Well if you’ve been reading this site you know I hold no bars back on websites and I like to tell it like it is. Well after spending a few hours with Rushmore Drive I have to say that the site is very sucky. The site seems #1 to skew to a older audience and also just doesn’t appeal to those who would want to not search with Google. I mean really…who’s not searching with Google these days.
Rushmore Drive has the challenge of marketing to the black audience and then trying to change their online habits. Without partnerships out of the gate to provide search for just about every “black site” from Allhiphop.com to BET it just doesn’t fly. Using Rushmore Drive makes me feel like I’m at a site for my grandfather and that I should quickly jump back into my Google reader to keep track with what’s going on.
So here is what we thought about the site.
Sign up – A
The sign up process was pretty easy and took us less then 2 minutes to get up and running. There where no personalization features other then setting up Greek, Professional, and Faith affiliations. Zzzzzzz…but I’m all about an easy sign up process so this wins in my book.
Search – D
So at the core of this site is search. So I took the search bar for a spin and compared it to Google, just to see if it was really mo’ black.
So I typed in as my first search: Janet Jackson. It gave me this list back as the top 5 results:
1. Janet Jackson.com
5. Sixshot exclusive pics of Lil’ Kim Exposed???
A search on Google gave me:
1. A news story about Jermaine Dupri, Janet’s Boyfriend and his new record label
2. Janet Jackson.com with news about her GLAAD Media Award
3. Janet Jackson’s Wikipedia entry
4. Janet Jackson’s MySpace page
So in a comparison on this list, Google wins hands down. The Rushmore Drive list while bringing up sites that where mo’ black (i.e. Sandrarose, Essence, and Sixshot) none of the content was relevant to what I was exactly searching for. Lil’ Kim and Janet Jackson have no relevance at all. The link to Essence magazine should take me right to a story about Janet Jackson. The Rushmore Drive site has a news box but its below the fold and news content needs to be mixed in with the search results.
Content – C
The additional content via the Rushmore Drive Detour is ok but it’s not great. Some of it reads a little but rushed and I’m not 100% sure why it’s there. I go to a search engine to research something and find content that is useful to me. The Detour content seems out of place. I would rather for the site to pull in the best stories from around the web or post the best stuff from the blogosphere. I was hoping I could port my news into a widget but I don’t seem to see that option at all.
Banner Ads – F
Why is there is a big Coke/Buick add all over my search? Sorry but those banners ads and search just don’t seem to mix for me. How about improving the search results experience before trying to monetize the hell out of the site.
Overall – D
Rushmore Drive, seems like the wrong turn. I can’t believe this is what they came up with via talking to African-Americans about what they want on the web. This is extreme snoozeville. Stick with Google.