Friday, April 11, 2008

IAC's Minority Interest

Here is a twist I knew nothing about: a black search engine. IACI, Barry Diller's company, will own it. Diller is also backing a news site run by Tina Brown.

The project [a search engine named RushmoreDrive that targets U.S. blacks] addresses an unmet need for a population that exceeds 50 million, half of whom are regular Internet users, says RushmoreDrive CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.


Taylor says that program aims to do "identity search." Algorithms sift the Web and deliver results deemed particularly interesting to black users, drawing from both mainstream sources and black media and blogs. Taylor sees RushmoreDrive's role as aggregating all that content. "Black sites aren't competitors," he declares. "They're content providers."

Not competitors? I don't get that.

Some commentators, including blogger Jeff Jarvis, question the value of specialized search engines, likening them to fences that disrupt the "open prairie" of the Web. "Isn’t there a danger in creating a search engine segregated along racial lines? Does it create more separation? … Does it limit the world reached by the search?" Jarvis wrote on his blog, BuzzMachine.

Sort of my thinking: a kind of separation, segregation. I do understand the concept of identity, but I am not comfortable with separateness.

Taylor says the concept and patent-pending technology could spawn other identity group sites, including for women, Hispanics and the gay community.

I can understand that. So I ventured over the search engine,, and took a look. Found a story entitled The Sub-prime Crisis Affects Bourgie People Too. Bourgie is defined in Urban Dictionary as an adjective form of bourgeoisie or aternate for bourgeois (as used in Marxist analysis, rather than its French origin) usually employed in a pejorative sense. alt. spelling bougie. Yes, does say aternate. I suppose it is supposed to say alternate.

There's another definition for bourgie: Stemming from the French word bourgeoisie. Pronounced "boo-zhee" Someone who is class-conscious, with educated and discerning tastes, and interested in enjoying the finer things in life. It is definitely not high-class, aristoratic, snooty, or snobbish. “Bourgie” is as much an idea, and a state of mind, as it is an attitude towards enjoying good food, good friends, and good conversation, everyday. It evokes a mood of simple elegance, casual yet sophisticated—modern.

Yes, aristoratic; I suppose it should be aristocratic. Oy. Quality control is not a strong suit of this site.

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