Lynne d Johnson

 

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08.07.07 11:03 PM

Who Owns the Black Internet?

I didn't make this up. I'm actually simply republishing a press release from BlackNews.com.

And though this team of epreneurs own all of the domains described in the press release below (which are reported to be valued at over $20 million), there's George Kelly with both negrophile and blackosphere. Michael David Cobb on the "(Re)Birth of the Blackosphere" -- just in case you have no idea what it means.

So where do all of these "high-profile African American-related domains," as taken from BlackNews' press release, fit in?
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Columbus, OH - Who owns the Black internet? This is a seemingly easy question that anyone might be able to answer by simply doing a bit of research. But the implications of the question reach beyond simply a major corporation that might have under its umbrella a plethora of black owned websites or businesses at its beck and call. A much smaller and more far-reaching company has been buying up websites with the word “black” included in its domain address or some other term denoting its Afrocentric focus. This means that ownership falls into the hands of two black entrepreneurs.

Dante Lee and William Moss, founders of Diversity City Media and HBCU Connect - marketing firms that help companies target black consumers - have purchased a host of names (see list below) they hope will give them the edge on the Black internet.

For the past 8 years, Lee and Moss have been honing in on new names and established names to register or buyout. Their quest has already locked out numerous potential businesses from claiming the domain names. This strategic move ensures that black websites are owned and promoted by people of color.

Black internet real estate is an important commodity. Lee and Moss realized the value of these names and have now cornered the market. Their most recent acquisitions are HBCU.com, BlackSpeakers.com, BlackNovels.com, and BlackHistory.com, all of which are high profile domains. Their objective is to control how African Americans use the internet - basically, to ensure that the black experience is expressed from the black perspective, rather than through the lens of mainstream media.

Many of their high-profile domains, such as BlackNews.com, are already in use as popular online destinations. Others, such as BlackNovels.com are used to generate revenue through affiliate programs. They hold domains such as eDiversity.com for potential re-branding opportunities in the future.

Lee and Moss (who recently formed Lee Moss Media) both run companies that together generate over $1 million a year. Their plan is to build an empire that will create jobs and other opportunities for those in the African American community, allowing them to create a new empire for people of color.

"I know our companies are worth a lot, but these domains we own are worth even more," Lee says. "For instance, we own BlackNovels.com, AfricanAmericanNovels.com, StreetNovels.com, HipHopNovels.com, UrbanNovels.com, and StreetFiction.com. The street novel industry is quickly approaching the billion dollar mark, and one day someone will want to pay a lot for these domains."

Not only is the move a great way to reclaim the Black internet, but a strategic investment that allows Lee and Moss to decide who will be the voice of African Americans.

Below is a partial list of high-profile domains that they own:

Domains Currently In Use:
BlackNews.com
BlackPR.com
BlackJobs.com
BlackStudents.com
BlackExperts.com
BlackSpeakers.com
HBCU.com (currently branded as HBCUconnect.com)
BlackHistory.com (launching in September 2007)

Book-Related Domains:
BlackNovels.com
HipHopNovels.com
AfricanAmericanNovels.com
StreetNovels.com
StreetFiction.com
BlackBookReview.com
HispanicNovels.com

PR-Related Domains:
DiversityPR.com
MulticulturalPR.com
UrbanPR.com
GospelPR.com
HipHopPR.com
AfricanAmericanPR.com
EthnicPR.com
LatinoPR.com
MinorityPR.com
BlackPublicists.com
BlackPublicity.com
BlackPublicRelations.com
BlackPressReleases.com

Marketing-Related Domains:
AfricanAmericanMarketing.com
UrbanMarketing.com
HBCUmarkting.com
GLBTmarketing.com
eDiversity.com
eMulticultural.com
BlackHR.com

Consumer-Related Domains:
BlackConsumer.com
BlackConsumers.com
BlackBuyingPower.com

Education-Related Domains:
HBCU.com
HBCU.net
HBCU.TV

News-Related Domains:
BlackNews.com
BlackNews.net
BlackNews.org
BlackNews.TV
MinorityNews.com
HBCUnews.com

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