Sunday, December 30, 2007

Black Blogging Year in review...comment (The Afronet is all about Business, Politics, Entertainment & Social Issues)

In my year long effort to survey of internet media outlets (websites, Black Blogs, and online commentaries) the Afronet (Black-blogosphere, and Black website services) are all about
1. Business and Economics
2. Politics & other legal stuff
3. Entertainment including videos, hip hop, fashion, and sports
4. Social issues (how black people are suffering, struggling, falling behind and otherwise still trying the catch up; and though Education is an oft addressed topic it is often packaged as a social issue and not a self-standing issue in and of itself).

I'm rather disappointed that science, technology, education, and the arts are hardly ever (if ever) addressed.
Scanning the headlines of YBPGuide, RSSpect.org or AfroSpear feeds, there is hardly a discussion topic that isn't one of the aforementioned. I'm not proposing that the fine bloggers should discontinue their posts, but I am suggesting that the net be cast farther and wider to include a greater variety of blog topics.
So in response (sort of) to Black Blogging year in review, I have a few comments for "what to do in 08". Black Blogging in 08 should include more topics on the following:
include:
a) Science: including health, medicine, and lifestyle issues as well as info about natural and physical sciences discoveries and careers
b) Technology: by this I mean more than a review of the hottest new cell phone, music, and video gadgets. I mean biotech, engineering, mechanics, etc. Also include info about study and career options in Engineering and Technology.
c) Education: with commentaries offered by educational professionals and not politicians and lobbyists ranting about the state of Black children's education. Discussions could include best practices, pedagogy, teaching and learning philosophies.
d) Arts & Fine Arts: that would include introductions and discussions about literature, artists, the fine arts, and reviews.

By the same note, I am REALLY hungry for websites (like Black America web, BET) that are popular among African-Americans to also follow suit. These are matters and subjects of importance and interest to the Black Diaspora as well.

8 comments:

George Jackson said...

Agreed. I too have been disappointed at the lack of intellectual substance in the the black blogosphere. It seems that this too is another symptom of our peoples obsession with pop culture and consumerism.

Yobachi said...

"Lack of intellectual substance", dude are you smoking crack?

I have a problem with their being more pop culture/celebrity black blogs than those of substance, and was going to post on that awhile back, but never did; but there's not vaccume of intellectualism and I don't thing that's what this post even says.

I read dozens of intellectual black blogs everyday. If you need help finding some of them you can try the blog roll on the Afrospear page at BlackPerspective.net

Yobachi said...

Hmmm, well Urban Scientist; I've seen a few Black tech blogs around. The Black Weblog Awards contained a Best Science/Tech Blog award which was won by Nerd With Swag. You can see all that here: http://www.blackperspective.net/index.php/black-weblog-awards/

As far as more science posting in the Afrosphere, well science isn’t particularly a racial issue. Science is neutral, it’s not perspective based. I mean, analysis of results can be shaped by perspective; but the actual science is not. In fact, I don’t see many science blogs by anybody of any race. Science writing takes particular expertise, it’s not something that anyone can just write about like they can on their views of life, culture and politics. So you have a limited amount of people who would be adept at that. And being real about it, the representation of Black people in the science disciplines isn’t very high, so I think the lack of Black blogging on that subject is a reflection of a societal issue that has to be improved.

It’s not as if I’m not concerned with technology and science and don’t have some knowledge of these things, because I’m broad based in my awareness; but I’m not equipped to write on such things because my knowledge of them isn’t that in depth. I study politics, sociology, and history; and of course I live culture, so that’s what I write about.

I agree, we could use more blogging on health. I’m disappointed that my health post don’t receive much response. Personally though, I did do a lot of blogging on AIDS, and some on other health issues. It’s not difficult for people to study up on health issues, and everyone is affected by them, so I think that’s a legitimate criticism of deficiency in the Afrosphere.

And fine arts, again, it’s a small niche’ market. How many Americans of any stripe participate in fine arts? Again the lack of blogging on that is a reflection of society.

The Education thing, I don’t know. It would be good if some educators started blogs if you’re talking about technical educational practices and implementation. But that’s resource blogging as opposed to commentary blogging. Most Blogs are commentary, not technical resource sites.

When it comes to extolling the need for education and maybe highlighting educational triumphs, I agree there could be more of that; but it’s not a grand dearth of it now.

In order for these technical blogging things to exist, you’ll have to have the people in those fields step up to the plate. You can’t expect people who don’t study or practice a discipline to be able to write on them.

