Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Troy last won the day on October 17

Troy had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

1,005 Excellent

Profile Information

  • Gender
  1. Hi @Mel Hopkins, I missed your reply initially. Your questions are answered below: 1) what qualifies as a website? A web presence with it's own domain. In fact, I use domain's age as part of my calculus to derive the AALBC Score. 2) Does a website with an owner's domain hosted on wordpress.com (DOT COM) or blogger.com qualify for ranking? No, a site hosted on another site does not qualify, as it is just a portion of the other site. However if the entity registered a domain and mapped to their Wordpress or Blogger presence, then it could be considered a site as long as it functions as a standalone site. 3) Or do you need to build on wordpress.org (DOT ORG) website with separate hosting. I think the responses to the first 2 questions answer this. Do you have a specific case in mind? 4) What if it's a blog with a static page plus a single entry per day... Yes, blogs are websites. I don't make a distinction between blogs or any other type of website. Right now my only conditions for adding to the list of websites and consideration for monitoring for potential inclusion on the Top 50 Black Owned Website List are; The site has it's own domain as described a above The site be Black-owned, or if publicly the management team must be majority Black That the site has enough traffic to have an Alexa rank (any rank) Let me know if there is anything else. I just ran a couple hundred blogs through my ranking process and 10 blogs were added to my Top 50 Black Websites. Right now I have 49 sites which meet my minimum criteria for inclusion in the top 50. I'm sure I'll find enough sites to round out my top 50. Some of the sites that I'm monitoring now may ultimately make the list or replace a site already on it. As I discover more than 50 sites to meet my criteria, I'll adjust the minimum requirement to keep the list at 50. I'm actually still confirming site ownership for some of the sites. I just deleted Carol's Daughter which I just learned is no longer Black owned; it is owned by L'Oreal (I was wondering why the store on 125th Street was closed). The site was not strong enough to make the top 50. I also just deleted Very Smart Brothers, which was in the top 50, but is not Black owned...I guess the Brothers ain't so smart after all. This list, like the rest of AALBC.com is a work in progress. But this is the first serious attempt, that I'm aware of, to identity the top Black websites and to maintain and share this information on an ongoing basis. Back in the late 1990's Earthlink maintained and published a list and only lasted a couple of years. Pew Research also published a list as part of their reporting on African American Media, that that list has not been consistently maintained and many of the sites listed are not Black owned. There are have been a variety of other lists published over the years, but none are nearly as formal or objective.
  2. @Cynique, I hear your points I really do, but you are over looking two of my major points as if they do not matter: Black people are not profiting from the great wealth generated on the web Black people have no agency on the web--corporations have taken it from us I argue that monopolistic corporations are to blame. They have perverted the internet for VAST wealth, and have GREATLY constrained creativity, independence, diversity, and much more on the web. This was simply not the case 10 years ago. You feel the conversations held by Black people has not been changed by corporate ownership of the platforms on which we communicate. Of course it has been; think about the conversations that took place here, on this forum back in it's heyday-- has that in any way been replicated on Twitter or Facebook? And if you somehow think that is has, who is profiting from it? Now image that scenario being replicated thousands and thousands of times over. Does this make sense? Does it not bother you that another for-profit, Black-owned, book site can not emerge and generate enough revenue to provide someone a living? What this means is that the quality Black books are MUCH less discoverable on the web today than ever before. There are very few platforms even reviewing books by Black writers and those that are don't have platforms large enough for those book reviews to be read by anyone. Many have run to social media as an alternative platform, but it is a poor substitute. I no longer use my Facebook page, because Facebook now charges you to have your posts seen. It makes no sense for me to pay them when my platform is so much better for presenting and disseminating information. I have a long history on the WWW that predates social media, so I'm keenly aware of what we have lost and are losing. I also understand that the reason this is not being discussed more widely in the Black community is reflective of this very problem. The Times article I referenced above made a great point: “In addition to their power, tech companies have a tool that other powerful industries don’t: the generally benign feeling of the public” This is our biggest roadblock to fixing this problem.
  3. Well @Cynique, if history is any indication then we KNOW white corporations will mislead black people, telling lies, control our narrative, not representing what's authentic, and be a negative, destructive force in the black community. Helping to share our truths and our stories is why I started selling books. No corporate lying is nothing new, nor is it limited to hurting Black folks. We all stand to suffer. It is just that Black folks are not talking about this and we stand to suffer the most. Black folks are behind the curve. We are still naively talking, without reservation, about how great Facebook and Amazon are... A few minutes ago, I finished a brilliant article in the the Sunday New York Times, "Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend." An online version I found is behind a paywall (I read the print version). The author, Noam Cohen, described the problem, much more skillfully than I can. There was only one number in the entire article. Noam also wrote a book: The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball I think the article, and perhaps the book, would speak directly to this issue in a way that you can appreciate @Cynique (note: the book does not come out until November, I see now the Times piece was a great marketing tactic, but the article was still good!)
  4. My buddy, Ron Kavanaugh, who runs the Literary Freedom Project, has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for his upcoming literary conference. Support Mosaic Literary Conferences’s Fundraiser Ron actually started a website dedicated to Black book before AALBC.com launched. He discontinued his website in 2014, for all the reasons reason I've lamented over the years. We met each other back in 1998 at a now defunct bookstore Nkiru Books in Brooklyn. One of the store's booksellers introduced us, because he was aware of both of our websites. Ron actually went to the same high school and graduated the same year I did, but we did not know each other in school (it was a big school). Interestingly, our friend, @Mel Hopkins, was also a member of that class (it was also great school).
