Content

Inside Look at MediaTakeOut.com

From the outside-in, MediaTakeOut.com looks a little different than most urban entertainment blogs.  But Fred Mwangaguhunga, the website’s founder, says the site was originally created to (and still is) primarily run as a business that fills a void in the online media marketspace.

“It’s not an extension of personality, it’s not a hobby, it’s not some way of expressing myself,” Mwangaguhunga says.  “It was always set up as a piece of entertainment for the public.”

Prior to starting MediaTakeOut, Mwangaguhunga ran an online-based laundry business.   A limited marketing budget led him to spend all his advertising dollars on blogs, which were cheap at the time.   While keeping track of how his own advertisements were performing, Mwangaguhunga noted how quickly traffic and ads were growing within the larger blogosphere without drawing much interest or competition from larger media conglomerates.  After selling the laundry business, Mwangaguhunga decided to start his own blog.

Mwangaguhunga originally started MediatTakeOut as a general interest site that covered a little bit of everything in entertainment.  He didn’t know exactly how big it was going to get or where it was going to go from there, but depended on marketing data to guide him.  He differentiated his operation on the back-end, opting for a customized content management and analytics system that allowed him to track user behavior in more detail than the typical WordPress integration and allow him to scale the business to accommodate growth.  The results made MediaTakeOut what it is today.

fred-mto-black-suit-jpg

“On the back-end we could see what stories people liked the most and we would give them more of what they wanted,” says  Mwangaguhunga.  “For whatever reason the African-American stories were just doing better than the other stories.  And so we just provided more and more and more until about a month in we realized let’s just go all the way and make it an urban website, and that’s what we did.  We are always actively using that to guide the direction of the site.”

Mwangaguhunga says that MediaTakeOut also separates itself from its competitors by developing a reputation for breaking stories rather than simply telling them or passing them along.  Maintaining the standard has required that  he manage his operation more like a small newspaper than a typical blog.   Mwangaguhunga begins his day at 2am every morning and has a meeting with his staff of four between 3am and 4am to discuss what’s going to be on the site, each of who are required to produce between one and two stories everyday, seven days a week.   Despite a relatively expensive cost structure for a start-up blog including; staff, data storage and servers, a proprietary content management system, and custom reporting, MediaTakeOut became a profitable operation after only six months and has remained profitable since.  Mwangaguhunga says he owes much of that to previous experience and education, including working for a start-up telecommunications company and obtaining a law degree and MBA from Columbia.

Although Mwangaguhunga’s style of management has allowed MediaTakeOut to eclipse its direct competitors in terms of traffic, he admits that the site earns nowhere near as much in terms of revenue as websites with similar traffic, and even falls behind a number of smaller sites.   Mwangaguhunga credits this to a decision he made from the the time the site was launched to keep editorial content completely separate from advertising.

The strategy has provided mixed results.   Mwangaguhunga says MediaTakeOut probably lost a lot of advertising dollars to other sites early on.  In hindsight, he believes it was still the right decision.  However, as a result of his decision to focus on content above all else, MediaTakeOut has become the default source for urban entertainment news among African-Americans, which he believes is what is most important in the long run.

“If you are going to bend your content to the advertiser’s whim, in the short run you are going to get more advertising.  In the long run I don’t think that’s the case.  The advertisers want nothing more than eyeballs.”  “Your main goal as a publisher is to bring eyeballs to the table.  In the long run, the more eyeballs you have the more they tend to want them.”

One of the easiest ways to hinder long term viability, says Mwangaguhunga, is to reduce potential future growth and value by doing something that would bring in cash today.   He believes that too many online media entities, particularly those transitioning from the print world, tend to do just that by introducing what he refers to as “exotic” revenue models that charge online audiences for content.

“What you’re starting to get are these awkward ways of making it feasible, at least theoretically feasible to do, ”  says Mwangaguhunga. “When I hear people coming up with revenue models that would reduce the number of users and somehow increase the number of revenues, those are never attractive models to me.  If the other urban entertainment companies decided to charge for their content I’d be very happy for that to happen because MediaTakeOut, as long as I’m here, is going to be free.”

Mwangaguhunga believes that in such an environment, there are two things he needs to focus on to grow his business.   The first is consistent innovation in management, marketing, and content delivery.

