How the Sausage is Made

We love sausage, jambalaya or boulabiase, or any kind of mash up where the ingredients come together to make something great. And any website that does the same. Where different pieces come together to make something new and different.

We come from a teaching/learning perspective, so nothing on the website is hidden. In fact, we want to serve as a model for others who might want to create a blog. We would be happy to explain how we do it.

Website Purpose

Right now we are focused on informing our readers about new and different topics related to Black Economics and Business

How the content is constructed

Our sources are mostly mainstream Black media, social media, mainstream media, email alerts, newsletters, radio, and Black talk radio, We typically read about 500 article headlines during the week and 100 full articles. We listen to about 20 podcasts a week. We also review about 10-20 research papers and scholarly news stories. We also check every link and source to verify the data. And we get tips from friends, family and co-workers.

But also what we see and experience

In NJ, we see few Black construction workers or union members. We see job discrimination, segregated housing and beach discrimination. Lived experiences is important.

Why you should read our blog?

We save you time. Our new summary gives you the best Black business and economic stories of the week.

We make you smarter. We pick articles with impact. Articles that make you think. Articles that tell you something you didn’t know. We not only have articles and data but also learning plans.

We have unique content and resources found nowhere else on the web, for example, Black business directories, Black income data, Black employment data and lynching data.

Easy to access data. All compiled data is open-sourced, fully sourced and documented, and available for free. One of our goals is to teach data science with easy-to-use data sets. We include lesson plans, exercises, questions and tests for educators and independent learners.

How do we create the website?

We monitor the web using alerts and searches. We subscribe and follow hundreds of active accounts. We also use Google Scholar alerts for research articles

The daily review takes 1 to 2 hours if something is happening. We don’t want to miss anything. Then we narrow down the content to pick the top ten or twenty articles. The last review is to pick only the 5 or 10 best articles of the week so we don’t waste your time. Occasionally, we have economics-only posts for Black econ-nerds like us.

How do we do research?

We pick a theme or problem, usually from the news or history. But not always, we have a long list of open research topics. Usually, it’s some thing we are curious about. Or some that bothers us.

Our goal is action. We employ some of the best practices from consulting firms, We use the MECE (Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive) method and use the Pyramid principle for communications. In other words, we over-research each topic until we have exhausted any new facts or ideas. Then we narrow it down to one actionable item or theme with three or four supporting arguments and facts. We write a conclusion which begins the writing process.

Our writing process

Our writing process is something we call “circular constant improvement.” It is iterative. We start by writing an outline, summary, conclusion, and headline. Then load up all of the most important facts and text. We then make our fact groups to match our outline. If something does not fit we change the outline or delete the fact. With the text loaded, we start to edit it down. Usually, one argument has too many facts and another too few. The “Pyramid” has to stand on three(or 4) equally sound feet. We have to go back and do more research to make all the “feet” of the arguments equally strong.

Once the theme and arguments are strong, we edit, edit and edit again. Not clear? Too wordy? Off point? Does not link? Unclear? Or worse, the statement does not make sense? Finally, we edit for transition and flow. Does each paragraph link to the next? Does it flow logically? Will someone read to the end or abandon the article? Did we get the important points early enough?

At this point, it can be published, we usually let it sit for a day or two. We completely forget about the story and work on something else (like a day job). And finally, we come back for one final, word-by-word edit. Voila!

How is the website constructed technically?

We use WordPress as the base software and Generate Press as the theme. We use the Newsletter plug-in for e-mail newsletters. Posts are first created and edited in MS Word and then pasted into blocks in generate press. Some posts are modified using Elementor. We also check posts with Grammerly and ChatGPT.