As long-time readers know, I do a twice a year fundraiser here on We Are Respectable Negroes. This site is a labor of love. I have learned so much from my interactions and conversations, as well as good folks I have met since starting WARN several years ago with a group of close friends.
This site has been part of some big things. We operate in the shadows. But, you and me have both had moments where we turn on the TV or go to other websites and then say, "yup, they got that from us." In fact, I have been told that by more than a few people in person off the record.
Quality content does not come out of the ether. I am better at what I do because of how you all inform my thinking, challenge me, share new insights, and talk to each other. WARN is a salon. I am the barkeep listening in to the great conversations that occur here.
And yes, I do have what I believe are some unusually fun and rich posts planned for the week. A brother can't put out the begging bowl unless he is gonna offer something up in exchange.
We Are Respectable Negroes gives me more than it demands. However, WARN is still work and involves very much more than a few hours each week. As fans know, I rarely just republish other folks' work. Most of my content is original. That takes time. I believe in quality over quantity. Sometimes I am able to have a perfect mix of the two. In all, this is not easy work. Those of you who have tried to maintain a high quality blog or other online presence can most certainly relate.
Despite offers to do so, I do not advertise here on We Are Respectable Negroes because I want to remain independent and unencumbered. As such, my twice a year fundraiser is a nice inducement to keep the wheels moving forward. I am also gracious and so very gratified by those of you who have donated to our random fundraising drives, and who have given, randomly, of your own volition, throughout the year.
What do I have planned for the near future? The site is about to finally hit 1.7 million page views and nearing 1.5 million visitors. Good stuff for a fun blog about the varied hobbies and concerns of ghetto nerds, race, politics, popular culture, and whatever else we decide to talk about here on WARN.
I was initially worried about the new url. Yes, it will take time to regain all my Google rankings and such, but I have gotten new traffic and links because of the url change. I also feel liberated and free to do some new things and take on new topics by changing the url of the site. I hope you will like some of the new content and directions I plan to go in the near future.
My next step is to develop a proper Facebook presence and to more fully develop my social media voice. Remember, I am on Twitter. I am usually on late in the evening. I really enjoy chatting with fans of the site. So please send me a message, follow my "tweets", and share what you like here on We Are Respectable Negroes with your contacts and friends.
I am also about to launch Season 2 of the podcast series. I have ten good folks lined up. Several of which, I am sure will surprise you. I am also working through the next evolution of the site. My plan is to bring in a few guest posts each Friday from folks who I think you would enjoy reading and hearing from.
When I put out the begging bowl I try to tell folks how I will use their kind gifts. As I did last time, my plans are pretty simple. I would like to surprise my mother with a visit home. I help to support her financially so I can't visit as much as I would like. There is only so much money in the pile. When able, I always take the opportunity to go home and put a smile on her face. Whatever other monies that remain will be split between the "getting a new crown for my molar because I have crappy dental insurance fund", and a meal at a nice restaurant here in Chicago, followed by some drinks, and a cab ride home. I like riding in cabs late a night; It makes me feel like a grand high vizier or king. Those are the pleasures of a working class kid.
Times are hard out there. I am the worst fundraiser because I thank people prematurely and always tell folks to take care of home, family, pets, and self first. If you have a dollar or two--or more if you are feeling particularly generous--do throw it in at the Paypal link on the sidebar. It would be appreciated.
I am gratified by the good folks who read and follow We Are Respectable Negroes and the support you have given the site over the years. Good things keep happening. Fingers crossed, more good things will continue to happen in the future.