Black Techies Find Niche Online
In the online marketplace of information, there are some deep holes. Angela Benton is working to help fill one void with Black Web 2.0, a website designed for African-Americans engaged in technology and new media work.
Benton, the founder and CEO of BlackWebMedia, launched the site in 2007. The magazine Fast Company included her on its list as one of the most influential women in technology for 2010. She is also one of this year's recipients of the National Urban League's Woman of Power award.
While Black Web 2.0 has become something of a magnet for people who want to know how technology affects the black community, it also has general interest appeal. In addition to news, the site features stories on trends, gadgets and social networking and has tips for entrepreneurs.
"Our target audience [is] African-Americans and really even multicultural individuals," Benton tells NPR's Liane Hansen. "A lot of different type of people come to the site…we welcome all people."
But Benton says race does play a role in how the site differs from mainstream tech blogs. She says Black Web 2.0 attempts to write stories that are "culturally native."
African-Americans "have a diverse, kind of rich kind of culture," Benton says. "So we still try to write that way even though we're writing about technology. And people think it's boring and it's geeky. Well, we don't really try to write it that way."
"We're really trying to build that in the digital space," she says. "We want to do things that allow us to branch out into other types of content -- video, mobile applications and the like."
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