Mwangaguhunga stresses the importance of getting as deep an understanding as possible for the tone and pulse of the audience, using simple logic to determine if an idea makes sense specifically for the website in question, launching tests and getting feedback on whether or not it works.  Mwangaguhunga claims that trying out things before they are in vogue has prevented him from spending time on things that provide little to no value to MediaTakeOut or its audience.   He says that the recent boom in social networking components in blogs and online magazines, something Media Takeout tested and abandoned in 2007, is a prime example.

“Whereas everybody is putting social networking components to their websites, MTO tested it in three or four different ways two years ago and recognized that it doesn’t work,”  says Mwangaguhunga.  “Since then, we see that every new site that comes out has this component.  And you never see it work on any site.”

Even more important than innovation to Mwangaguhunga is consistently growing market share by continuing to study and cater to his readers’ interests and leveraging the MediaTakeOut brand through other channels.  MediaTakeOut’s first foray into a media channel outside of the internet will be a television program to be launched in the near future.  He says it will be the first of a number of steps in putting MediaTakeOut’s popularity on par with the most  popular general interest entertainment news outlets.

“I believe that there is a real opportunity for MediaTakeOut to be larger than anyone can imagine right now,” says  Mwangaguhunga.  “And every step that I take is in that direction.”

69 Comments

Comments

mingdynasty says:

Theres a pretty cool black owned Hip-Hop site called ahungrynation.com Def worth checkin out

THE says:

FIX THE FORUMS PEOPLE IN THERE MAKING 40 POST IN ONE HOUR??

Chris says:

TODAY JOHN MAYOR REFERRED TO THE HUFFINGTONPOST.COM AS THE WHITE MEDIATAKEOUT AND GUESS WHAT THE SKANK WHO RUNS THE MAIN PAGE TOOK IT AS A COMPLIMENT AND PUT JOHN MAYOR’S TWEET UP OF HIM SAYING IT.ON THE SIDE SHE WRITES I WOULD FUCK THIS WHITE BOY.NOW SEE WHAT I MEAN.BLACK PEOPLE WONDER WHY THEY’RE STILL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID.THE ONLY WAY BLACKS CAN RISE IS IF THEY DO IT ONE BY ONE NOT TOGETHER BECAUSE 50% OF BLACK WOMEN AND 50% OF BLACK MEN WILL JUST HOLD YOU DOWN.THEN YOU KISS ASS TO CERTAIN WHITE PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY GO WITH SOMEONE WHO IS BLACK.IF YOU’D QUIT KISSING WHITE MEN’S ASSES LIKE MINE THEN MAYBE YOU COULD MAKE IT TO THE TOP FOR ONCE.

Chris says:

TODAY JOHN MAYOR REFERRED TO THE HUFFINGTONPOST.COM AS THE WHITE MEDIATAKEOUT AND GUESS WHAT THE SKANK WHO RUNS THE MAIN PAGE TOOK IT AS A COMPLIMENT AND PUT JOHN MAYOR’S TWEET UP OF HIM SAYING IT.ON THE SIDE SHE WRITES I WOULD FUCK THIS WHITE BOY.NOW SEE WHAT I MEAN.BLACK PEOPLE WONDER WHY THEY’RE STILL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID.THE ONLY WAY BLACKS CAN RISE IS IF THEY DO IT ONE BY ONE NOT TOGETHER BECAUSE 50% OF BLACK AND 50% OF BLACK MEN WILL JUST HOLD YOU DOWN.

Chris says:

AND YOUR AN IDIOT IF YOU TRY TO DEFEND ALLHIPHOP AND MEDIATAKEOUT, I MAY HAVE WENT A LITTLE FAR WITH MY POST BUT EVERYTHING I SAID COMES FROM MY HEART AND IS TRUE SORRY IF THE TRUTH HURTS BUT IT SHALL SET YOU FREE

Chris says:

