In the world of social networking, Facebook and Twitter are tops. But in a slow economy where small businesses are struggling, professionals are losing their jobs and college students are faced with uncertainty, many minorities are realizing that these sites were never designed to help people find a job or grow a company. GoBlackbook.com or the “Blackbook” takes social media to the next level by designing a site that not only has the functionality of social networking, but adds a “Professional Information” section when creating a user profile and an exclusive “Classifieds” app that gives newspapers, magazines, radio stations, small business owners and entrepreneurs the ability to list their business, services, rates, jobs, etc. for thousands to view all over the world.
James Parker, Founder of the Chicago-based tech start-up is quick to point out that Blackbook is in no way comparing itself to Facebook. “We did not design Blackbook to be an alternative for minorities to other sites. But we did design the site to be used as a tool to truly network with each other, find and support minority and women-owned businesses, and potentially find employment.” GoBlackbook.com is the first social networking site with a “classified app” and “section” that’s free to use and search. “It’s very easy to set up,” says Valerie Battiest-Danzy, Soul Purpose entrepreneur, Chanel Ballard, Marketing Manager for H.A.S. Magazine, and Nicole Jones, owner of Sensual Steps Shoes. Each say they have already seen success by creating a business profile page and using the classified app to promote their businesses and services.
Professionals and college students can use the Professional Information” section when creating their profile to list their career objectives, skills, education, and more. Think LinkedIn, but not as complicated. “Most social networking sites only allow you to list your contact and personal information. We added this section so that a user’s skills stand out on its own.” And with Blackbook already in talks with Fortune 500 companies interested in using the site to find minority professionals and college graduates, Blackbook can soon be the number one site for employers to find the sharpest employees and job hunters looking for employment.
There is much excitement about GoBlackbook.org coming later this Fall. It will serve as the social conscience and awareness’ arm of the site to provide scholarships for students interested in the field of technology and angel investments for minority and women-owned tech start-ups. “Our goal is to set aside 5% of Blackbook’s revenue to help get more minorities in the tech industry. Now someone setting up a profile page on Blackbook can help send the next Mark Dean or Mae Jemison to school. So if you have a Facebook page, we’d love for you to have a Blackbook page too,” Parker jokes. Keeping with his belief, African-American owned web development firm, Incite Graphics was recruited to create Blackbook.