So I think the challenge here is for those in these fields who are already blogging such as yourself to forge technical coalitions of blogs like a black tech/education/science/fine arts version of the Afrospear and work to develop a blogging culture for those disciplines and to identify and mentor those who might blog in those areas.

Also forming something like an associated press type service for these groups where those writing on these issues could provide a feed that makes their post available for other bloggers to repost; that way those of us who are not adept at writing on these things ourselves could still post on them by reproducing the post of those who are.

Further y’all should go ahead and join groups like the AfroSpear and put on work shops at the Blogging While Brown Conference so that you can add your perspective and piece of the pie to the dialogue and agenda.

The Urban Scientist said...

Okay, we only a little star-crossed. You're right, science, tech, and the arts are racial neutral, but that isn't my point. And the lack of black science & arts blogging is perhaps reresentative of the # of Black people who are sinto science and the arts, but my point is that popular black blog directories or centers (like Blackperspective.net) don't even have a tab for science, health, tech, education or the arts. I'm referring to the titles of your tabs or subheadings or headlines of things discussed in the Black blogsphere.
Moreover, black blog commentaries are almost exclusively about business, social issues, entertainment, and/or politics.

I beleive you when you say "It’s not as if I’m not concerned with technology and science and don’t have some knowledge of these things" and I think the same may be true of other black blog stars, but the fact remains, these issues are simply not represented or presented to your subscribers for consideration. That's not your fault. This isn't a blame thing. And I don;t expect you all to blog about these things. In fact, my request is that you include these types of blogs in your directory. Ask people to submit the links to your directory, place a Call to submit blogs from black bloggers who discuss Science, Technology, Education, and the Arts. And to defend George Jackson (a little) I want to believe he was referring to lack of diversity of thought when he referred to "lack of intellectual substance". The matter you all present and discuss is important, but it's not diverse.

Nerd with Swag..I didn't know about this site, thanks for letting me know. The page is nice, but if this is what the black blogosphere thinks is the best science/tech blog, then we need to sit down get on the same page. The page seems to be mostly a hip-hop commentary that discusses some great new tech gadgets. What about commentary about up and coming science and technological advances, spotlights on professionals, breaking new research or how new science/tech frontiers will impact society, particular black folks? That's what I'm talking about. That's missing, and no one seems to realize that it's not out there.
Forging a coalition is a great idea, but in my opinion it may only attract people who are primarily interested in those subjects. WE (black bloggers & activists as a whole) lose the opportunity to share something new and informational to a wider audience. I'm not that into hip-hop and conservative politics, but I like knowing I can read the headlines & choose to access those articles on occasions. I'd like the rest of the black blogosphere to have that access and opportunity to be abreast of Science, Tech, Education, & Arts issues, too. Follow me?

Finally, your statement "In fact, I don’t see many science blogs by anybody of any race" gives me pause. This signals to me that perhaps your interest and training in politics, sociology, and history has placed some blinders on you. Science blogging is big. And the fact that someone as hooked in and knowledgeable as you is unaware of the number and variety of science blogs or online science services only reinforces the stats...The average reader of popular science magazines is a middle-class, middle-age white male with a college education. This means that ALL other demogradphics are not keeping up with science and tech news. This means we have a whole host of citizens who are not as informed about science and tech issues that are affecting their lives everyday. These decision makers of policy, health and environment include women, seniors, young people, people of color, people from lower socio-economic scales, even black middle class people.

As an African-American scientist, this frightens me. And it makes me think that science outreach to the Black community in general is in serious need to reach out to not only the urban poor, but the colleged, technologically-advanced middle-class as well.

Here are some launching points: www.scienceblogs.com (ever heard of SEED magazine, well this is who sponsors this community of online science bloggers. Be sure to check out Science to Life - published by Karen V, a Black Science Blogger); www.scienceblog.com, www.livescience.com, www.sciam.com, www.sciencedaily.com, also Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has a whole science website and radio program www.deltasee.org, Sciece Spectrum - an online minority science hub www.sciencespectrumonline.com, and most popular science magazines have blogs too.

Veronica said...

I know I'm a little late on this one, but just saw your membership request on the AfroSpear and decided to check out your site. I also work in the tech field and yes, do hate my job with a passion too. :-)
I agree that we need more tech, arts, etc. and would invite you to visit my website: www.myafricandiaspora.com. I blog from there as well. My blog generally covers whatever's on my mind, but the site aims to provide all you mention and more, focusing on the entire African Diaspora. Would welcome your thoughts/feedback.

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