THAT WEBSITE IS JUST SAD.IT EMBARRASES BLACK PEOPLE JUST LIKE FLAVA FLAV SHOWS AND BET.I SEEN RECENTLY WHERE THIS SITE REFERED TO BLACK MEN ON ONE OF THEIR POST AS A PACK OF HOT SAUCE.NOW WE ALL KNOW IF WHITE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE SAID THAT ON A WEBSITE ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE WOULD BE COMPLAINING AND SAYING HOW RACIST IT WAS.THIS SITE AT ALL IS JUST A WASTE OF TIME AND THE 2 BITCHES THAT POST UP THE PICTURES AND BLOG WHATVER THEY WANT ON THEM ARE BULLSHIT AND I BET THEIR UGLY,FAT, BLACK GIRLS LIKE THE FUGLY IN THE PICS UP TOP.DO US ALL A FAVOR EITHER GET RID OF THEM 2 SKANKS THAT POST ALL THE RACIST STUFF OR DELETE THE WHOLE SITE.ITS A SHAME HE LET 2 BLACK BITCHES OR XOULD JUST BE ONE TAKE HIS SITE OVER AND UPLIFT WHITE MEN AND LIGHTSKIN MEN TO A PEDESTAL WHILE DARKSKIN MEN LIKE HIM WHO OWNS THE DAMN SITE ARE TALKED ABOUT LIKE WILLI LYNCH WAS RUNNING IT.IM VERY DISAPOINTED IN THIS GUY.THIS SITE IS NO BETTER THAN WHAT WILLY LYNCH CAME UP WITH TO KEEP BLACKS SEPERATED, AND NOW THIS MAN AND THE WOMAN WHO RUNS THE MAIN PAGE ARE BASICALLY SHOWING THAT WILLY LYNCH STILL HAS NOT DISAPEARED FROM THE MINDS OF BLACKS.ESPECIALLY BLACK WOMAN LIKE THE ONE WHO RUNS THE MAIN PAGE, LOVES WHITE AND LIGHTSKIN MEN OR YOU MIGHT ASWELL SAY NON BLACK UNLESS THEY’RE LIGHTSKIN.THEN PUTS DOWN DARK SKIN MEN.ITS THE SAME WITH allhiphop.com HAD A THREAD CALLED THE APRECIATION OF THE LIGHT SKIN MEN THREAD ITS LIKE WHY, WHAT USE DOES THIS GIVE US,IS THIS HELPING SOMEONE,IF WILLY LYNCH WOULD SAW THE THINGS MEDIATAKEOUT AND THE THREADS BLACK WOMEN POST ON ALLHIPHOP HE WOULD HAVE A SMILE ON HIS FACE TO KNOW THAT ALL THE THINGS HE SET UP FOR BLACKS IN THE EARLY 1600’S IS STILL WOEKING IN THE 2000’S.AS A WHITE MAN MYSELF I THOUGHT BLACK MEN WOULD STAND UP FOR THERESELVES BUT THEY JUST LET THEIR FEMALE COUNTER PARTS WALK ALL OVER THEM

Chris says:

THAT WEBSITE IS JUST SAD.IT EMBARRASES BLACK PEOPLE JUST LIKE FLAVA FLAV SHOWS AND BET.I SEEN RECENTLY WHERE THIS SITE REFERED TO BLACK MEN ON ONE OF THEIR POST AS A PACK OF HOT SAUCE.NOW WE ALL KNOW IF WHITE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE SAID THAT ON A WEBSITE ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE WOULD BE COMPLAINING AND SAYING HOW RACIST IT WAS.THIS SITE AT ALL IS JUST A WASTE OF TIME AND THE 2 BITCHES THAT POST UP THE PICTURES AND BLOG WHATVER THEY WANT ON THEM ARE BULLSHIT AND I BET THEIR UGLY,FAT, BLACK GIRLS LIKE THE FUGLY NIGGA IN THE PICS UP TOP.DO US ALL A FAVOR EITHER GET RID OF THEM 2 SKANKS THAT POST ALL THE RACIST STUFF OR DELETE THE WHOLE SITE.ITS A SHAME HE LET 2 BLACK BITCHES OR XOULD JUST BE ONE TAKE HIS SITE OVER AND UPLIFT WHITE MEN AND LIGHTSKIN MEN TO A PEDESTAL WHILE DARKSKIN MEN LIKE HIM WHO OWNS THE DAMN SITE ARE TALKED ABOUT LIKE WILLI LYNCH WAS RUNNING IT.IM VERY DISAPOINTED IN THIS GUY.THIS SITE IS NO BETTER THAN WHAT WILLY LYNCH CAME UP WITH TO KEEP BLACKS SEPERATED, AND NOW THIS MAN AND THE WOMAN WHO RUNS THE MAIN PAGE ARE BASICALLY SHOWING THAT WILLY LYNCH STILL HAS NOT DISAPEARED FROM THE MINDS OF BLACKS.ESPECIALLY BLACK WOMAN LIKE THE ONE WHO RUNS THE MAIN PAGE, LOVES WHITE AND LIGHTSKIN MEN OR YOU MIGHT ASWELL SAY NON BLACK UNLESS THEY’RE LIGHTSKIN.THEN PUTS DOWN DARK SKIN MEN.ITS THE SAME WITH allhiphop.com HAD A THREAD CALLED THE APRECIATION OF THE LIGHT SKIN MEN THREAD ITS LIKE WHY, WHAT USE DOES THIS GIVE US,IS THIS HELPING SOMEONE,IF WILLY LYNCH WOULD SAW THE THINGS MEDIATAKEOUT AND THE THREADS BLACK WOMEN POST ON ALLHIPHOP HE WOULD HAVE A SMILE ON HIS FACE TO KNOW THAT ALL THE THINGS HE SET UP FOR BLACKS IN THE EARLY 1600’S IS STILL WOEKING IN THE 2000’S.AS A WHITE MAN MYSELF I THOUGHT BLACK MEN WOULD STAND UP FOR THERESELVES BUT THEY JUST LET THEIR FEMALE COUNTER PARTS WALK ALL OVER THEM. >:o

