Popular South Asian blog and discussion forum Sepia Mutiny has shut down its website and all operations beginning this month.
The site, launched initially in August of 2004 by second-generation Indian-American students and young professionals, cited a changing blogosphere and personal reasons for its founders and regular contributors for its closing.
“Although we all still love our work on SM, the blogosphere has evolved quite a bit since we first started and for variety of reasons SM has not been able to keep up in recent years so as to remain a cutting edge product both from a content and technological standpoint,” wrote the owner, known simply as Abhi. “Most of the conversations that once took place daily on blogs now take place on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. To try and fight that trend is a losing proposition. Almost all prominent blogs are now corporatized with actual budgets, so continuing to play in that shrinking sandbox doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I don’t think any of us who have poured so much sweat and so many sleepless nights writing about issues we are passionate about or just fascinated by are happy with simply coasting by on past glory. All of us have also gotten older since we started. Some got married, some had kids and all of us have super demanding day jobs.”
The not-for-profit blog’s title was played off of the Sepoy Mutiny, the first war of Indian independence in 1857. “Sepia” was used in place of “Sepoy” as a lever way to refer to the brownish skin-tone of South Asians.
The main purpose of the website was to highlight social issues facing both generation’s Indian immigrants and Indian-Americans, to bring attention to the expanding role of South Asians in American politics and to focus on a number of violent acts or injustices against them.
Abhi went on to offer some closing remarks as he wrote, “I also truly feel that the mission of Sepia Mutiny is complete, especially for what I envisioned SM would be all about (other bloggers can share their view). Back in 2004 there was very little brown representation in the media and very little “voice” representing us. There was not a single loud speaker for the South Asian American community. Now there is quite a bit more and brown is everywhere. There seems much less need for a “Mutiny” given our strides. We were even invited to blog at the 2008 Democratic National Convention which was hard to imagine in 2004. That is not to say we are anywhere near where we’d like to be but a Mutiny should naturally give way to a more organized movement of some kind. I believe SM did its job in sowing the seeds for that next chapter, whatever forms it now takes.”