What made you start blogging?
I was inspired by the work of others. I�ve been an avid reader of blogs for a few years now, and decided to take the plunge and start one of my own.
Describe the concept behind The Cocoa Diaries?
When I first started out there were tonnes of blogs dedicated to entertainment and popular culture, but very few focused specifically on Black British culture. So I decided that that would be my niche. The ethos of The Cocoa Diaries is a celebration of Black British people and culture. It just so happens to coincide with a time when Black artists in the UK are doing particularly well. New artists like VV Brown, Laura Izibor and Shingai from The Noisettes are rightfully receiving lots of plaudits and media attention. And then you have the likes of Dizzee Rascal, who has just secured the No.1 spot and has the fastest selling single this year. That�s a huge accomplishment. Particularly when you consider that he started off as an underground artist. I want to be there to capture all these moments.
How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
Blogs have impacted the media immensely. The speed at which bloggers can get information out to the general public means they have one up on traditional media. Alongside blogging, I am also a magazine journalist and I often use blogs as a port of call, especially when writing entertainment type articles. I do believe the two can co-exist though. I love the honest, subjective nature of blogging, but I also couldn�t survive without well researched, objective journalism.
What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
Running around like a headless chicken, pretty much. I work full time and have a four year old son so I�m one busy, harried and tired lady (who drinks far too much Red Bull). Aside from work stuff, I like to spend time with my fianc� and child - we�re quite a football mad household so there�s often plenty of screaming and shouting at the TV when Arsenal are playing. I also like to read novels, although I really don�t get enough time to do so. And then there�s netball. I�m part of a team and we play in a league, so I spend a couple nights of the week training and competing in matches.
Describe a typical day.
By day I am the entertainment editor for Pride magazine. I spend my day editing pages, writing articles, conducting phone interviews, and fielding calls that range from disgruntled readers who haven�t received their subscription in the post, to young girls who want to become a model. We are a very small team so it�s a very fast paced environment that can get quite crazy and stressful. By night I switch into mummy mode. That means cooking, bathing and bed time story, before usually dozing off myself (laughs).
What are your favourite glossy magazines?
Name five blogs that you read religiously.
How do you see The Cocoa Diaries evolving over the next two years?
I�d like to see it evolve into a lifestyle online magazine . So essentially that means more frequent posts, interviews and features. My main issue is time, or lack thereof, so I am hoping to work with an editorial intern over the next few months to get more content out there. Ultimately I�d like to see The Cocoa Diaries recognised as a formidable brand. In my opinion traditional Black British media outlets still don�t fully recognise the benefits of online publishing, so it�s definitely something I�d like to fully explore.