Guest says:

mediatakeout.com is still mean

Guest says:

🙁

Guest says:

:-E *DONT_KNOW* *DONT_KNOW* *DONT_KNOW* :* 😎 O:-) >:o 🙂 😉 :'( 😀 =-O =-X :-[ :-$ 😛 :-E *DONT_KNOW* *DONT_KNOW*

Good Lord People! Im sure the same people talking all this we need to build each other up crap, are the same ones walking around with white designer clothes on their backs and sneakers on their feet. Give it a rest. MTO filled a void in the marketplace which is what you idiots arent recognizing. You're focused on oh black this, black that, and he's making “us” look bad. I really cant have a conversation with these types of black folks. All they talk about is negativity. If you were really progressive thinkers then you would see a black man, that observed a void in the public marketplace, and developed a tool to serve that market. That's not a black man making his people look bad and keeping “us” down…..That's an educated black man, that through business intelligence developed a tool that serves a purpose. Jesus H. Christ. Stop being so negative……..actually dont stop….because the more and more of you that do nothing but sit there and tear others down……..that's less and less competition for all the other forward thinking folks out there that actually put plans in action. Like Chris Rock said, “Love black folks, cant stand (fill in the blank)”
Peace Out!

heatedmud says:

If you are not gay then you can't blog on MTO! You have Homosexuals saying anything to everybody but as soon s you counter and talk that lifestyle down you get banned! And that's real talk! I was banned from that site for talking smack to the gay posters but the same gay posters talk smack to any nd everyone all the time! I guess the truth hurts. But as soon as I find out how to report them I hope that garbage site gets shut down! boipussy, deraca, yellowman, frankie, and the rest of the homosexual brigade!

ToniaS. says:

Besides the “like” and “dislikes” of MTO some useful comments re social networking.

Re the Live Link to the racist website “stormfront.org” …Unknowingly, I linked to this vicious, racist site and immediately left and cleared my private data. I also flagged this post as I don't believe this comment was by an African American but by a Racist White person who intentionally put this link on the BlackWeb2.0 page. You can see that this is the only comment this person has on the site. And for those who don't know: Never link to a racist website like this because as “Wantin” posted…it can lead to making one's site vulnerable to a racist attack.

We've actually reached out to them a couple times. Once we get a response, we'll have something for you guys. Feel free to let us know if there is any BW20 site or digital business you want to learn a little more about.

Cleveland says:

You speak the truth but the Problem is that print is too expensive and especially overpriced in niche/vertical media making it cost prohibitive for many web players

Cleveland says:

You have a small point Cornell….the hater-riffic first nature of blacks in business is why in large part there is no cooperation amongst black businesses and why there are no overwhelming winners in the black space outside of the outstanding sale by Rob Johnson and BET.

We're still in an atmosphere where the teaching that we should tear each other down holds strong (especially the lot of sub 5 year self proclaimed experts in the game or no experience know-it-alls here with the strongest opinions which ultimately and unfortunately why even this great site will probably fail over time – i know i ruffled some big feathers and pierced some thin skin with that statement but its true). Blacks are quick to judge…have love/hate opinions about everything with very little middle ground and love to feel like they are in the know on everything. I've tried to network so many of the sites that I purchase media on and they all seem to think they can do it alone and have vicious comments about other websites who the nicest people in the world are behind and just trying to feed their families as well. It's crazy to hear/watch — but you have a point especially looking at the posts here (i'm even guilty of doing it i'm sure). I'm 52 and it's been the same my entire quarter century+ in this industry of advertising (its why Soul Train didnt become BET, why Ebony didnt diversify earlier — hate within and outside of orgs). Grats to MTO for an excellent tabloid – there was obviously a void for it.

