In general, I think more bloggers should engage in collaborative efforts, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, and etc. Those aforementioned things, however, can be used as vehicles for collaboration. I contend that African-American bloggers need to increase their influence in the blogosphere by joining forces through collaborative blogs, guest blogging, visiting one another’s blogs regularly (not every now and then), comment on one another’s blogs regularly (not every now and then), find mediums like Twitter, Facebook, email, telephone, and etc. to discuss blog posts ideas and future directions for one another’s blogs, and etc. Now, this is not an effort to try to increase my own readership, especially since I will soon be well over 100,000 readers in just my first year of blogging, I just want African-Americans to have a greater influence in the blogosphere.
Many Black people have a problem with sharing and helping one another. It seems like many African-Americans are concerned about not letting others outdo them, which ends up causing us to divide and conquer ourselves without any person to blame for this but ourselves. In my little over 6 months of blogging, I have had the pleasure to read the writing of some tremendously talented Black writers like The Realest Dude in the Room (http://realestdudeintheroom.com), I Likes It Raw (http://ilikesitraw.com), Uptown Notes (http://www.uptownnotes.com), New Black Man (http://newblackman.blogspot.com), The Black Sphere (http://theblacksphere.net), Pampered Sweet Tooth (http://pamperedsweettooth.blogspot.com), and many more. These previously mentioned Black bloggers provide a diverse range of topics, interests, ideas, and approaches that represent some of the best of what Black bloggers have to offer.
Unfortunately, Black bloggers are not as organized and collaborative as White bloggers, which results in much our talent not being given the recognition, focus, and attention it merits. It is up to Black bloggers to change this problem. No one is going to take us more seriously until we start taking ourselves more seriously. When you visit the aforementioned bloggers, you have an opportunity to see why Black bloggers need to be more visible and heard. For those who say that Black males are not doing anything but getting into trouble, I would like you to know that all of the aforementioned Black bloggers except for one are Black males.
One of the ways in which we can work to remedy this problem is by encouraging more Blacks to start blogging. Without a doubt, most African-Americans have something valuable to offer and say to America, so we need to encourage them to begin blogging immediately. Blogging gives them a free opportunity to get their voice acknowledged nationally and internationally. If anyone needs assistance with starting a free blog, then just contact me and I will help you to get started.
In closing, I just want to say that Black bloggers need to find ways to collaborate to increase our readership and impact in the blogosphere. I am not for us simply carving out our own “Black space” within the blogosphere, but I am for us having much more significance and power in the blogosphere. I hope that Black bloggers will soon unite!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison