In comic books, Superman was the first: the first person to don the cape and briefs and call himself a superhero. In Asian American blogging, that dude is Phil of Angry Asian Man.
I wrote earlier this week about my celebration after 12 years of Reappropriate, including how the genesis of this site involved a time when Angry Asian Man was basically the first and only Asian American identity blog on the web.
Phil’s always been a pretty private person, keeping a nice delineation between his blogging self and his real-life self. For a long time, he (like I) blogged anonymously, and I even remember the news article that first unmasked Phil as the man behind Angry Asian Man.
Over the last 13 years, Angry Asian Man has been the go-to site for Asian American lifestyle and identity politics, amassing tens of thousands of clicks a week. And for whatever combination of reasons, we assume that maintaining a blog of that size and profile is easy: throw a few words into your WordPress, splash on a Google image, and voila — instant web revenue!
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Speaking as someone who has also maintained a (reasonably well-trafficked) independent blog for over a decade, I can tell you: blogging ain’t easy and it sure as heck ain’t cheap. Each blog post that I write takes approximately 3 hours to draft, edit, format and publish. And blogs with large amounts of traffic come with their own headaches: finding and maintaining a decent server, paying for the extra bandwidth, ripping your hair out when your database slows down or crashes (as it inevitably does). Bloggers maintain blogs out of passion, not for any (largely non-existent) material gains: the amount of money one can earn from a blog through conventional web advertising is insignificant.
Phil has only been running Angry Asian Man full-time for about a year, and the truth is that even the most highly-trafficked self-published blog of our community cannot possibly generate the kind of revenue necessary to serve as a full-time gig without help from readers.
So, today, Phil posted a request for donations. And frankly, I think that call has been long overdue. Our community gets so much out of Angry Asian Man and the Angry Nation that he has built through his site. It is through AAM that many of us came to Asian American politics online, that many of us get our daily news, and that many of us still stay inspired. It really is our duty to give back.
Please take a moment to check out Phil’s post explaining why he’s asking for support, and then go check out his Paypal donation page to make a one-time or monthly commitment to support his site. Please help keep our very own Angry Asian Man angry.