I'm still waiting on a black 'weekly world news' because i need to know who is really an alien who came here to take over the world of hip hop and which rapper is actually a demon here to tear down the black community through rap lol.

Natasha says:

Why would you bring negative energy and thoughts like that? Not cool. That's half the black web.

Wantin says:

Now stormfront knows you exist because you just live linked to them. Expect to catch hell in the next few days. Ever website mentioned here and many more will now become targets. Don't Blacks know by now not to live link to sites like that?

Rated G says:

MTO is pure garbage and I seriously doubt that's Fred's real last name.

Cornell08 says:

This website is the stormfront.org for blacks. Just read what the bloggers write, it's like listening to a farakhan speech.

Nahlij1 says:

MTO is straight garbage that rags on other black folks when we should be be building each other up. We have enough of us that make white America think we are fools, then MTO enhances it by “buffooning” black folks themselves. On top of all of that, the editing of it's headlines and stories are horrible, bootlegged, like they can't spell or proofread.

Krys Lynn says:

Alot of people where i'm from read MTO.. however, MTO seems to have alot of false reporting. I know I've read a couple of the articles then a couple of days later MTO writes that they “heard” or they were “given” a false statement. This is how things get started and get way out of control because as soon as they hear something, it goes right on the net. Usually if i see something on MTO, I google it just to make sure. Being black myself, I'm proud of a black person running MTO. It's a good feeling, but it still seems like I returning to high school one hour out of my day when I”m reading MTO. I don't see anything wrong with BW2.0 doing an article on MTO. This lets Mr. Mwangaguhunga know how his readers feel and maybe he'll change something. OH! And i saw something about the design of MTO. I think the website would be more attractive if it had some colors or something. It's very dull. Alot of the other gossip websites are more appealing to the eye. I would be the first thing I would think of if I started a website. Overall MTO is an “okay” site. It helps time pass by at work!

Herb says:

Keep it up, Angela – it's extremely valuable information. Regardless of whether one dislikes his content, from a technology standpoint he:
– has a production system from which he can decide to push any other content he chooses in the future.
– can leverage his experience obtaining/maintaining/analyzing metrics such as UVs, page impressions, system scaling, demographics, etc.
– data, data, data…
I can't emphasize enough the power that can be gleaned from this info (you think bb is just about videos?). Unfortunately, some folks seem to get caught in the forest staring at the trees. The “next big thing” is going to come from an org that has tackled some of these important issues. Once your infrastructure hits 100Ks folks/day or database has to handle 1Ks of connections/second, folks like mto (or bb) would be nice to know. 🙂

Herb says:

Keep it up, Angela – it's extremely valuable information. Regardless of whether one dislikes his content, from a technology standpoint he:
– has a production system from which he can decide to push any other content he chooses in the future.
– can leverage his experience obtaining/maintaining/analyzing metrics such as UVs, page impressions, system scaling, demographics, etc.
– data, data, data…
I can't emphasize enough the power that can be gleaned from this info (you think bb is just about videos?). Unfortunately, some folks seem to get caught in the forest staring at the trees. The “next big thing” is going to come from an org that has tackled some of these important issues. Once your infrastructure hits 100Ks folks/day or database has to handle 1Ks of connections/second, folks like mto (or bb) would be nice to know. 🙂

BlackAdAgencyGuy says:

This post got a lot of comments….most likely because of the love/hate attitude people have towards MTO and so many people were surprised that there is actually a method to the madness (i always personally thought the guy was a Suge Knight sized dude with a group of paparazzi-ish thugs that didnt care about their well being — because back in the day — they were pretty scathing — not as much anymore — but i used to think that some rap crew or someone was going to mash them for some of their stories lol. They are actually pretty nice to a lot of folks now in their articles

BlackAdAgencyGuy says:

Bossip and Lossip are the same company — Jossip is not connected

Ashley says:

There is definitely nothing wrong with you guys writing an article MTO. All you guys were doing were stating the facts, and passing on information that could possibly help others, just like the rest of your posts.

