There have been many attempts to tap into the “black web.” Several African-American search engines, several African-American Digg.com clones, and now we have Blackbird which is the African-American web browser. Chuck from Allhiphop.com hipped us to the web browser earlier today so we decided to take it for a spin. We currently have Google Chrome installed as our default web browser.
So the first thing we noticed upon booting up the web browser is the news ticker. The browser pulls in news content from Google News that might be of interest to African-Americans. Ok no big but no biggie here. Then we clicked on the Video tab and where taken to a section with video content from some online TV sites we have never heard of. UptownLiveTV, NSNewsTV, DigitalSoulTV, ComdeyBanksTV…(who they be?), and a few other channels offer but video content. But I guess they are just getting started. Plus clicking on the video tab also brings up a lower lefthand corner advertisement with your video viewing experience. No pork on my fork…no extra ads in my web browser.
The Give Back tab brings up non-profit and volunteer opportunities which seems to be pulled other from the Blackbird editorial team. I think this is a nice touch content wise but not a major game changer. I’d like to see this flushed out a bit more and offer up a lot of non-profit listings.
The Share/Most Shared tabs requires you to login and share content with the community. So you can share content with 1 button click. You can share a video, blog post, or other content that you think the community might find interesting. Cute but not a game changer.
Our verdict on Blackbird:
Blackbird is cute in theory…but as a business model I don’t understand why any business would want to compete with Windows IE, Google Chrome, FireFox, and Opera….but we’d like to know more. I’d love to hear why they entered into the browser space, their plans for distribution and adoption, community building, and retention. But for now there is nothing within Blackbird that would make me want to switch over and make it my default browser. I switch to Google Chrome because A) I can search right in the main address bar, and B) it’s BLAZING fast at rendering a webpage.
Things that would make Blackbird more interesting would be easy access into other sites like Twitter from within a portion of the browser, an attached social network, a way for bloggers to help build out the community and distribution of Blackbird by being featured content within the ticker in exchange for promoting the browser, and kills the ads.
For now it feels like a skinned version of FireFox. Maybe it would be cool if they even asked artist to come up with custom designs, themes, and layouts for the browser…and some kind of music integration, exclusive content would be a nice change of pace.