Pretend Lauryn wasn't the star of the group. And that Wyclef is lightskinnt. And a 3. Oh, wait...
People of VSB,
It’s time for a little VSB history lesson, so gather round your computer monitors for a story. Today The Champ has allowed me (Liz) to write a post on VSB (sorry it’s late, a girl was out celebrating). Now that I have the carpet, I thought I’d let you in on some little known VSB history.
Three years and one day ago today, The Champ (Damon Young), Panama Jackson, and myself launched VerySmartBrothas.com. I remember the day Panama IMed me about a hairbrained idea in the winter of 2008. I’ve known P since 2004 and over the years we’ve come up with a million website ideas, but since we’re both geminis, they never get executed because we are off chasing a new idea.
As we were discussing the logistics of Hairbrained Idea #1, Panama’s e-lightbulb went off. The IM convo went exactly like this (yes, I have every IM convo I’ve ever had since 2004 archived on my computer):
2/12/2008 9:37 am PST
Panama: we just need a name [for Hairbrained Idea #1]
Panama: a good name
Panama: ya know…this is probably what me and Dame should have done
Panama: with our book stuff
Panama: something to keep folks attention while we finish the writing and editing
Liz: yeah u guys totally should have done something like this
Panama took this diversion of an idea back to Damon and the next day, the following conversation happened:
2/13/2008 8:24 am PST
Panama: i talked with Dame last night
Panama: about the spinoff [of Hairbrained idea #1]
Panama: and what we should have done
Panama: and he seems on board with it
Panama: he came up with a site name on the spot
Panama: and its available
Panama: you’d think that would be taken
Panama: but for me and Dame’s brand of entertainment
Panama: Very Smart Brothas is perfect
Panama: its assholish and true at the same time
Liz: lol right. just like you guys.
Panama: we’d blog like twice a week or something
Panama: pick topics and write about them
Liz: sounds good
Liz: u buy the url yet?
Panama: im buying it right now
Weeks later, VSB was born.
This site started out as a way for Panama and Damon to come out of blogging retirement (they’d both stopped blogging by 2006, growing bored with the genre) and pass the time while they put the finishing touches on The Book. (A book that you guys can now buy on Amazon.) I came on board because I was in grad school learning about online communities and I wanted a petri dish to play with. Also, neither one of the guys had very much technical acumen:
- Fact #1: Damon started blogging in 2002, but only because his super awesome blogger/developer/designer extraordinaire cousin huny set him up with a blog.
- Fact #2: Panama’s first website was built by yours truly back in 2004 because he also didn’t know anything about websites.
- These Two Facts Prove: Behind every Very Smart Brotha is a Very Smart Sista.
I’m always amazed when I meet readers in real life, who are excited about the site and excited to meet The Champ and Panama. To me they’re like my knuckle-headed older brothers, but somehow they have charmed the e-pants off of all of you.
All that being said, I just wanted to stop and say thank you. Really. Thank you for being here. Thank you for showing up everyday, or for every day that you can make it. Thanks for spreading the word. For supporting us. For putting up with Panama, Damon and myself. Thanks for putting up with my really strict commenting filters. (I’m sorry for the moderation, it’s my fault and I rule with an iron fist.) Thanks for putting up with my sometimes sassy demeanor in the comments section (when I decide to show up). You guys are the best experiment/petri dish a girl could ever ask for!
To Damon and P, thank you for putting up with me. I know I often make it seem like you guys are the handful, but I know I give both of you guys a run for your money behind the scenes. You don’t know how excited I am to see you both in the same room at the same time for the first time this weekend. My heart might explode!
In closing, this wouldn’t be a VSB post if we didn’t end it with some questions for you to answer. I’m curious. How did you first hear about us? What was the first memorable post you read? Which VSB regular is your favorite? Any questions you have for us about the history of VSB?
Inquiring minds wanna know. The carpet is yours and sh*t.
P.S. I will see all of you in DC tomorrow night at our #ThreeDeez VSB Anniversary Party! Be there or be square.