All Articles Tagged "blackwebmedia"
The lack of diversity in the technology field is a dirty non-secret of the industry. Software firms, game designers and other businesses seem futuristic but in one way are very entrenched in the past: these entities tend to be overwhelmingly white and male. But there are contenders in the tech sector who break this mold — female trendsetters in both Silicon Valley (the California-based area of the technology industry) and Silicon Alley (the NYC tech community) — creating despite a tradition of sexism. And many of these women are black.
The latest installment of The Huffington Post’s long-running Women in Tech series showcases some of these women. Their latest piece, “27 Female Founders In Tech To Follow On Twitter,” features three African-American ladies blazing new tech sector trails. Huffington Post senior editor Bianca Bosker writes about the compilation:
As part of our Women in Tech series, we’ve compiled a list of 27 female founders who are changing industries, reshaping the public sector, doing good, and helping others, all by using technology in creative new ways.
These women are also active Twitter users who are each worth following for the insights and advice they offer about everything from entrepreneurship and VCs to social media and coding. They include CEOs and CTOs, experienced entrepreneurs and experts, scientists and engineers.
The three black members of this special “must follow” female clique are:
In the landscape of new media and web 2.0 news, there is one site that stands out when it comes to highlighting African-American media players and companies: Black Web 2.0. The young site, only launched about two and a half years ago, has become the go-to resource for reading up on news relating to everything from the online brand relaunch of Vibe magazine to the behind-the-scenes decision makers at BET.com. Content is king and founder Angela Benton has carved out her niche by addressing the dearth of information about African-American media.
“I saw there was a need for that kind of information out there, ” said Benton, CEO of Black Web Media. “I was interviewing for a job and I was really interested in another IAC [Interactive Corporation] company specifically in the African-American market so I started researching and going through the typical tech blogs to see what was going on in the African-American space and to my surprise, nobody had anything about it at all.”
Although her media news mainstays of TechCrunch, paidContent and ReadWriteWeb certainly covered the intricacies of major media conglomerates and Silicon Valley startups, they didn’t have the lens to hone in on the movers, shakers, and trends stirring in the African-American web community.
“Even when you search those sites for large media companies, you’re not finding a lot of information – not even on an entrepreneurial level,” she said. “When you seach BET, which is owned by Viacom, [you can see that] nobody is talking about what they’re doing on the web.”
After having worked with companies like UPS, Lendingtree.com and while working at Rushmore Drive, the now-defunct search engine geared towards African-Americans, Benton started the Black Web 2.0 blog as a creative outlet for her to discuss web design and review the online approach of black media companies. One of her initial posts in October 2007 focused on the Ebonyjet.com design. “I must say I love EbonyJet.com,” she wrote. “The design is so clean and the approach to publish the publications content in a blog format versus the typical online magazine format is refreshing.” Her natural love for design and her professional media background are key to fueling Benton’s project.
“I really love typography, she said. “And I’m always drawn to sites that have really nice imagery but also display information really well. There is so much information out there and I like to see how information is displayed and organized.”
The North Carolina resident honed her design chops at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she received her MFA. It was in an art theory class in which Benton really came to uncover her specific passion for the pivotal relationship between design and information. She recalls receiving a C on an assignment, which called for her to analyze commercial art and for which she thought she would have gotten an A. Instead of dissecting the technical execution of the advertisements, her teacher told her, she went off path and analyzed the overall advertising scheme instead. The grade may have been dissappointing but the revelation that came from it was not. “That was an eye opener because i was really passionate about [my paper] and the words and ideas just came to me naturally.”
Benton certainly brings her nuanced perspective and appreciation for presentation to her reviews on all things happening with new web design, gadgets and evolving industry trends. The demand for this supply of information was made evident immediately after her blog launch. “I started getting positive feedback immediately,” she said. “People started emailing me saying oh my gosh, I can’t believe you started this site, this is so needed. The site immediately started to develop it’s own kind of community and from there, it continued to grow and expand as we expanded in content.”
With twelve freelancers and staffers supporting the 2.0 blog and the parent company’s stream of web consulting gigs, Black Web Media is preparing to extend its reach in the media space “We’re looking to build partnerships with different firm brands and work on announcing some acquisitions in the future ,” she said. “I feel that we’re in a really good place right now in terms of the type of content we’re providing so we’re going to keep moving full steam ahead.”