Blogging While Brown 2012 Conference Schedule

FRIDAY -Business of Blogging Symposium

All events held at The Chemical Heritage Foundation unless otherwise noted.

8:00 AM Registration Opens

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM Opening Remarks

9:10 AM – 10:10 AM Blog to Book

Is there a book inside every blogger? In the age of ebooks do book deals really matter? How can bloggers leverage their online platforms to successfully transition to the world of book publishing? Successful bloggers and book authors, Angel Laws creator of Concrete Loop and author of Angel’s Laws of Blogging, Demetria Lucas author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-To Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life are joined by Atria Books editor Todd Hunter to give a behind the scenes look at the publishing industry and demystify the multiple paths to publishing and how to leverage online audiences for offline success.

10:10 AM – 10:25 AM Break

10:10 AM A Belle In Brooklyn Book Signing

10:25 AM – 11:25 AM Blogs & Brands

What are the best practices for bloggers who want to work with brands? What opportunities are available to bloggers? What are brands looking for when they partner with bloggers? How can bloggers convey their audience, reach and influence in an effective manner?

Join agency veterans Tyrha M. Lindsey, Managing Director for L.A.I. Communications, Jennifer Polk, a Vice President with Edelman Digital and Mananya Soobhawan, Digital Supervisor at Weber Shandwick as they explain best practices for bloggers who want to partner with brands.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Lunch sponsored by the Philadelphia Multicultural Congress

12:35 PM – 1:35 PM Blog to TV Sponsored by Comcast | NBC UNIVERSAL

Lights! Camera! Action! You’ve seen bloggers turned pundits on MSNBC, CNN and The Today Show and thought to yourself – I can do that. But what does it take to transition from successful blogger to called upon TV expert? Harry Hairston, Emmy Award-winning journalist on Philadelphia’s NBC 10, Lou Dubois, Social Media Editor for NBC Universal affiliate WCAU-TV and Alexis Garrett Stodghill, the New York and Lifestyle editor of, a division of NBC News, will give a behind the scenes look at what it takes to work with your local NBC stations.

1:35 PM – 1:50 PM Break

1:50 PM - 2:50 PM Blogpreneur 4.0: From Blog to Big Business … The Next Steps

You started a blog and have built it into an uber popular and even profitable brand. Now what? Blogpreneur 4.0 will reveal: How to recognize when the business of your blog has grown beyond you? Building your first team: Who to bring on to keep your brand winning on the next level? How to garner major publicity regardless of niche. What to do when major media company’s come knocking? When you should sell? When is it time to consider investors and how to get the right ones? What are the tools needed to build a consistently profitable company infrastructure? How to navigate Madison Avenue: acquiring and brokering advertisers from a higher vantage point in the game.

Frederick Mwangaguhunga, founder/CEO of, Lyneka Little a reporter with The Wall Street Journal, David A. Wilson, Creator/Executive Editor of and Jennifer A. Williams, Chief Strategist/CEO of J Sharpe Agency Public Relations will explore the key steps to be taken next as a popular blog transitions from a buzzing media brand to big business.

2:50 PM Closing Remarks

3:00 PM Board trolley to Comcast Tech Center Tour

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Comcast Tech Center Tour

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM  Evening Panel - Love is a Battlefield:

Navigating from the Trenches

Writing about relationships and dating is one of the quickest and most authentic ways to connect with readers, develop an audience and create a foundation from which you can write about other things. Join Kaneisha Grayson author of Be Your Own Boyfriend: Decide to be Happy, Unleash Your Sext and Change Your Life, Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas and Michelle Y. Talbert of Black Love Rules as they share their tips and strategies for building a reputation as a top dating and relationship blogger. This panel will discuss the ins and outs of niche dating blogging, the best mediums for relationship blogging, content, booking offline gigs to help brand yourself as a dating blogger and what you should write about your personal life and what should you keep private.

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Mix & Mingle Opening Network Event

Sponsored by Curls Unleased


8:00 AM Registration Opens

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM Opening Remarks

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM Opening Keynote: Your Personal Brand:

It actually IS all about you!

How do you not just create, but craft and maintain a strong personal brand online? What's the difference between a personal brand and just being loud on Twitter? How does one extend their brand effectively across Facebook, Twitter, G+ and beyond, while still maintaining an effective and authentic voice?

Join Adria Richards, Luvvie Ajayi, andScott Hanselman in this pragmatic and upbeat panel. They'll talk about how they developed three very different, very distinct, but demonstrably effective personal brands online.

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM Break

10:15 AM - 11:30 AMJohn S. Knight Fellowships Meetup

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Breakout Sessions:

Blogging without Bounds:Taking Your Blog Offline into Local Communities

Sponsored by Blogher

Blogging has its boundaries, but should it? Learn to use your influence and perspective to activate readers/followers in your local community and around the world as advocates of your social cause. Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks, founders ofBlack Girls Run, will discuss what are important considerations for implementing an offline component to your blog, how to integrate a grassroots movement into your blog, how do you gain buy-in from existing readers, how to create blog loyalist and how do you further extend your blog brand offline.

