Don't try to call that number though.

When I first started writing for Single Black Male, I was a bursty blogger trying to get my name and my site’s name out there via a more established platform. That was back in 2008. It’s now February 2011 and I’m wondering how the hell I’ve written so many posts here and thinking about the additions to the staff since I’ve been on board with thee SBM. Doc, Streetz, and RCLS (he’s back) helped us bring home our 1st Black Weblog Award in 2009 for Best Sex and Relationships Blog. I remember how proud I was of the team and the people that took the time to support us and ensure we were recognized for our efforts. I remember the disappointment in 2010 when we didn’t even make the finals.

I also think about the readers. I mean…a site can’t be popular if nobody visits it. Anybody that disputes that has eaten one too many paint chips. Readers come and go. Correction, I mean commenters and lurkers come and go. Though commenters are the only ones we can actually see unless we  dedicate our lives to monitoring IP addresses.

Commenters join the community, share in the dialogue, and basically become part of the family. Sometimes life gets hectic and they don’t have the time to kick it with us the way they used to. Others grow tired of what they perceive as revolving door discussions or off-putting topics and move on to another site. I understand, but I can’t help but to feel a bit disappointed when I see folks that used to be here everyday happily commenting elsewhere religiously. It’s like seeing an ex that you loved out with somebody else having the time of their life shortly after the breakup. Okay, it’s not that dramatic but I think you get the effect I’m going for.

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If it’s true that it takes a village to raise a child, then it’s true that it takes an active base to develop a blog community. I won’t lie to you. I want us to be known. And when I say us, I mean the people that have been reading for days, months, or years first and the staff second. Once again, we aren’t anything if people don’t type in the url, read, re-tweet, and click the thumbs up to share our content on Facebook. Would it be great for me and the rest of the writers to get accolades? Yeah, it would. We work hard and have goals that we’d like to achieve. But honestly, I don’t know that we’ve been working hard enough on the right things.

Some people have called Single Black Male the fire starter. Others have called it controversy central. I don’t particularly care for either description because that’s not what I want the site to be. Anybody can light a match, publish a post, then sit back and watch the traffic roll in to see the inflammatory content. We (You included) want to be better than that. We want laughter, diversity of opinions, active debates, and ideas that can be taken away from the keyboard and into conversations with friends and family. We want an increasingly active community.

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So basically we, the staff, want you, the community, to tell us how we can make this site better. We’re looking for thoughts and suggestions on what you would like to see on Single Black Male (A tool belt doesn’t count). How can we improve the experience so that more people join the daily discussions and support the moving of the movement? Camron.

Today is an open forum to provide us with feedback on the site. Think of it as a town hall meeting of sorts. Just understand that if anybody shouts “you lie!” that Nancy Pelosi might pop up on the left side of your screen and hit you with the side-eye from hell or we’ll just escort you from the building. In other words, blatant negativity won’t be tolerated. There’s a tactful way to say everything.

Anyways, we’re looking forward to your feedback and we’re more excited about implementing what we can moving forward. Let’s have a discussion about improvement so that Friday at least feels some type of productive wherever you are. (Note: Cosigning good ideas or thoughts is encouraged today.)

-Slim aka Slarack Jobama