here.

Many Black bloggers are going to have difficult making any serious money with a blog. We need to focus on growing a loyal readership based on our consistent, high-quality blog posts first. Do you have any thoughts on this subject?


Theo J. said...

The readers are the most important component in blogging. Without them, you just have a personal diary.

If your blog is one advertisers feel can make money, they'll come. Just don't lose yourself or the vision behind your blog in the process.

g-e-m2001 said...

Oh lord. That panel was wild and crazy. it was NEVER supposed to be about money. That was a unilateral decision by the moderator. Clarissa from Color of Change didn't fly to Atlanta to talk abotu hocking shoes for Zappos. Plus I felt like she was being treating as an afterthought and I wasn't having it, but in the end the two lawyers, as usual sucked up all the oxygen

Villager said...

Theo - You are absolutely right! Theo, are you on Facebook? If so, we created a BWB group and it would be great if you could upload your vido to that group...

Gina - The panel was definitely off-the-hook. However, the audience appeared to enjoy the dialogue ... and one lesson learned is to add a workshop next year specifically targeted towards 'monetizing' since that topic was wanted so much...

ATLien said...

Hi again Mr. Hicks!! Thanks for the comments and the compliments.

You already know what my opinion is on this subject..."Do what you love and the money will come!"

I don't think anyone should go into blogging just for money. It defeats the purpose.

Villager said...

ATLien - I agree that blogging with passion for our content is critical. However, learning that HuffPost is valued at upwards of $20 million was a remarkable factoid to learn during this presentation!

Out of curiousity, is your blog signed up with any ad networks at this point?