Building & Managing an Online Community Sponsored by Uniworld

What are the keys to creating and managing a successful online community? What strategies increase reader engagement? How can the art of storytelling help build your brand?  What resources are available to bloggers to help leverage the power of Facebook to build their brand, push traffic to their blog, market events and sell products? What offline resources are available to bloggers to help expand their influence?

Akotoa Ofori-Atta of The Root, Donna Pierce of Black America Cooks and Skillet Diaries, and Lamar Tyler of Black and Married with Kids will discuss the art and science of creating strategies that keep readers coming back for more.

SEO 101


What is SEO and why it should matter to bloggers and website owners? How does Search Engine Optimization work in general? What are THREE things that can be done to begin optimizing a site's search engine ranking?

Luvvie Ajayi will demystify SEO and teaches the tools necessary to make websites more visible to search engines.

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM Lunch Panel: Social Media & Technology: What’s Next?

Sponsored by Comcast | NBC UNIVERSAL

Facebook is well on its way to reaching their goal of a billion users. Over 200 million Tweets are posted every day. YouTube videos get over 4 billion views each day. Social Media & technology have become essential parts of our lives but how can we harness that power to create new opportunities? How will social media and tech change? What resources are available to those actively engaged in the space to help them take things to the next level?  

Join the CEO of Knowledge Brokers and Microsoft Diversity Recruiter, Marlin Page, Anslem Samuel Rocque, Senior Producer of Interactive Media at and Tony Williams, Director of Government Affairs at Comcast as they discuss the current state of social media and technology and share insight on how Black Bloggers can position themselves to not just follow trends but set them.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Breakout Sessions:

Next Level Sister Bloggers Sponsored by BlogHer

So you started a blog, now what? The barriers to entry into the blogosphere are low, but the barriers to expansion are high. Monetization and sustainability are two of the most daunting challenges facing any blogger.  Expert bloggers and social media executives explain how every blogger can create a platform that is professional and sustainable.

Patrice Grell Yursik of and Kathryn Finney of The Budget Fashionista join Maria Niles, Client Services Director of BlogHer in a panel moderated by Elisa Camahort Page, cofounder of BlogHer.

The Brothers of Blogging: Making it in a Woman’s World Sponsored by Uniworld

Research indicates that women are more active on social media than men.  The social media age has lead to an increase in the numbers of women with independent publishing platforms.  In one of the few areas in technology where women may be dominant, what’s it like to be a man?  How do brothers thrive in a blogosphere dominated by women? Are Black male bloggers pigeon holed into blogging only on particular subjects? What unique opportunities are available for Black male bloggers? Four dynamic gentleman come together to explain their unique experiences as men in a blogosphere that, at times, appears dominated by women. 

Wayne Bennett of The Field Negro, Darryl Frierson of From Ashy to Classy and Slim Jackson of Single Black Male come together in a panel moderated by author and social media pioneer Shawn P. Williams of Dallas South News.

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM Break

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM Breakout Sessions:

More than Words: the Power of Images & Video Sponsored by BlogHer

Is video is the next wave of web monetization? How can bloggers successfully monetize their images? Join Aymar Jean Christian of Televisual and Hacktivision and Erin J. Bailey of Scandalous Beauty as they discuss revenue-generating strategies for Black online content creators, including: sponsorship, product placement/branded entertainment, ad networks, crowdfunding and subscription. Particular attention will be paid to utilizing Black blogs, social networks and channels for increasing content scale.

Urgent Issues Affecting People of Color from HIV to Hazing Sponsored by Uniworld

Today’s news headlines read every day about the dismal health statistics of the African American population in the United States.  From Obesity, Diabetes and HIV/AIDS to unnecessary killings of young black men and more, is there something that can be done to get the African American community on a path to better health and overall well-being?  UniWorld Group believes that there can and is presenting this panel highlighting leaders who are actively producing public health campaigns across the country to empower not only African Americans, but all of us to take charge of our health and truly be our brothers and sisters keepers.

Join Dawn-Marie Gray, Senior Marketing Manager at CVS, Jimmy Hammock, International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Dr. Amy Nunn, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research) in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brown Medical School in a panel moderated by George James, LMFT, the CEO of George Talks, LLC, as they discuss urgent issues affecting people of color.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM Break

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Closing Keynote Panel: Netroots, Blackroots, Grassroots:

Social Media & Social Change Five Years Later

Five years after the launch of Blogging While Brown, we’ve elected a Black president and watched as social movements around the world catch fire via the power of social media. After five years, has the power of social media lived up to the promise? What progress has been made to bridge gaps between online activists and traditional social justice organizations? What more needs to be done to fully exploit the power of technology for social change and social justice.

Tamika D. Mallory, National Executive Director of National Action Network will be joined by Philadelphia activist Naomi Christine Leapheart and Professor Terry Smith,  Distinguished Research Professor at DePaul College of Law in Chicago and author of Barack Obama, Post-Racialism, and the New Politics of Triangulation in a panel moderated by Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D. also known as Dr. Goddess.

4:30 PM Closing Remarks

7:00 PM Afrobella & Shearadiance After Party at The Reef Restaurant & Lounge