I know the numbers are arbitrary on their own, but I can’t help looking at page views. It lets me know that someone has taken the time to investigate what I’ve written and, if they stick around, great. If not, fair enough (but I always hope they come back). So I decided to look up the top 10 posts published this year. I published a helluva lot in 2021 and judging by the engagement, they’ve done better than I expected.
As I write this, there are only 34 minutes left of the site’s birthday left but better late than never.
The site has changed a fair bit since my last birthday post back in 2019 and so has my output. This site has been my most enjoyable to update and research for and I’m happy with the direction it’s going in. Thanks to everyone who has read my posts, linked to them, and shared them, it means a lot.
I started the site in 2015 as an outlet during a time when I was going through some personal issues. I also made a joke to a friend about setting up the site as a showcase for his photography (which I eventually did 5 years later). Now Cultrface is 6 years old this year and over the last 12 months, I’ve been thinking about what I want this place to be and what I want it to represent.
Black Lives Matter and the COVID-19 pandemic have shaped my output both in quality and quantity. I said I wanted to showcase more Black-focused content which I’m achieving slowly but surely. I’ve also ramped up the frequency of posts.
As an SEO, I’m used to writing and working with structured longform content for the purpose of ranking better on Google (there’s more to that but this isn’t the place to discuss it. I’m adding this caveat to appease any colleagues reading). But I didn’t want Cultrface to feel like work; I do this in my spare time and I want to enjoy it. So I write shortform pieces, add quotes where necessary, and leave it at that. I write about things that interest me that you might not find anywhere else or some things you do. I don’t “both sides” anything because that’s not who I am and there are plenty of other outlets that do that kind of thing. I’m mostly a one-person band.
But ultimately, I want Cultrface to be a calm space away from the storm; an escape from doomscrolling. These are my personal takes on the culture around us and while I still try to figure out precisely what *this* is, I’ll keep writing about cool stuff and more Black stuff. For the cultrs.
Black History Month gets two months on either side of the Atlantic (February for the US and October for the UK). They’re significant in highlighting centuries of enriching culture, the plight and success of all black people.
But there’s a race that only gets mentioned by people who “don’t care who you are”. They’re not a political device and it’s a great shame that there isn’t more space for their narratives outside these throwaway statements. I’m talking about people who are purple with yellow spots.
And that’s why at Cultrface, I’m starting the first Purple with Yellow Spots History Month this month. Black people do not have a monopoly on race and it’s time we talked about purple people with yellow spots more.
PYSHM will be a space for PYS people to talk about their experiences as an outcasted race, without fear of persecution or ridicule. No longer will their narratives be ignored.
Purple with yellow spots people have played a key role in non-PYS people’s narratives to prove they absolutely aren’t racist. They don’t care who you are or what you look like – we’re all one race: the human race. This is, of course, absolute nonsense. The complete erasure of purple with yellow spotsness is unacceptable and will not stand any longer.
Purple with yellow spots history is world history.
As a mixed-race person, I can’t speak for PYS people. I haven’t experienced what they have. That would be erasure too. But Purple with Yellow Spots History Month is so important for the purple with yellow spots experience. It’s about sharing the stories of a significant minority and holding the people accountable for their comments.
Nobody chooses to be born a race, not least such a distinctive colour with spots on top of it. If we want to talk about being biracial, let’s talk about being literally two colours at the same time!
Being a PYS Brit is especially hard; a lifelong struggle to be accepted by society and not become another social media trend. It’s a truly unique plight that doesn’t exist anywhere else nobody else is one colour with spots a completely different colour.
I am a champion for the voiceless. When was the last time you ever heard from a PYS person? Saw them in a management role? Watched them on television? Probably never. That is a travesty and it’s about time we changed that.
If purple with yellow spots people aren’t welcomed in society, their ancestors died in vain. As a civilisation, we can’t hope to have a better world with an imbalance like this and we have to recognise these issues. But, our history is Purple with Yellow Spots history too, and we must create space to share those stories in November.
Join us this month for PYSHM and look out for more articles in November.
I can’t believe it’s been four years today since I launched Cultrface. It’s been a slow and steady journey but a rewarding one too. I want to give you a background into why Cultrface exists.
Back in 2015, I suffered a personal loss. It coincided with severe stress and anxiety from my job at the time. I took time off work to recuperate and that turned into about 2 months off. I joked to a friend of mine who was into photography (and still is) that I’d start a blog to showcase his work.
Then I thought “why not just make the blog anyway?” and Cultureface was born – that’s what it was called at the time. I made a Twitter account but the name was taken, so I called it @cultrface and eventually changed the name to that (it sounds cool like that anyway).
I’ve changed the website’s appearance a few times because I have an itchy WordPress theme finger – in fact, the one you see now was only changed on Monday. Some of the older posts have gone as they weren’t up to the quality I wanted for the site. I revamped the rest. It’s all been a learning process on what makes Cultrface the best it can be.
There have been barren periods where I’ve not written anything and recent times where I can write once a day. Blogging isn’t always just sitting down and writing something; you’ve got to find interesting and unique stuff to write about. And sometimes you don’t feel like it.
One of the biggest inspirations I’ve had lately is Jason Kottke, the OG blogmaster general. He’s seen as the father of blogging with his site kottke.org which has been around since 1998.
In 2018, I created Pandog Media as a “media group” to put them all under. Cultrface is arguably the broadest in scope as culture covers the entire world and how people communicate. It’s important to me that everything covered on the site will pique interest and show readers parts of the world and themselves they may not have known.
As a person of colour that means content about people of colour, what they do, how they do it, when they started doing it, and why they do it. Our most popular article is about Jamaican proverbs – many my mother has said to me (in fact, she read it and left two comments which I cherish with all my heart).
That’s how Cultrface started. And the future? More of the same. But here comes the part I don’t like talking about. Money. I’ve been lucky to have a couple of writers offer their services in the past but all but two articles have been written by me.
You’ll have seen ads on the site; they are a recent inclusion. Nobody clicks them (I wouldn’t either) so I make maybe a few pence a month, if that. I’ve recently added affiliated links too as a better way to generate revenue for the reader. I place them on products related to our content as we’re not sponsored by anyone.
The point I’m making is I do all of this on my own and it costs money to host the site and the others, as well as yearly fees for domains and other things. That’s why I set up my Patreon account to help pay towards those fees and general living costs (capitalism is a bitch).
If you enjoy what you read and would consider pledging, I would be immensely grateful. Every patron gets a free membership card and certain rewards depending on what they pledge. If you’d prefer a one-off payment, I also have a Ko-Fi account. All the links to these will be below. Okay, enough about money. Time to close this ramble.
I finally want to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit and read. At time of writing, we have amassed over 22,000 views in 4 years. That isn’t jaw-dropping in the grander scheme of things but that’s amazing to me. I aim for 2019 to be our best year yet and it’ll be because of you, the reader. So happy birthday to us and I hope to see you again.