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Blackbird browser released today

Targeted for African-Americans

     
6:34 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From the TechCrunch website:

Blackbird is a new browser built on top of Mozilla technology that is supposed to make it easier for African Americans to discover relevant content on the web and to interact with other members of the African American community online by sharing stories, news, comments and videos via the browser.

The browser displays a pre-set news ticker on top, pulls in news content from Google News that might be of interest to African-Americans, and features a section with video content from online TV sites like UptownLiveTV, NSNewsTV, DigitalSoulTV and ComedyBanksTV. Other than that, there’s a lot of integration with the most popular social networks, a ‘Black Search’, preset ‘Black Bookmarks’, etc. There’s also a ‘Give Back’ program that streamlines donations to a number of non-profit organizations (Blackbird intends to donate 10% of its 2009 revenue to these partners as well).

[techcrunch.com...]


I've been watching this for awhile now and noticed today it's been released to the public. The search for browser niche-markets continues.
4:57 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Race And The Web: Going After Niche Markets Or Practicing Digital Segregation? [techcrunch.com]

The release of Blackbird, an African American focused web browser sparked quite a bit of controversy this past week. The TechCrunch post about it elicited reactions from both sides of the aisle (it has 275 comments and counting). Some argued for the value of niche audiences while others debated that the idea of a Black browser is in and of itself separatism, racist even. But catering to niche audiences online is nothing new. In fact, browsers that focus on a specific market segment isn’t all that new either. For example there’s Gloss, a women focused fashion and beauty browser created using Flock, the social media browser. But what makes the launch of Blackbird both a controversial and sensitive topic, is that it is focused towards an ethnic segment versus a special interest group. Race is still an extremely touchy subject in America, and the Internet and web are not immune to this sensitivity regardless of how open it is. But aren’t most businesses, especially web businesses, started in this "Web 2.0" era defined by catering to a particular niche?

What do you think? Are all these niche markets a good thing? Is the quest for profits at any cost further segmenting society instead of bringing us together as was the promise of the web way back when?

6:49 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On the one hand, the "Balkanization" of the Web may not be a good thing. But it's not up to me, so all that really matters to me is this:

HTTP user-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008120923 Blackbird/0.99a
HTTP accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
HTTP accept language: en-us,en;q=0.5
HTTP accept charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
HTTP accept encoding: gzip,deflate

Jim

8:59 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From a purely technical point of view that's the only thing that matters to me, too, Jim. As a minority, I'm not African-American, I have always wanted to be just a citizen of my country and only stand out in ways that mark me as a hard worker with upstanding ethics. I don't want people to say he was an ethical, hard working [insert minority group here]. Do I have interests that others might not share? Yes. Do I need a special browser to help me find those things? Nope! :)
3:40 am on Dec 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm not clear why the decision was made to develop a browser rather than create a portal. Just a browser add-on or toolbar might have done the job too. I think creating a new browser will actually work counter to their purposes.