VerySmartBrothas: From Blog to Book to TV

Panama Jackson on Weekly with Ed Gordon
Panama Jackson is the headlining guest on “Weekly with Ed Gordon” on BET. He’s talking about the book, "Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night.”

So. This happened.

It’s all been happening kinda fast, but if you didn’t know, we (meaning VerySmartBrothas.com) released a book a few weeks ago, called Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: the Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime. Panama Jackson and Damon Young (fellow co-founders and generally awesome writers of the blog) wrote this book three years ago, and one day asked me to help them set up and run a site/blog that would be a companion for the book. We’ve been rockin with the blog for a minute now and they finally released the self-published book early last month.

I have been touch and go with the book promo. To be honest, the book was suddenly ready and Damon kinda wanted to hurry up and get the book out for public consumption. I’m seemingly never ready to do anything (I like to wait for the proverbial “perfect time” that never happens), but we released the book (self-published on Amazon.com) without any real publicity plan (I’ve been super busy).

Anyway. A week or so passes, we get some press on TheRoot.com, a few book reviews here and there on some blogs. We top a chart or two on Amazon.com. And then some national press starts knocking on our door. Or, our e-mail inbox. We have a piece running in a national newspaper soon (fingers crossed). BET’s Weekly with Ed Gordon invited us to be on their relationships episode, and they asked us to be the headlining one-on-one segment (which is why PJ is there alone, without Damon). We have a satellite radio interview coming up soon, as well. All because of our talent as a team, great writing by the guys, some social media and branding mojo and a supportive community.

This has been interesting, to say the least. We don’t have agents. We don’t have publicists. We typically are poor at networking with other bloggers. We barely find the time to publicize ourselves (outside of Facebook, Twitter, and most recently, Tumblr). But it’s been cool to see how far this book and our message can reach people, with just a blog and a self-published book. I don’t want to say we didn’t try to make this happen, but we really are winging it at this point. Thankfully, some cool opportunities have been coming our way.

I spent today with Panama at the taping of the Ed Gordon show. It was pretty fun. Sure, this isn’t NBC Nightly News or anything, but…my best friend is on TV! For a project that we (us + Damon) have worked on for the last three years. I am pretty happy and amazed. And proud.

We haven’t been told when the episode will air yet, but the show airs on Sunday nights on BET. I watched the whole thing from the dressing room and thought P did a bang up job. We heard the producers were cracking up in the control room during his interview, and I could tell afterwards that the show’s staff really took his tongue-in-cheek relationships advice to heart. He’s such a natural, and this is totally his element. I hope he gets more opportuities to do TV, VSB-related or not.

 

In DC! (and a happy hour alert)

I’m in DC for about a week. I came here for various reasons, but I’m mostly here for a little getaway time to visit with some friends, take care of some business for an exciting new (to the public) project….and I’m (apparently) co-hosting a happy hour next week in DC, on behalf of VerySmartBrothas.

Details on the Happy Hour, from VSB:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Next Tuesday, April 13, 2010, from 5:30-10pm at Sutra Lounge in Adam’s Morgan, Panama Jackson will be one of several DC-area bloggers hosting a happy hour brought to you by Elevated Entertainment and Usual Suspectz. Come hang out with VSB P the Certified 3 and a slew of other popular DC bloggers like Leon from Listentoleon.net, etc.

Admission is free.

Sutra Lounge

2406 18th Street NW.

Come one, come all…holla at a playa when you see me in the street trick.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

If you’re in the area, be sure to come by. Let me know if you’re going to be there so I can make sure to connect with you at the event!

Twitter: So Full of Awesome This Week

Twitter has been great this week!

I woke up (kinda late) this morning, grouchy and pissed off. Logged onto Twitter and what did I see?

?uestlove of The Roots shouted out my other blog, VerySmartBrothas.com, on Twitter (he has over 1.3M followers)!

And yesterday? I got a DM (private direct message) from Jaleel White. Yes, that Jaleel White.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW?

I love you, Twitter!

VSB: First Press

For those who didn’t catch it on my Twitter, Flickr and Facebook
accounts, Very Smart Brothas.com was featured in The Metro News
yesterday in three markets (Boston, NYC, and Philadelphia).vsb_metro_scan.jpg

To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. A few months ago, Panama and  The Champ came to me  and said they had a blog concept in mind, with specific goals to be attained with said blog. They had their content ideas fleshed out, with a few strategic ideas being tossed around as well. I volunteered myself to make it happen on the tech side, and advised them on site strategy. Since then I have been working as an advisor/manager for the site.

Forty-five posts and 7,000+ comments later, the community over there is awesome, and is growing everyday. I’ve been applying many of the concepts I learned in my master’s program to the site, and I’m also testing out some other ideas. Even though the site looks pretty basic (for now), a lot of thought and debate goes on behind the scenes between the three of us. I am personally close with both of these gentlemen, and I have a couple academic degrees that certify me as Internet Expert #1, but they don’t let me get away with just anything. Ha. It’s great though, because I get practice in defending and supporting my arguements and cases for the strategies I pitch. So far, everything has been working better  than we ever expected.

Aside from that, I think it’s pretty cool to see Panama’s words in print in somebody’s newspaper. That’s my BFF right there.