Video Killed the Black (Gay) Blogging Star

Admittedly, I’m a personal blog whore. It all started with the Asians, you know cause they’re always early adopters of new technology. Back then they were called journals (before blogger, wordpress, tumblr, etc.).

Most notable were DJ Paris and Rickey.org (which has since turned into an American Idol fansite). Over time I found some black and brown boys, some gay, others not so much…all with a story to tell. But what the hell happened to everyone?

karsh2.jpg
(Karsh, the black gay blogger himself, back for a limited time)

I’ve been thinking a lot about how advances in technology have changed the game (blogging/keeping an online journal). Let’s use past winners of the LGBT category of The Black Weblog Awards to explore what might be going on:

2005
When Bernard Bradshaw of Sex and the Second City was diagnosed with HIV he basically fell off the face of the planet. His podcast remains one of my favorites of all time and I wish he would have continued. It would have been really interesting to see how the diagnosis changed his sex life. I hope he is doing OK.

2006
Rod McCullom is still going strong. To be honest with you I really didn’t check for Rod until he took “my” job. Fleshbot had this position open a few years ago which he eventually got and I was like, “Who is this Rod guy and why is he trying to take over the interwebs?!” His site was never a personal blog so I digress…

2007
I thought Keith Boykin had the best mix of personal updates, activism and general interest posts. Too bad he got spent and moved on. I don’t blame him though. The Daily Voice isn’t what I hoped for, but I am glad he’s become a regular cable news contributor. I hope he runs for some sort of political office one day.

2008
Living Out Loud With Darian Darian Aaron is now writing his book on black gay love (that might take a minute, lol). Another news/policially leaning site, Pam’s House Blend is still going strong, however.

2009
Xem Van Adams blew up with his original/raw Youtube videos, but his website unfortunately (in my opinion) focuses on entertainment news and commentary. You can’t blame him though: the most successful sites run by black/brown LGBT folk seem to center around the entertainment industry.

Perhaps this trend is confusing to me because when you look at the entertainment industry (specifically television), racism from LGBT outlets are forcing content creators of color to establish their own spaces.

Essentially, LOGO screwed over Noah’s Arc (even though it was one of their highest rated original series…the movie even broke independent records that year), HERE! TV gave The DL Chronicles the run around, and Maurice Jamal couldn’t find a suitable home for Friends and Lovers so he took matters into his own hands.

Yes, by year’s end we will have not one, but two LGBT “networks” catering specifically to people of color. We’ll see how that works out.

So is the goal now to become an internet/mini celebrity (ala B. Scott)?

Did people have trouble monetizing their writing and that’s why they quit?

If you still wish to tell your story, is video the only format to go with if you want a sizable audience? (or at a minimum audio)

Do the kids not read anymore?

So many questions…

3 thoughts on “Video Killed the Black (Gay) Blogging Star

  1. OMG – how did I miss seeing this in my referral logs?

    Like you, I am also a personal blog whore. I think the shift started around 2006 when people started going to multimedia to express themselves instead of typing it out. Hell, I had my own podcast series on and off for about two years. At the end, it just became easier to write (mainly because I’m a perfectionist and spent hours producing it).

    Can I just tell you? Reading this gave me something my blog hasn’t seen in quite a while. A pep talk. Not to say that it deserves it since I’ve been cranking out like a post or two a month lately (I’ve been working and life hasn’t been as exciting as when I slaved away in corporate America), but I’ve been spilling blood, sweat, and tears on these Internetz for seven years now. To me, it hasn’t lost its luster. I don’t really care about pulling an audience — I just care about telling my story. And for my twenties, this has been my way of doing it. (I also don’t think I’m very photogenic, so video was never an option I wanted to take.)

    I think the kids still read. Thing is, they’re just reading entertainment and pop culture cud regurgitated from around the Web. It’s almost like our personal stories are being phased out in favor of being the next R&B diva’s stan or critic. Our community deserves better than to have our stories going untold for the sake of celebrity.

    But God, you are so right on the money with this post. So many questions. I think I’m gonna talk about this on my site.

  2. Please do! (talk about it) I would love to hear your perspective.

    If you’re really closing up shop next year, you gotta go out with a bang no? 🙂

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