Hi everyone!

I hope that you have had a restful and exciting summer.  We sure have. We know you see the cobwebs and hear the crickets, but no worries, people – FREE CONDOMS AND LOLLIPOPS IS HERE TO STAY!

*Stands and receives exultant applause*

*Clears throat*

SIDE NOTE: There is new content on FC&L daily.  We synthesize the top health news stories and commentaries for your reading pleasure.

*Clears throat, again*

As you know, we launched Free Condoms and Lollipops in March (2011).  What an amazing ride! We are very humbled by our 5-month statistics, e.g. more than 5,000 unique visitors and 8,500 page views but we are very new to the world of blogging, social media management, and even growing this blog in addition to our additional professional career aspirations. Blogging is a commitment – and we are definitely up for the challenge.  And to prove it, we have enlisted the help of some impressive experts to help us be the best darn health media blog. Period

Free Condoms and Lollipops participated in the 2011 Blogging While Brown Conference.

This conference was amazing.  We attended the first Blogging While Brown Conference in 2008 (Atlanta) and this conference is still jammed pack with helpful resources and information, networking opportunities, and inspiration.  We had the pleasure to meet some of the most amazing bloggers from websites like: Glamzini, Dr. Goddess, Ms. Mocha Money, Lydia Cotton, BrothaTech, Concrete Loop, etc.  One thing is certain, we are on the right track with FC&L and the opportunities to expand are endless.  As a side note, our blog is also on record as a nonprofit (You didn’t know? Free Condoms and Lollipops, Inc., 501(c)(3) is in this bih…) and, through that channel, we have been able to host some awesome community events (Atlanta is Greater Than AIDS and Atlanta’s First Family Fitness Challenge).

Free Condoms and Lollipops Blogger, Monica, posing with amazing conference attendees and bloggers!

Free Condoms and Lollipops participated in 2011 Black Social Media Weekend and Black Weblog Awards.

This event was like the Emmys for bloggers. I had heard about the Black Weblog awards, but the opportunity to attend was probably the most motivating activity of them all. The list of blog nominees cross a range of categories and they are vetted and ranked by the public, with final awards revealed at the event. The awards were moderated by the actress Kim Coles and Renee Syler, from www.goodenoughmother.com, (pure comedy) and I was able to see and meet even more bloggers – bloggers that are doing the damn thing. How motivating – beyond impressed.

Free Condoms and Lollipops has been working in the community.

As aforementioned, community events sponsored by this blog are a part of Free Condoms and Lollipops, Inc., an Atlanta-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. What? You thought we were just bloggers? Lounging on our couches and sending our opinions electronically to all of you? Hecky no! This blog is as much social action and philanthropy as it is entertainment and postulating.  Here is how you can Get Involved–  join us! 🙂 So, let’s see…we launched in March and, in May, we hosted Atlanta’s First Family Fitness Challenge. That was an awesome experience. We worked with a local community partner to host the event and received some great media coverage while giving some local children and families an opportunity to exercise together. Good stuff.  Also, in June, for National HIV Testing Day, we worked with several community partners to host Atlanta Is Greater Than AIDS: A Community Town Hall Meeting.  The information shared at this event was phenomenal and, although the crowd size was not comparable at all to those at Beyonce’s sold out concerts this month – *ghost town*, it was well worth the effort. The event provided substantial insight into how we (as community activists) can reach others in the right way (you know, in the club with a performance by Ludacris, making it rain money and condoms all while offering free Sunday dinner and sneaking a health info packet under their arm). Amen.

Please look out for more awesome community activities in the very near future.

Free Condoms and Lollipops is now being mentored by an up and coming social media strategist.

Jesus. Yes. We need the remedial session. Start from the basics. More details on this one later, we don’t want to spill the beans too soon 🙂

Thank you for supporting FC&L, sharing and engaging with us thus far.  We are committed to growing this blog and having an amazing one-year anniversary next spring. But, we need your help to get there, here’s how you can help:

  1. Hold us accountable. Please. If you miss us, please let us know. We love what we do and need to hear from you. Please share with us what you need, what we are doing right, and what we are doing wrong.
  2. Share your voice. This is just as much your website as it is ours! Please share your pictures, story suggestions, and thoughts. This won’t work without your support.
  3. Enjoy the ride. Life is short, let’s blog. Darnit.

Thanks everyone.

Here we go (again)!

Black. Intelligent. Tweet. I blog. (shout out to Dr. Goddess) – Check the video!

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