  5. The feedback from this mailing was very illuminating. I'm going to craft a part 2 message in a few weeks taking into account some new insights: Alexa Rank Requirement I made a having an Alexa ranking a requirement to be added to the list of sites that I would monitor. About half of the suggested sites I received today for consideration did not have an Alexa rank. I suspect the person complaining about my use of Alexa had a site without an Alexa ranking. While they did not say this was the reason, I can now understand now why someone would react the way they did. Now an Alexa ranking is a very low threshold to meet but the fact is 20% of the 300 sites I have evaluated so far did not have an Alexa Rank. In fact they are still on my list of sites: https://aalbc.com/top_black_websites/top_black_sites_list.php But I have to draw a line somewhere and the Alexa rank is as good a place as any; Right now the Alexa Ranks for sites in the Top 50 range from 1,026 to 470,817 (lower is better, Google's Alexa Rank is 1, Facebook's is 3). The worst Alexa rank, for the sites with a ranking, in my database is 19,987,545. I have never see a ranking worse than 30,000,000. Having an Alexa rank is generous cutoff, but I'm open to suggestions for alternatives. While I'm the only one handling this here will need to be a cut off. I have a booksite to run after all. “I've Never Heard of Most of These Sites” This is the most common comment I've received. Indeed it is the point of this entire effort. There will be some sites you've never heard of that has produced something you will truly appreciate but never see, because it could not be found on Facebook. Facebook “Likes” Are Powerful Facebook likes are very, very powerful--for Facebook. People measure the effectiveness of their ad spend and engagement on Facebook by the number of likes they get. If does not matter if the likes do not translate in getting an email address, a sale, visitors to a website, or improved branding. Likes are the measurement tool. They are readily visible and have the added benefit of providing an ego boost. Facebook is known to holdback likes so that they are timed for maximum impact. There is i ample reason to believe that many of those Facebook Likes are fake, and one should always measure the effectiveness of those paid visitors, you might find as I did they are not very engaged visitors. Most Users Don't Visit Websites I suspect that the majority of new internet users are mobile users using social media. These types of users are much less likely to visit a website. When these users run a Google search they don't leave the Google search results page, because Google will pull answers from websites, most often Wikipedia, and present the response on the page or read it aloud. For these types of users the social media/google/Wikipedia/amazon is the internet. Demographically this is where the growth appears to be. But there is a category of users (like anyone reading this message), who wants deeper information. Like readers of books, the types of users of the web are in the minority. But like readers of books, there are enough of these types of internet users to enable independent Black owned websites to thrive. Finally Don't Forget Email In the four hours since I sent this email, several hundred extra people have visited the pages linked in my mailing. There is nothing I have ever done that has generated as much traffic as quickly from social media. Now I've had some content go "viral" and that brought thousands of additional visitors from Facebook primarily during the same period of time. But I can not ln which post will go viral and they are very rare occurrence anyway. Nothing, I've shared this year went viral, but 2017 will be the year this site see the most page views ever.
  6. This is an interesting subject. DNA has helped to reveal many family secrets.
  7. Less than 30 minutes ago I sent an email (the entire message is at the end of this post) to my entire mailing list. Anyone one who knows me is familiar with the theme. What makes this issue different is that it does not just deal with Black book sites; it deals with the entire Black owned World Wide Web and how little of it we own and control. Even I was alarmed because I'm having difficulty finding 50 websites with a meaningful level of traffic. What is so striking is that we spending so much time hyping the benefits of social media and we have completely overlooked our ownership. This is like bragging about how warm and comfortable Massa's house while most of us live in crappy shacks we don't even own. What puzzles me is that there is no outrage, no alarm, no concern? This why I find our bitching over a stupid Dove commercial so exasperating. But check this out. This is the very first response I received in reaction to the message was the following: Why is everything controlled by Alexa rank? Is Alexa "black-owned"? Is Howard University the only HBCU that is "Alexa-ranked" and is therefore on your list? What's up? I replied with the following message: Hi XXXXXXX, Everything is not Alexa ranked. I used a proprietary method of ranking websites The AALBC Score and that is Black owned. I find Akexa to be a rather poor indicator of judging the relative traffic of websites. I only use it to help me separate sites that get very little traffic from those that do. On that basis the Alexa Ranks is adequate. Of the HBCU’s I checked, Howard had the strongest overall AALBC Score. If you have any websites you’d like to suggest I more than welcome you to add them to the list of sites to be considered. The instructions are in my original email. Thanks for the feedback it was helpful. Peace, Troy Now this message is from my own tribe! This reader completely missed the point and spirit of my message. I'm not sure how I could have communicated my message any differently to help them understand my point. Does anyone see where I went wrong? So far this message, after only 32 minutes, is the most shared message I've sent in a long time, so it is apparently resonating with some readers. Which is encouraging. I just hope this issue gets some coverage and that Black folks start to patronize Black websites, before the web is complete owned by Amazon and Facebook owned websites. A few weeks ago, I created a list of “The Top 25 Black-Owned Websites.” Over the past week I've reviewed, improved, and expanded that effort. The result is a list of “The Top 50 Black-Owned Websites.” I’ve even come up with a ranking system to objectively score the relative strength of each website. The truth is, the list only has 38 websites. I’ve having a great deal of difficulty identifying 50 Black-owned websites who meet a rather moderate level of performance criteria, and I’ve evaluated hundreds of sites. I was so taken aback by the lack of large Black-owned websites, that I was compelled to write an article, “We Must Patronize Black-Owned Websites or Lose Them.” My goal is to raise awareness and to issue a call to action. Despite the fact that websites are easier than ever to create and more people have Internet access than ever before, Black websites are growing weaker, more difficult to find, and presumably less profitable. TROY, help me identify and promote our top Black-owned website’s by posting the website’s information on AALBC.com. Please share this message with anyone you think will help. We can’t allow a couple of social media websites and a search engine to serve as gatekeepers who control access to, and profit from, our culture on the web. Peace & Love, Troy Johnson, Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com AALBC.com eNewsletter – October 16, 2017 - Supplemental © 2017 AALBC.com, LLC | 1325 5th Ave Apt 2K, New York, NY 10029
  8. I actually saw most, if not all, of the movies captured in this retrospective. I recently saw that "comedy" Pootie Tang it was one of the worst movies I've ever seen
  9. @Pioneer1, Wall Street is a monolith if there ever was one. Yes ,Wall Street did invest in both sides. As you said, they will win no who is elected. Obama bails them out gives many of them cabinet positions and even 45 hired a bunch of Wall Streeters, despite campaigning to do the opposite. But you were arguing that Wall Street wanted to derail a Black president. Again don't you think they could have accomplished that more easily by not contributing to his campaign at all? Obama raised more money on Wall Street than any candidate before him (if memory serves)--helping to fund perhaps the largest presidential campaign warchest ever.
  10. @Pioneer1 How do you conclude from CNN's coverage of the study, a deliberate effort to make Black children, in the US, dumber. White people are subjected to as much, if not more, fluoride than Black people.
  11. 58 Dead In Las Vegas.

