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Troy

Black-Owned Websites Dropping Like Flies

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For years I've been maintaining a list of the most popular Black-owned websites. That list of 50 websites is actually derived from a much longer list of over 300 websites.  The idea was to track the web's largest Black-owned websites who attracted the most visitors.  Again, I started the list years ago and expected it to grow, but to a point where it would be difficult to manage. 

 

Despite the pages being one of the most popular on the website, the list has actually been shrinking! I have to review the list periodically to check for websites that are no longer active.  Usually the domains are quickly snapped up by other, often unrelated, websites trying to take advantage of the traffic obtained from backlinks from sites like mine or links lead to nowhere and are broken.  In any event I have to check the links from time to time.

 

This time I was disheartened to see many sites that I really liked disappear.  I removed 20 websites from the list including, ChickenBones: A Journal, which was started in 2001, by Rudolph Lewis. We became friendly over the years as we started a few years apparty (AALBC started in 1997) and published similar content.  His content will be a great loss to the web.  I already reached out to him to avoid this.

 

Another site I removed from the list, is MelaNet not because the domain is down, but the site has simply not updated in years and is full of broken links.  Launched in 1997 MelaNet was one of the first Black websites that I can remember.  It was also exciting to see because it produced content that I simply was not exposed to before the web was created -- it was as pro-Black and afrocentric as you could get.

 

One of the better book sites on the web APOOO (A Place of Our Own), was started in 2008 and was in a class of book websites you do not see very much today. These sites were popular, well done, and driven my passionate readers. They provided reviews and interviews.  Some of these sites migrated to social media, but those platforms are so restrictive and are a poor facsimile of the former websites.

 

I could go on and on.  I always lament the fact that the Web is a far less rich place due to the lost of indie websites.  Even the indie websites that have survived that last 10 or 20 years are not as good as they can be.

 

Clearly the average person on the web has no clue what has been lost -- otherwise there would be some outrage.  I point to the corporate domination (ownership really) of the World Wide Web as the cause.  I described in the past how Google, in a single day, took about 75% of my traffic (along with other Black owned book sites, newspapers and other entities).  It took my site over 5 years to recover. Many of the other websites just folded or failed to recover.

 

For many people today, the World Wide Web is comprised solely of Amazon, Google, and a few social media sites. There are still some good and potentially great websites. All we have to do it is take advantage of them.

 

 

 

 

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On 12/29/2019 at 3:38 PM, Troy said:

For many people today, the World Wide Web is comprised solely of Amazon, Google, and a few social media sites. There are still some good and potentially great websites. All we have to do it is take advantage of them.

 

The reason why I love this community has to do with the book aspect of it too-- Black Books.

 

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