The Front Porch : Black Web Sites That Have Died

MzBlkAngel

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Aug 26, 2003
12,660
191
somewhere ova da rainbow....
panafrica said:
This needs to be in the open forum or better yet on the front porch or a sticky thread at the top of each forum. The tragic closings of our black owned sites are further proof of how important Destee.com is, and why it needs to stay around for a long time...I want my 2 year to be posting on this site 16 years from now...let's make that a reality!

I agree with you on dis Pan.....
 

deb0

Banned
MEMBER
Sep 17, 2004
39
0
Destee,

I completely agree with your sentiments, good black sites are hard to find, and many don't stay up long.

Sites fail for the following reasons:

Quality of Content:

IMHO, people often put more of their hearts into a site than their minds. Blackgeeks was a good site, but as an I.T. Consultant for 8 years, It was never a value to me. The site often had inaccurate data, or was incapable of providing advanced level information to real geeks. I am not sure where the owner/ops were trying to go with the site, but 'geek' or technical sites are some of the toughest to get going and keep going. Frankliy I find it hard to believe she had 25,000 members. That alone would have made her site one of the biggest in the nation. While I admire her courage in mounting such a site, from a consultant's perspective, the site was not valuable as a tool. And many black IT gurus felt that way. Now, I know that may be painful, but considering her 'competition' are sites like anandtech.com, experts-exchange.com, and so many others, the site was doomed.

Well, enough about blackgeeks, the moral of the story is that you got to make sure your content successfully reaches your target audience. If they don't find it interesting, they won't return, and more importantly, bring new members that actually contribute. The key word here is contribute. Especially in a forum-based or interactive website.

Money.

As site begin to draw crowds and flourish, the supporting infrastructure required to run a site becomes a big issue. It catches up with you sooner than you would like. BlackPlanet, in it's first two years were plagued with scaleability problems, as the servers seemed to buckle under user loads. At some point, you have to consider sources of funding. While Destee.com is the only (large) black forum that charges for some level of membership, every site operator must address funding, as bandwidth becomes the most expensive commodity. Unfortunately it's hard to get users to understand and appreciate the value in a large community in which to collaborate and 'mingle' with. So it's a tough call, and a breathtakingly difficult balancing act.

Many of my white associates run large and successful sites such as HardOCP, and warped2Search, etc...... Why? Because they get alot of financial, and technical support and donations from businesses, peers, and members. I know whites that would help me out at the drop of a dime, and not charge a thing. They just want to be a part of a friends creation. Most blacks that I feel have something valuable to add either don' thave the time, interest, willingness to help. But I'm not mad at 'em, that's just how many of us are. I am sorry to say but, blacks don't donate, boost, or support nearly as much as whites do. And we should. Because a forum by itself is an extremely cost-effective way for us to learn, collaborate, organize, and accomplish 'something'.

These obstacles have kept me from putting up a board for years until now. I knew that without the right elements in place, to start a board that will eventually grow into something large, only to have to let it fail suddenly and abruptly, does a great disservice to the members and what their individual contributions make. So as a board op, I have an obligation.

Now on a personal not, I loved BlackPlanet when it wasn't a dating site. It was a chat/forum/news site, and was a lot of fun. But once the dating part became the foundation, I lost interest. And to make things worse the quality of the forums are simply pathetic. BlackPlanet was at one time black owned, then was sold to some asians. Once I find out that we don't own a site, I will NOT support it. Talk about grand misrepresentation. And the sad part is blacks continue to pour into that site. Oh well, their choice.

I think we need a hundred more forums/websites. The more sites like Destee, the more of a powerful and positive impact it will have on the lives of our people as it becomes commonplace in every family to be part of an online community other than whos dating who. It's a powerful way to educate and cure persistent ills like illiteracy and self-imposed poverty.

Didn't mean to be so verbose.
 

MzBlkAngel

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Aug 26, 2003
12,660
191
somewhere ova da rainbow....
some more info on the start of blackplanet.com

With the popularity of AsianAvenue.com, Community Connect Inc. was ready to expand its roster of online communities, choosing to target other US ethnic audiences. The African American community, a group recognized for its tremendous purchasing power and its exploding online presence was a logical next step for the company.

The vision for an African American online community site came to fruition with the addition of Internet entrepreneur Omar Wasow. The company launched BlackPlanet.com in September, 1999, with Mr. Wasow leading the charge as Executive Director. BlackPlanet.com was built around its own dedicated site team consisting of accomplished marketing professionals, journalists and content producers - all members of the African American community being targeted.

http://www.communityconnect.com/
 

Queenie

going above and beyond
PREMIUM MEMBER
Feb 9, 2001
7,137
2,062
This is my first stop as I check in and see this great information. I haven't checked yet, but I agree also with Bro. Pan, this needs to be out in the open for everyone who comes here to see because it affects us all.

No truer words have been typed:

Sister CarrieMonet, i think there are enough of us out here, to keep our sites from feeling great financial strains. The challenge is to get those who frequent the sites encouraged enough to help support it. If we would simply support the communities that we hang out in, there would be no struggle, at least none like is being experienced here. I'm honored Sister CarrieMonet that you are one of those few that take your hope and desire for our people to the next level, to that level where you're willing to reach in your pocket and help. Not all of us are there, and until more of us get there, we'll probably continue to experience the kind of losses that we're seeing now.
Thank you Sisters Destee and Black Angel for giving us the real scoop and Mz Angel I agree with you too. It seems as though many of our people don't really care who owns the site as long as they can get in and do their thing. I, for one, care very much where I spend most of my time and money. Reading this may not make much of a difference to most of our members and as much as I'd like to see the majority contribute their financial support, I'd be thankful if we got just half to find it in their hearts and right mind to back up what most of them preach whenever they come here.

Peace and love,
Queenie :spinstar:
 

panafrica

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Aug 24, 2002
10,227
192
The Diaspora
The thing that scares me the most is what are our people looking for? Websites like Black Planet & Black Voices are little more than dating/gossip sites. Neither offers anything in social commentary, news, or attempts to improve the social-economic standing of the Black community. Yet these are the type of sites which attracts Blacks by the thousands, while sites like Destee.com, struggle for membership...it is somewhat disheartening.
 

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