Dede says:

Let me clarify — MTO does not offer social networking “TOOLS” such as RSS feeds, Socials Bookmarks, and seems like they don't have a presence on networking sites such as Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, FriendFeed, Flickr and so on.

As for having a presence on Social Network sites – I 100% agree that he needs a presence.

As far as adding tools on his site (currently he only has “email to a friend”) this is something I would recommend he try out – but research and test out on his audience first to see if his audience uses the tools (meaning he should def add rss feeds, and SOME bookmarks but make sure his audience uses them – so he needs to survey his audience or look at sites like digg, deliciious and other bookmarking sites and see how much of his content has been shared on these sites — and if its a good number then — digg and the others he saw his content on would be a great addition. But RSS feeds are a must and presences on network sites.

My point is don't add tools to your site for your audience with out testing out and seeing if it helps your audience and your content be shared better.

My issue is when people add a ning type community to their site – most of the time a community application is not needed – but folks jump on this bandwagon so quickly.

Angela Benton says:

Wow, great comments and feedback. You all are gonna give the people over on the Michael Baisden post a run for their money, lol 😉

For those that see to be disgusted that we wrote on this, not really sure there is much I can say above what I said earlier. I think it is valuable info for many of the people who read this site. Thanks for reading and I hope to continue to have your support and feedback in the future!

Liz says:

The people who own Jossip do not also own Bossip or Lossip.

Eman says:

Thank YOU!!!! this shit is sad

Ashley says:

*Edit: I said “one thing” above, but I meant a “few” things.

Ashley says:

Exactly. Just because it doesn't work for other black websites, doesn't mean that it won't work for ALL black sites. We can't go by how it worked for mediatakeout.com, or any other site. We have to try it out first.

Maybe it's because there hasn't been a website that executed the components in the right way. Many sites in our community are so poorly designed/executed that it's impossible for them to live up to their fullest potential.

You also have to look at the TYPE of black people that a website attracts. Not all black people are the same. Just because you're black doesn't mean you like to visit MTO. For example: Lets say that the main type of visitors to that site are only interested in one thing: hearing gossip, posting how they feel, and arguing back and forth with people. When they go to MTO, that's all MTO needs to give. They don't need any other components. Now if the main audience were a bunch of techie geeks that always wanted to be involved in the latest technology, it would be a completely different story.

Herb says:

Great article, Angela – I'd been looking for background info on MTO. Their metrics (UVs, page impressions, etc.) are great for such a small organization. I'd slightly disagree with the social networking comment, though. At BlackBottom.com, folks kept asking (and still do) for components, and overall its performed fairly well. Additionally, what may not work at one time rarely means it'll “never” work at other times or other places. Continuous testing and feedback provides valuable information in that respect.

Wantin says:

When did Bossip become Black owned? The same people who own Jossip, Lossip and every other “ossip” out there, owns them as well. The writers may be Black but the owners are as white as this site's background.

including social components doesn't have to be on the actual site, every brand should have a presence on key social sites such as youtube, facebook & twitter.

haroldanthony says:

so when are you covering worldstarhiphop.com?

“Whereas everybody is putting social networking components to their websites, MTO tested it in three or four different ways two years ago and recognized that it doesn’t work,” says Mwangaguhunga. “Since then, we see that every new site that comes out has this component. And you never see it work on any site.”
—————————
This is so true and we totally are on the same page with this statement. For me to say this people would “hear” me and but would still try to implement this model on their site – but for MTO to say they tested this and proved it wasn't relevant and useful for his audience – site owners and advertising need to LISTEN to him. A community/social network has not yet to be successfully proved in our space (meaning ning, ripple6, kick apps and other custom communities).

Also, as I was told by Liz Burr and Siddiq Bello (two of my favorite people –hi guys!!!) a community on your site does not always mean “network” application – it's just that—- a community of users that frequent and support your site. In that case MTO had a massive community and a social network is not needed for his model. His community is there everyday supporting him and placing his site at the top by visiting daily.

Liz says:

Yeah the owners of Bossip are indeed Black. Get your facts straight.

Thanks BW20 for this info, i agree it is useful info to know if you work on the web, esp on the Black web.

dedej says:

@ Black Ad Guy – actually the owners of Bossip are black.

Ashley says:

Gossip has been around since Jesus laid his sandal on the rock. There's nothing ground breaking about it.

In my twenty four years of life, I learned that people who love and stand by gossip are the same ones who love to watch people fail. If you want to applaud someone who makes off money of the successes/failures of another human being, then so be it.

