Welcome to the year of Blavity.

As we look forward to 2015, I want to share with you a refreshed vision of our strategy and focus.  Since launching 6 months ago we’ve touched thousands of people and laid the foundation to connect with a unique, creative, and beautiful black community.

This spring we’ll be focused on 3 themes: Making it easy to find the best content, enabling others to share their experiences and building community.  Below you’ll find some thoughts about what each theme means and why it matters. As always, please respond with questions, thoughts or reactions.


1. Reducing friction to finding culturally relevant content

Creating and curating content by refining our technology and adding curators and new partnerships to the blavity ecosystem.

Blavity was born from a need to make it easy to find content that reflects the interests, experiences and philosophies of dynamic young black generations. We continue to be committed to this mission by adding new technical tools to quickly add new content (shoutout to Deary!), opening up the curation process to human curators, and working with existing brands who are already curating or making good shit.

Building a native iOS mobile app focused on sharing cool things with your friends and having conversations about those things

Let’s keep it real… Blavity is a gumbo: a wonderful mix of a tech and media company, bridged together by community. Most of what you’ve seen in the last 6 months is the reflection of a bright and shiny new media company, however behind the scenes we’ve been brainstorming ways to take our mission and make it scalable. We’ve been testing, reviewing our data, talking to active users and coming up with new concepts. What we’ve learned is that people read and consume content not because of the publication’s reputation, but because of who recommends content.  Now, certainly brands can be built to have personality and warrant trust, but nothing trumps a personal human touch from a bestie.  This is even more true in minority communities like the #blerd, #naturalhair, #blacktwitter where we have created local celebrities who have been deemed “curators.”

We are friggin pumped to work on this problem. #blacktwitterisreal #yesIsayfriggin

2. Creating a media platform for the voices of our generation.

Collaborating with influencers and creatives to publish their thoughts on current events.

Some of our best posts have not come from Blavity team members, but from influencers like Julian Mitchell or Kayla Greaves who had something to say and needed a place to let the people know!  These are the voices of our peers and as far as I’m concerned are 100x more valuable than any voice on CNN, BET or heaven forbid, VH1.  We’ve tested this a few times, and are officially opening up the Bulletin for others to contribute thought pieces or essays in relation to current events. We are committed to promoting, cross distributing and amplifying.

Interviewing and discovering untold stories of our generation

This is a no brainer so I won’t belabor the point here. Promoting cool people doing cool things is what we like to do and we have no plan to stop.  We’ll continue to feature creators via the Bulletin and our Instagram.

Writing stories and essays that reflect the nuances of our culture, perspectives and identities.

We are looking to explore ideas that start or extend conversations, that have meaning and impact, and help provide different and nuanced perspectives. These stories may not be full of gifs or memes, but they are vital to capturing the personal thoughts and ideas about how you or someone’s else views the world.


3. Creating a supportive and interactive community

Building a brand and establishing a culture of support.

One thing we are constantly thinking about is how we can connect the people we collaborate with and meet via Blavity with the wider fam. We’ve tried a few things to build community like t-shirts (socks coming soon), a chillset in LA and a brunch in Harlem. In the next few months we’ll continue to look for opportunities to have offline chill sessions to connect the community. We have the most users in The Bay Area, ATL and Brooklyn, so that’s where we will go next.

Utilizing the wisdom of the Blavity Family.

Our community is full of domain experts.  People have offered their advice and consulting to the Blavity team and we’ve greatly benefited from it.  We’d like to invite people who are a few steps ahead of us, or on the same journey we are, to share their advice and hacks with the community via posts on the Bulletin, Twitter chats or even  webinars. We are still brainstorming this, so we’d love thoughts on ways to expand their platforms, while bringing insights the help all of us get better together. Everybody eats this year.

A commitment to continue to build this company in public.

We’re all new to this and I’d like to invite you to come on this journey with us. We’ll keep testing new things, but I need your help to continue to make something we can all be proud of.  We’re creating a little piece of the internet that is built with us in mind… so from me to you… I ask you to respond to our questions, let us know when something is wack, broken, or feels off brand (as you know, my mother does this frequently). I have high expectations for our team.

There is much more to come in this next year, and I couldn’t be more excited. Thanks for rocking with us so far, and I’m excited to see where 2015 is going to take us.