NBC names Reappropriate one of 2015’s AAPI blogs to watch!

AARisings founder Nelson Wong made the decision last month to shutter his blog after an incredible 25 years of service to the Asian American community.
AARisings founder Nelson Wong made the decision last month to shutter his blog after an incredible 25 years of service to the Asian American community.

This morning, I was honoured to discover that Reappropriate was listed by NBC as one of 2015’s Asian American blogs to watch!

Today, NBC reported on the decision by pioneering Asian American blogger Nelson Wong to end AARisings after an epic 25 year run. Wong began AARisings as the record label Shock wAAve Records, but the site metamorphosed into a forum for aggregating Asian American entertainment news. For much of its time, AARisings was the go-to place for keeping pace with the budding Asian American entertainment and music scene; however, Wong notes that with the growing centrality of social media as a form of news sharing, the need for AARisings has shifted. Acknowledging this, Wong has decided to take this opportunity to focus his energies on other projects.

In an interview with Slant Eye for the Round Eye, Wong says:

The biggest change for APIA’s in entertainment has certainly been the blossoming of the Internet. AArisings, as a web site, is a huge example of that change. I went from a person with knowledge of local talent to providing that same type of resource by on a national and international scope just by having a web site. Having that type of reach allowed entertainers and aspiring entertainers to connect with people without regards to geographical restrictions.

After the popularity of individual web sites, the next significant change was the birth of YouTube. YouTube allowed APIA entertainers to show their talents online and that was important as technology such as webcams and digital cameras which could take video were becoming more and more affordable for consumers. We could see how people who might only sing in the shower could get on a webcam and record their own rendition of a song and release it on YouTube and get thousands and thousands of views.

And most recently, social media has really changed the landscape. People can connect to others, which has made networking so much easier, and sharing of content is an easy click away. Now if someone like Ryan Higa or the guys from Wong Fu Productions have new content out, it gets shared widely and quickly.

I think a combination of the technology and the use of that technology by younger generations has been the key to why the landscape has changed from the late-80’s to now.

While most of us who have been blogging in the Asian American blogosphere for a long time are sad to see a titan of the blogosphere shutter his doors, I completely understand Wong’s decision. Blogging is an incredible, typically selfless commitment of both time and energy (not to mention money). 25 years is an incredible amount of time to have dedicated oneself to this kind of activity; Wong should be proud of his quarter-century of service to the Asian American community.

Meanwhile, we must also recognize that blogging — like all community activism — can never be individually sustainable for life. People’s priorities shift, and their resources wax and wane. Sustainability comes from viewing activism as the work not of an individual, but of a community; to that end, one of the chief goals of any activist is to cultivate and mentor the next generation of movement leaders.

In that vein, NBC created a list of prominent Asian American bloggers who remain active and who are positioned to take the reins being relinquished by Nelson Wong; I am honoured and humbled that NBC included Reappropriate on that list. I’m in good company, too:

  • AngryAsianMan.com is a personal blog about all things Asian American, with an emphasis on news, pop culture, entertainment, and bluntly calling out racism with humor and heart.
  • Reappropriate.co is a personal blog about Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture with lots of in-depth and accessible analysis.
  • 8Asians.com is a collaborative blog of Asian Americans and Asian Canadians featuring original, diverse commentary and discussion on issues that affect Asian communities around the world.
  • TheAerogram.com is a collaborative North American-based blog offering a curated take on South Asian art, literature, life, and news.
  • HapaMama.com is a personal blog about the struggles and joys (and food and books) of Asian American and hapa individuals and families trying to bring together Asian immigrant cultures and mainstream American culture.
  • TheNerdsOfColor.org is a collaborative blog of, well, nerds, geeks, and fans of color who love superheroes, sci-fi, fantasy, and video games, and who analyze the nerd/geek fandom with a culturally critical eye.
  • DatWinning.com is an Asian American Guide to Sports.
  • ThickDumplingSkin.com is a community blog for Asian Americans to share and discuss their struggles with food and body image and examine how these issues connect with social, cultural, and familial issues.

In addition, I’d add a few more blogs to that list of 2015’s Asian American blogs to watch. Most are authored by writers younger than myself and whom I would consider the next generation . They include: Fascinasians, Alton.Wang, Slant Eye for the Round Eye, Hyphen Magazine’s blog, NancyLeong.com, and The Other Asians.

I’d also encourage readers and anyone who has been toying with the idea of blogging to do so in 2015, particularly any AAPI writer who speaks from an experience distinct from the traditional East Asian, middle-class background that is already well-represented in the AAPI blogosphere. A strong blogosphere is not just a large one (which ours is not) but also one that speaks to the broad diversity of perspectives encompassed by the community it serves.

We want you to write. We need you to write. Please pick 2015 to be your year to start an Asian American blog.

Do you have a favourite up-and-coming Asian American blog to watch in 2015? Please add it in the comments below!

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  • Rebelwerewolf

    I enjoy reading http://www.mashupamericans.com/. It’s not strictly Asian American, but it does include a lot of Asian American topics.

  • Freda Lin

    Thank you so much for this perspective on Asian American blogs! Ever since recently starting my blog, Story Digger, I’ve been wondering about the Asian American blogosphere. I’m hoping to unearth hidden stories (historical and current) to create new perspectives. As of right now, it will be told from my angle as an undergraduate Asian American activist turned history teacher who is now searching for a new way to promote cultural awareness (now that I’m not teaching anymore). Would love to stay in touch! https://storydigger.wordpress.com/