Launches

Rushmore Drive Launches

IAC’s Black Web Enterprises finally unveiled their online initiative targeting black people this evening with its launch of Rushmore Drive. The launch party, held in the magnificent IAC building, was a gather of the who’s who of African-American internet and media spaces.

Johnny Taylor kicked off the party with an introduction of the Grammy award winning singer Regina Bell. Barry Diller Rushmore Drive Launch Regina opened by singing a “A Whole New World”, which seemed to be an overall theme of the launch party. At the conclusion of Regina’s performance, we heard from some of IAC’s executive team including CEO of IAC Barry Diller.

On to the product
The Rushmore Drive demo started with a keyword search using the Rushmore Drive search engine. The keywords were selected by audience members, prior to the demonstration, to prove that the site was fully functional. The keyword, in this case diabetes, returned a number of results on the topic, but what sets Rushmore Drive apart from other search engines was the black sites and topics ranked higher than other topics in the search results. The engine is built using the Ask search algorithm, but Johnny made it clear that the engine does more than append “Black” or “African American” to your keyword. Instead the Rushmore Drive search engine ranks results based on its relevancy to black people.
Rushmore Search Page

Another key feature is the ability to rate search results. If the user is satisfied or dissatisfied with a particular result Rushmore gives them the ability to rate the result between 1 and 5 stars. The rating system helps the search engine grow smarter with the help of the users. Users can also directly interact with the search engine by suggesting sites they feel should be indexed by the Rushmore Drive search engine.

Johnny Taylor Rushmore Demo

Johnny stressed that, “Rushmore Drive is not in competition with other media outlets”, instead their goal is to promote black media outlets, but with the introduction of Rushmore Drive Detour, I am not so sure. Detour is the Rushmore news and editorial site utilizing freelance writers. Detour covers topics in Entertainment, Family and Religion, Health, Money, Politics, Race and Racism, Sex and Relationships, and Sports. Sounds like competition with other editorial sites to me. If Rushmore truly wanted to promote sites, they should have consider direct partnerships with content distributors to display content a la Google News or Yahoo!

Rushmore Drive also allows you to create your own “news website” call MyNews. MyNews allows you to choose your favorite news topics and share them using a number of social tools including the share this widget, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, and others.

Rushmore Drive includes a Job Network Section powered by Jobster. The job network seems to be a mini mix of Linked-In and Monster. The network allows users to select any professional or social affiliations, and includes the ability to link with friends and share jobs. A quick search for jobs in my area returned quite a few entries, but I really haven’t had the opportunity to really dig into some of the features, but as soon as I do I will update.

The event was concluded with very special “shout out” from Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Other special guest included, MC Hammer of Dancejam.com and CNN’s Roland Martin
Hillary Clinton Rushmore Drive

Roland Martin

13 Comments

Comments

I love the rating system atleast it helps them grow

35 employees is a sizeable team for an internet venture. I guess they really were just in it for a quick payday or some other political objective.

35 employees is a sizeable team for an internet venture. I guess they really were just in it for a quick payday or some other political objective.

Piepiepie says:

They just wasted a lot of money as opposed to building a sustainable site — they had 35 employees!

It is a shame that with such a star-studded push and all that money they couldn't keep the service up for more than a year. What went wrong? It would really be helpful if they told the story of why RushmoreDrive closed it doors.

Clarence Coggins
Crown Prince of Web 2.0
http://bbb2.hudsonliberty.com

mega says:

RMD has original content under the moniker of Detour, as well as news from most major online news sources (i.e. WashingtonPost.com, Reuters,com, etc.). The Detour commentary is not easy to find and distinguish yet, but I imagine they’ll get it right soon.

MrAfrica says:

To be honest not much can be found at the site… Seems like a meta-search engine to me… What I’m saying, I thought they would have original content, etc… That seems not to be the case, but if RMD sends me traffic I shall gladly take it…

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