Happy New Year and shit, everyone! If you're reading this, you've made it to 2016 (congrats!) and you've decided, for whatever reason, to spend at least one second of this year reading VSB. So thanks for that. Since you're here, I might as well let you know that 2015 was, by every measure, the best year in VSB's history. So thanks for that too.
And, since no year-end recap is complete without a highlights package, here's ours.
Some Stats and Shit
2015 was the biggest year VSB has ever had, quadrupling 2014's traffic. Which is kinda crazy because, before 2015, 2014 was our biggest year. And 2014 quadrupled 2013's traffic.
Anyway, below are 2015's five most read pieces, and the number of unique visitors each piece generated. (These also happen to be the five most read VSB pieces ever.)
Over all, we published 540 different pieces from 39 different authors. Considering that we very rarely publish on the weekend, that's a little over two pieces a day. Which is…okay. This time next year I'd like to be at 10. Still the 39 number is something I'm very proud of, because I want VSB to be a place that provides a platform for Black writers to be, for lack of a better term, free. And Black. And whatever it means to be free and Black. And I believe we do that better than any other space on the internet.
Anyway, of these 39, we had 11 people publish five or more pieces in 2015 (Agatha Guilluame, Alex Hardy, Brandon Harrison, Dustin Seibert, Jozen Cummings, Michael Harriot, Natalie Degraffinried, Shamira Ibrahim, Tonja Stidhum, and, of course, Panama Jackson, and Damon Young).
Below are my favorite 2015 pieces from each writer.
Michael Harriot: The 10 Commandments Of The One Night Stand
Damon: A Primer On The Use, Usage, Versatility, And Utility Of “Nigga” and Life As One Of The Last People On Kanye West Island (I'm sorry, but I couldn't narrow it to one. If you have a problem with this, I'm the one creating and curating this list, so deal with it.)
Some Notable VSB-Related Accomplishments and Shit
1. Although both Panama and I have each done numerous VSB-related panels, the Harvard Black Law Students Association’s Spring Conference Black Media Matters panel was the first time we've been on one together.
2. BET invited me to their studios in New York City to do a video piece on the difference between being "New Black" and "Just Black." (Hint: It's the exact same thing.) While in the city, I stopped by Jezebel's offices to do another video piece on practically the same thing. It was a very New Black month.
3. In August, I was invited back to New York to appear on Melissa Harris Perry to talk about Drake, Meek Mill, and mooching wifi.
4. Panama scored a partnership with TV One, helping the network promote "Born Again Virgin."
5. VSB and The Root agreed to a content sharing partnership. (We never officially announced it, but it has been going on since October.)
6. The Colored Section, a monthly VSB-esque column in EBONY Magazine, debuted.
7. VSB partnered with Tees in the Trap, who helped us sell like 33274329435 Bougie Black t-shirts.
8. 1839 launched.
On behalf of the entire VSB team, I want to thank you all again for helping our 2015 be such a productive one. Let's make 2016 even better!