Time may be running short at black targeted search engine Rushmore Drive, amidst a negative earnings call by parent company IAC, which reported a first-quarter net loss of $28.4 million, compared to a profit of $52.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company is now more than ever focused on their goal of making Rushmore Drive the premiere destination for Black people, and Rushmore Drive’s new design might be evidence of how they plan to accomplish it.
I was hoping that Rushmore Drive’s new design would address their news section. It seems to me that there’s still way too much overlap between all of RD’s content sites. Detour, which was once labeled “Our Views” and later changed to “Our News”, is now being re-branded as “Black News” to keep consistent with Rushmore Drive’s mainstream content section “Latest News”, which includes content from leading mainstream publishers including The USA Today, Washington Post, and fellow IAC site the Daily Beast. The Detour section is a collection of mostly opinion driven articles from RD’s contributing writers and content partners including TheRoot.com and TheLoop21.com. This section helps highlight RD’s core business by using Rushmore Drive’s search technology to produce image and video galleries, as well as related searches based on information it gathered from the article. The Daily Drive on the other hand, seems to be Detour’s, less attractive, not so intelligent, annoying step sister. The blog consists of a mixture of embedded YouTube clips and links to articles from Detour, and sites outside of Rushmore Drive. When asked about the difference between the two sites, Mcfall explains, “Detour is more like a magazine. It’s feature centric and the content is more evergreen. The Daily Drive’s content is usually a lot less formal.” All of Rushmore Drive’s content sites still seem quite overwhelming, and with no true value add, I would suggest that RD consider either merging the Daily Drive with Detour, or maybe consider decommissioning it all together.
Rushmore Drive’s focus on offerings outside of their core may have derailed the company slightly, but their new focus on the search business seems to be a giant leap in the right direction. But is it too little too late? Will the new additions buy Rushmore Drive enough time to weather the storm, or will a down ad market seal their fate?