1 – Today DB has almost 9 thousand pageviews a month – 48% from the US, 16% from Brazil, 6% from Great Britain, followed by Canada, France and Australia. I had visitors from 165 countries and territories. This movement has been growing at least 40% per month since the beginning of the year (thanks, folks!). In consequence, DB is improving its position in the internet ranking. Alexa, one of the main trackers of website popularity, ranked DB in 2.6 million in early January, meaning there where 2.6 million websites more popular in the world. Now it is ranked 1.5 million.
2 – I began DB for a few reasons (beginning with the less obvious):
to procrastinate. DB was born out of the blue in November 2010, when I was participating on Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month. I decided to give fiction a chance and self imposed the challenge of writing a book in 30 days. The first chapter pleased me. The second was mediocre. The third was so, so lame that I slipped into blogging mode to escape. In a couple of hours, DB was born.
to be my own boss for a change (right now I am working for 5 Brazilian magazines, one pro blog, the United Nations and the WWF, not to mention my husband and my 4 year-old – too many bosses for just one poor red haired girl)
to play with design (having a blast), photos, sales and marketing (not so fun)
to rediscover my home country
to present Brazil in a different light from the conventional mix sex-samba–caipirinha-Carnival (and did I mention sex?)
to improve my written English (had some progress, but the road ahead is long and winding)
3 – This is not my first blogging endeavor – but it is my first solo effort. At this point, I have only had the help of a few friends and readers who kindly offered texts of great quality (thanks Sylvia, Elô, Beto, Jim, Thaddeus). No designer, no photographer, no consultant worked with me so far. The day I begin to make some money I will consider redesigning the logo, for instance, and hiring writers. Anyway, I blogged for several months in 2009 for an environmental blog put together by Brazilian top model Giselle Bündchen. Later, in September 2009, I began to write De lá prá cá, a blog inside Página 22, a really cool in-depth Brazilian website on sustainability. I still publish there, every Tuesday. Continue reading 7 things you didn’t know about Deep Brazil→
I have been away for four months. Not so easy to blog when you have a death in the family (wonderful father-in-law), toddler on summer vacations, visitors from abroad and a great new job (writing for Exame, the main Brazilian financial/business magazine). But I love this project and hope to find the right way to approach it.
Curiously, Deep Brazil didn’t die away. I have now reached readers in 142 countries (Laos is the newcomer). A few of them contacted me, worried about my disappearance (thanks, guys, it really made a difference!). New visitors and comments kept arriving.
So, the show must go on. Hope to keep you with me in this journey.
And thanks for all the support.
In the next few weeks, I intend to change several features of this blog. It will be moving from WordPress.com to a self hosted version. I hope it will gain flexibility – wider columns, space for more content and, maybe, some ads.
I am not a computer wizard, so this process might be painful. Please, be patient. I believe I will be back to regular business soon.
I am also looking for ways to make the design friendlier and more pleasant. I would really appreciate if you could give me your feedback on these topics:
Do you like the look of the website? Too many/few photos?
Is it easy to read? Would you prefer a different font/letter size?
Can you figure where the links are (or maybe they are too discreet)?
Would you like to have more/less blank spaces?
Thanks! I hope you will enjoy the new look of Deep Brazil.
Today, a little over three months after launching Deep Brazil, I had a visitor from Puerto Rico – the hundredth country to pay a visit. Thanks, whoever you are! And thanks to all of you, silent or noisy guests. I hope to keep helping and entertaining all of you in the future.
“Nation of the future”. “Sex paradise”. “Wonderland of pickpockets”. “The emerging economy that grows in the rhythm of samba”.
Stop right there. There is more in Brazil than meets the eye.
Thank God, it is exotic, erotic and chaotic – to borrow an expression used by Dean Graber to describe how the international press sees the country. He is a brazilianist from Austin, Texas, that I met briefly years ago. But these beaten clichés are getting old. As a journalist I am well aware of the use of mental frames to make communication easier. To some extent, clichés help us understand the world. This doesn’t mean we should buy them without questioning.
Naturally, if you cannot read Portuguese, you have limited options to escape the beaten paths. That’s why I came up with the idea of launching the Deep Brazil blog. This will be a space to cover interesting aspects of Brazilian Visual Arts, Architecture, Media, Music, Cuisine, Fashion, Folklore – but not your average “culture for export”. I also intend to give a panorama of Politics, Economy, social issues and other themes that are often covered hastily by the foreign press. No hurt feelings, fellow journalists. I know it is hard to evade clichés when you have to write three stories a day. Plus, let’s face it. Brazil is not so easy to understand. Most of the time, I don’t get it, myself.
So, whoever is listening, welcome to Deep Brazil. Please, visit often, leave suggestions of new topics and spread the word.