L Boogie says:

I remember when my parents thought that the “real” hip hop artists were destroying music by talking over music that they stole from R&B groups. I'm making this point to show you that what we find distasteful today may be seen as groundbreaking in the future.

Black folk need to stop with the holier than thou attitude and accept entertainment for what it is – entertainment. BTW I read an article yesterday about people criticizing Tyler Perry's new movie.

I don't expect to convince you just wanted to put in my .02 as a person who loves gossip and is very excited to see mto's success

Ashley says:

I was just about to say that about Comscore earlier.

BlackAdAgencyGuy says:

now thats a deep comment and very interesting view point (the whole African thing because it definitely has some merit that all african americans know and occassionaly feel about africans) — the staff over at bossip is white too — both leader sites and both the messiest of the lot….interesting viewpoint indeed

BlackAdAgencyGuy says:

MTO is a huge site but Comscore is BS for reporting on black sites….according to them — most of the audience on any top black site is white. BS stats. MTO is huge though

Ashley says:

This message was to L Boogie. Sorry for not being specific in my previous post.

Ashley says:

True, but in the beginning the “real” hip hop was a form of self-expression. Self-expression and gossip are too completely different things, so you can't compare Hip Hop to a site like mediatakeout.com.

We need to push for more. Instead, we should look to be proud of a #1 black website that helps our community rather than hurts it. Don't go being proud just because the #1 black website is owned by a black person. What if the #1 black website was a teenage porn site created by an African American? Would you be proud of it just because the owner was black too?

Media Takeout Steals Content says:

This website is notorious for stealing content from other websites and is known online as Media Fake Out. Covering the overtly racist garbage spewed from this website is in poor taste. This African hates Black Americans and his content is proof of that. But Blacks have low standards and this man knows it and plays to that. Black Web 2.0 standards are clearly just as low.

L Boogie says:

Ashley I'm just pointing out that in the 1980s and early 1990s the same thing was being said by Black people about hip hop.

Mainstream celebs have Page Six, Us Weekly etc that do the same thing as media takeout. For good or for bad gossip is a party of celebrity life and its not going away.

I'm just glad that the #1 Black website is actually owned by black people. Unlike the #1 Black song, #1 Black movie or #1 Black TV show.

Ashley says:

Are you serious, L Boogie? It's basically a website with hundreds of FALSE rumors that possibly ruined the reputation of many people, yet you can't believe the criticism it's getting?

There is nothing wrong with pointing out the negative within our community, L Boogie. It's the first step in moving forward. With that being said, it doesn't make sense for you to take up for that website.

Carson says:

I LIVE ON THAT SITE! Very informative profile. Interesting elements shared for those of us looking to embark on our own “blog journey”. No site is designed to satisfy every reader which is why there are many blogs to choose from. The profile shared the business behind the “Genious” as he must be to build MediaTakeout into the #1 site in just a few years. Best example of Supply/Demand. If the appetite wasn't there for his headlines he wouldn't be ranked higher than magazines sites like Ebony, Black Enterprise, Essence and all the other black blogs put together!!! If our people didn't do crazy stuff he would have no content. black folks,,heck all folks love gossip some like me are willing to admit it and others sneak peaks ALL DAY LONG. Either way we need to hear all the success stories so that we can decide how best to use our voice.

L Boogie says:

Wow can't believe all the criticism of the site. No wonder white owned/run record labels own hip hop.

Ashley says:

Four words: Crabs in a barrel.

Ashley says:

This guy seems really educated. I can't believe that someone of his background would drop his morals so low. But money does bring out one's true character, right? However, I see no problem with Black Web 2.0 posting about this. He actually gives good tips in his interview.

But I also agree with TA. It's really sad if this is the number #1 website on the black web. Not only because the design looks like something from the middle web ages, but because of the type of content it serves. Why does our best always have to consist of ghetto trash? (I'm not talking about the website owner in general…I'm just talking about the website.) If this is put up next to the top mainstream websites, this is not something that I would be proud to claim. When can we get a nicely designed website with positive content that is just as successful?

It's a shame when some of the same black people who are on top on the web, are the same ones who purposely try to bring the reputation of successful blacks down, by spreading bogus gossip.