    Well I'm glad the activity was not found to be serious. But obviously something was going on. While self diagnosis is not usually recommended searching the web for other with similar symptoms might reveal something.
  12. Greed implies excess so the one could argue the adjective is unnecessary, but it is not an oxymoron. How then @Pioneer1 do you explain the tremendous amount of money Wall Street contributed to the Obama's campaign. If they wanted to derail his efforts they could not given him a red cent.
  13. Black Woman Turns White.

    @Delano, as you know I'm really not keen on talking in terms racial terms (there is only one race), but Black people in terms of the way I assume you are thinking about it them out number white people. If you throw in all of the other non-white people on Earth, white people are in the minority. Demographically, here in the United States, their days as a majority will come to an end--soon. Of course white folks see this as a threat, which is why they are so keen on building walls. Even though we all know that will never happen, nor would it actually be effective.
  14. Yeah Apple and Google keeps tabs on your every move, where you go, what you buy, who you talk to, what sites you visit. The people who used these products simply do not care about privacy or what the implications of it being eliminated mean. The information age has not served people. No one will argue that the pubic is more informed, smarter, or any wiser as a result of all of this technology. The performances of our students compared to other countries will tell you that. 45 in the whitehouse is obviously a consequence. On a global scale despite of our technology, global literacy is half of what it was just 40 years ago down to 17%! SO much for technology. Information technology, and the vast amount of data we prove has benefited corporations. We are easier marks for anything they have to sell. Much of we don't need and some of it does is harm. And I'm someone who is fundamentally for technology--I just don't like the way it is being used against us today.
  15. Education. Full stop. If you really want the full solution; stop consuming most forms of media and go back to reading books and newspapers. That is it. --------------------------- I think we need to seriously consider the media we consume. There is some media that I simply do not subject myself to. Social media is one. Sure I post a link to AALBC.com on most days, but you will never see me scrolling through my own feeds. There are no social media apps installed on my phone. I say this because people lie, misinterpret things, or just make shit up. I prefer to consume my news directly from reputable sources --even then you need a variety of reputable sources. Speaking of cell phones. I do not keep it next to me. I don't even sleep in the same room with it. I primarily use it as a wifi hot spot, to text family and friends, and to look stuff up. I barely used the telephone ap. , Whenever I'm in public I see people fully engaged in the cell phones, they could be driving, walking down the street, at dinner with friends, or just riding in an elevator. The thing never seems to live their hands. At the airport, I see people sprawled on the floor slavishly tethered to an outlet because their stupid phone can't hold a charge for a full day. I think cell phones are one of the easiest ways for corporations to get into our heads and manipulate us. starting with getting us to buy a brand new one every two years--at least. I use the devices accordingly.