Buzz

With an average of 12,000 daily unique visitors, 30,000 daily page views, 500 to 1200 comments per entry, and a combined 20,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, in the four years since its launch, VerySmartBrothas.com has grown from a content driven blog to a content driven community.

Exactly how vast this community has become was apparent 2/10/2011 – the date of our “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night” launch party. Instead of having a party in one city, we had simultaneous launch parties in ten different cities.

Coined “National VSB Day,” over 1000 people gathered in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, California, Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston to celebrate the release of our book. This all occurred despite the fact that Pittsburgh (Damon) and D.C. (Panama) were the only cities where one of us actually attended the event. But, our fans are so into the community we’ve created that our attendance wasn’t required for them to still want to meet each other and discuss, debate, and bond over all things VSB.  

We followed “National VSB Day” with a three year anniversary party in D.C. on April 2nd – an event which featured three amazing things:

1. Over 500 of our fans were able to attend. Some came from as far as Miami and Seattle.

2. We managed to sell over 100 copies of “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night.” Some of these people had even already purchased both the paperback and Kindle versions of the book, and just wanted to buy an autographed copy.

3. This event marked the very first time that we met in person.

It’s been a year since “Your Degrees…” was released. In that time, we’ve sold approximately 5,000 copies of the book.

Although the release of “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night” resulted in a large increase in media attention and blog growth, our popularity had already started to grow. While it might seem as if we’ve come out of nowhere, we’ve been building this base of support and patronage for years.

For instance, VerySmartBrothas.com launched March 31st of 2008, and by the next month, we were already receiving 150 to 200 hundred comments per entry – an unprecedented feat for an independent niche blog. We received our first national press a short time later – a feature in the “Blogarithms” section of the New York, Boston, and Philadelphia versions of The Metro News.

VerySmartBrothas.com is also branching out to the small screen, as we’ve signed an option agreement with L.A.-based Solo Journey Productions to produce an eight episode webseries based on the book. And, along with our existing partnership with Solo Journey, we’re negotiating a deal with Yari Film Group — the company responsible for “Crash” and “The Illusionist” — to produce a television pilot.

Here’s a look at the most prominent of the hundreds of links, articles, reviews, radio, and television spots that have featured us and/or “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night” in the past year.

National TV

  • BET’s Weekly With Ed Gordon, March 6th  2011.

 National Radio

  • Michael Eric Dyson, May 25th 2011.
  • Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show, April 20th  2011.
  • The Michael Baisden Show, March 21st  2011.
  • The Bev Smith Show, February 14th  2011.

Print/Internet

  • VerySmartBrothas.com was named alongside luminaries such as Barack Obama, Oprah, and Kanye West to Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” — an annual list celebrating “innovators, movers and shakers…who are shaping the world in new and different ways,” in January 2012 (Earlier that month, Jet Magazine also released an issue naming VerySmartBrothas one of the three biggest Web Wonders of the year.)
  • TheLoop21.com “Bloggy Blog World: Black Bloggers Push “Publish” Button For Book Deals.”

Book Reviews

  • Helena Andrews – author of the “Bitch Is The New Black” – reviewed “Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm At Night” on TheRoot.com. From the review:

Written by Damon “the Champ” Young and Panama Jackson, the two “very smart brothas” behind the blog of the same name, Your Degrees isn’t the latest literary money pit for pitiful women looking to “find, keep and understand a man.” Instead, the book, which reads more like a “best of” blog series (in a good way), is a case study in new-millennium mating for like-minded folk who live near a metro. The book is playful without being patronizing.

  • From “Get With This: Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night” a review from Ebony Magazine news and features editor (digital) Jamilah Lemieux:

Unlike many of the male writers who write about romance for primarily female audiences, the VSBs have never postured themselves as “experts”, or acted as if the entire onus of burden for dating falls on feminine shoulders; their approach has always been among the lines of “We’re dudes. We love women. We have some opinions that may help some of you and we can all have a good laugh while we share them.” They don’t take themselves too seriously, yet they have a lot of insight and pragmatic advice to share.

The VSBs do take a few stances that I don’t agree with; for example, The Champ is very cynical about platonic friendships between men and women (though he mentions having homegirls a few times in the book) and both of them are a bit old-school about the idea of a woman approaching a man. However, I’ve found a lot of things that I connect with throughout the book and the run of the site (I predict the term “Diva Dudes” to become part of the official educated Negro lexicon within the year) and reading their work feels like talking to a few of my snarky, brilliant homeboys more than anything else.

Panels and Features

2012:

  • Panama  moderated numerous panels for The Washington Post, including a sitdown with “Think Like a Man” actor Michael Ealy and “Black Identity and Culture in The Mass Media.”
  • In early 2012, Panama was featured in “Ask A Black Man” — an on-going web series at Madame Noire.
  • In January of 2012, Damon appeared in an Essence Magazine feature/photo spread devoted to dating and relationship advice. Here’s a link to the video made before the photoshoot.
2011:
  • Damon served as a keynote speaker at Blogalicious 2011 — an annual social media conference for women of color.
2010:
  • Damon served as a panelist in both the D.C. (March 2010) and NYC (June 2010) editions of Paul Carrick Brunson’s “Modern Day MatchMaker Live” shows.  Click here for a summary of the D.C. show.
  • Panama served as a panelist at Florida A&M University’s “I Am A Man: FAMU Man Rising Panel” in February of 2010.
  • In January of 2010, Essence Magazine featured an article originally written by Damon on VerySmartBrothas.com that debunks the myth that most high profile black men flock to marry non-black women.
  • Also, in the summer of 2010, VerySmartBrothas was featured in a high profile Q&A back and forth with Ruby Veridiano during her audition to become MTV’s VJ:

Awards
VerySmartBrothas.com has received multiple Black Weblog Awards in each of the last three years:
  • 2011: Five awards – Best Blog, Best Comedy Blog, Best Writing in a Blog, Best Blog Duo, Best Sex and Relationship Blog.
  • 2010: Best Group Blog, Best Humor Blog
  • 2009: Best Writing In A Blog, Best Group Blog

Miscellaneous 

Last, but not least, the YouTube video based on the post, “Shit Bougie Black Girls Say.”