Ok. Now on to the black blogosphere. More specifically to black bloggers who are interested in politics from a moderate to left perspective.  I don’t have a particular beef with black bloggers who have a different set of political preferences, but they have their own thing that works pretty well for them.

What should we do?

As I’ve said already, I don’t have a dog in the “mainstream bloggers should be covering X” hunt. The “mainstream bloggers” cover what they cover. When they get it wrong, that’s another story…but I don’t have a lot of time to work on that project either. I could see someone else making an argument that black bloggers need to be more unified. I don’t agree. I don’t think unity is a particularly black problem, nor do I think more “unity” would be better for black communities–these claims do nothing more than stifle black dissent and increase resources for black elites.  Here that approach would lead to a few black bloggers using unity claims to shut other bloggers up and to hoard resources for themselves. Our strength is actually IN our diversity, it does not occur in spite of it.
But the simplest and most effective things that could be done to increase exposure and focus are:

  1. Create a website of nothing more than black RSS feeds.
  2. Recreate ArcaNext.

The first thing is something that I think is being done here. One site where we could all go to see quickly what other people are writing about. This may have the tendency of narrowing our scope, to the point where we are doing more responding to each other, than responding to our environment and what is going on around us. But I think that is a risk worth taking, as our collective strength is only as powerful as our ability to–when needed–cover a few issues with depth and breadth.

The second thing is somewhat similar. ArcaNext the first time I peeped it was supposed to be a black version of Digg. But now…well if you checked the link you know what it is now…nothing. This is the type of thing that could be used either in combination with, or separate from the feed site that could swiftly make other bloggers aware of what black bloggers are thinking about and focusing on. This also runs the risk of reifying some of the more problematic aspects of mainstream blogs–increasing the power and influence of a few black blogs at the expense of the rest. But again I think this is a risk worth taking.

What i’m talking about is more about content access and consolidation rather than content modification. We need better access to what other people are covering. We need a better way of evaluating that content.

And then the third thing we need as I think about it is a conference of some sort. Like I said before, black people already have a network. Every city I go to for business purposes I hook up with some combination of people I’ve met over the internet, people I’ve taught, people I’ve gone to school with, and people in my fraternity. More formal ftf events would further consolidate what we already have.