Janelle says:

No need to curse. Yes – it does. And IT SI about the content of the site is unorganized and unverified. The design is not my issue – the user experience is. It's hard to look at content on the site – it's all over the place and not helpful to it's readers. But FL – I don't visit the site – I have honestly went 3 times in my whole life and it turns me off and the comments seem like my little cousin who is 13 and his friends are responding – though I know its an older demo all on the site making those comments.

Natasha says:

and sadly it goes further. As a African he is choosing to target African Americans and our entertainment and issues – it's sad. I am sure he sees no correlation or cares because it's shines on African Americans not Africans – I know he would never highlight African people (though most African Americans see Africans and AA as the same – Africans often times don't) the way he does us in the states – it's uncalled for and I truly believe that is the reason. IMO. Look at examples like Jamati.com and others they only highlight the good in their culture. It's sad that he of all people helps perpetuates and highlight the stereotypes against African Americans.

FL says:

That dont say a damn thing about us. Its about the content of the site…are you THAT worried about the design of the site that it keeps you away from MTO? doubt it.

Janelle says:

I am shocked that he has a stuff a strong educational background but refuse to fix up the design and content direction of the site. It's a sad day in our culture that Media Take Out and World Star HipHop are THE top sites our people support and check out over all others – it def shows and says a lot about us.

Janelle says:

I am shocked that he has a stuff a strong educational background but refuse to fix up the design and content direction of the site. It's a sad day in our culture that Media Take Out and World Star HipHop are THE top sites our people support and check out over all others – it def shows and says a lot about us.

FL says:

I honestly look at MTO everyday….but the site is trash. Most of its exaggerated anyway. Its just entertainment yall! if you cant seperate the reality of the world we live in, from what is posted on MTO, that in itself is sad.

TA says:

That is true Angela, but it's still PURE TRASH… Dumb downing our people and we both know it…

Sorry that you are disappointed however we will continue to cover industry news. MTO is like #1 in Comscore and WorldStarHipHop is #2 so for those who are building their own properties I am sure they can find ATLEAST some of what was reported in this article valuable for their own site, and that is at the core of what we try to provide here. Regardless of how you or I personally feel about the content of MTO there is a business behind it and we'll always report on the business of ANY site run by someone who is Black, that is part of the reason why I started Black Web 2.0. Thanks again for your comment! 🙂

Keni says:

I love MTO!!!!
I can't stay off that site! I'd love to work for them.

TA says:

That site is TRASH!! Plain and simple…
I'm amaze at the garbage black people will intake literally…
And we wonder why we can't move forward, etc…
Definitely disappointed in BlackWeb2.0. would feature such a site…

L Boogie says:

Wow never knew that MTO was a real business. Good to see someone with a fresh perspective on media enter the marketplace.

Can I buy stock in it?

Randy Shamak says:

Interesting content.

Just wanted to share some information that I came across in a few articles discussing about recession and how we can adopt a different marketing strategy to promote our business. It’s quite eminent that most of the advertisers and businesses are taking to online advertising medium since the Internet has now become a necessity to reach global audience. However, even today there is still a huge chunk of people who do not access Internet and to reach this segment of the society; we can rely on the print media. This in fact would be a great choice for anyone whether they are looking out for global, national or local exposure.

Since the economies are now at the bring of recession, it’s a good idea to consider print media as well in the marketing mix so that you can extend your reach further to get additional traffic to your website or business. You can try a blend of online and print advertising through a reputed ad agency that can help you professionally.

BlackAdAgencyGuy says:

Love to see people behind the scenes like this.

One wrong thing was stated here
He said: ““If you are going to bend your content to the advertiser’s whim, in the short run you are going to get more advertising. In the long run I don’t think that’s the case. The advertisers want nothing more than eyeballs.” “Your main goal as a publisher is to bring eyeballs to the table. In the long run, the more eyeballs you have the more they tend to want them.””

This couldn't be more wrong…..we advertisers don't want sites to bend to our wishes to gain a buck….we want to place our brands next to nice content AND where there is a lot of eyevalls…where we can be proud to show it off in a meeting in front of a Fortune 500 CEO….where there is no cursing, explicit imagery, etc. — It's called journalistic integrity. Sacrificing one over the other would cause bad results

MTO is on a good roll as a tabloid and has gotten less nasty with bashing people in the last 24 months. Looking forward to seeing a TMZ like television show even if produced just online (MTO check out TMZ's Apple Application as well…would love to have a MTO app to get my gossip on while traveling on these stuffy a$$ trains, planes, and cabs)

Keep going strong!

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