Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ArcaNext.com -- Why Do We Need a Digg.com for Black People?

by Paula Neal Mooney

I’m never one to play the race card.

Let me start off by saying that I think O.J. Simpson is guilty as sin. And just a peek into my posts explaining why I voted for George W. Bush, why I agree with Ann Coulter’s writings and what I think about folks who tell me I talk like a white girl should give people a tip-off that I’m no Huey Newton-type.

But yet and still, my eyes are open to the racism that still exists today, no matter how many friends of other races that I obtain in my real life as true and close friends. The lack of response during Hurricane Katrina had me experiecing the same wake-up call that Paul in Hotel Rwanda received when he realized that he wasn’t really “one of them.” (But lets not forget the white president who came to his defense.)

Anyway, I’m prefacing this touchy post with a ton of explanation because I can already hear the backlash in my head upon my announcing my love of a new community called ArcaNext.com – a sort of Digg.com for black people -- founded by my new best bud, Mario Walker.

Separatist. Reverse racist. The insults swirl in my mind’s ear.

Why do you need a separate site for blacks? What if we created a Digg.com only for whites? How would you like that?

Let me just say that Digg.com kinda already is that. Okay, that’s not totally fair, but I have a big gripe against Digg.com for banning me for no earthly good reason. Sure they hate SEO blogs, but there are tons of SEO blogs out there that haven’t been targeted like mine has.

I can only surmise that the goofballs who decided to attack me on Digg.com until I got banned did this in large part because of the hue of my uploaded pic. I don’t fit the mold of the normal Digg.com user. (Jeremy Shoemaker is one guy who has proven how to get the young guy demographic to drive up his traffic and leave drooling comments by using the avatar of a gorgeous blonde woman.)

I know of what I speak because I’ve seen the racism in the techie world up close and in person. Working in or close to IT departments in and out of major corporations since the 1980s, I’ve seen them change from mostly white males who enjoyed a Silicon Valley, Ferrari-driving boom and eventual bust in the ‘90s to IT departments stacked with Indians even darker than me with colorful and odd-looking Buddha card on their shelves.

I’ve watched some white guys grow in frustration at the outsourced jobs – and gotten pissed off at people (even blacks) who claim they can’t understand some Indians’ thick accent. I, for one, was quite happy to see IT departments get more people of color. And if you take the time to understand people of other cultures, you actually can learn a lot from them…

Of course I don’t want Americans to lose their jobs. Some of these white tech guys are my friends -- good guys who work so hard and have wives and kids to feed. And these are the champions that always land on their feet at other tech firms.

But the bad-attitude-you-need-me-because-I’m-so-smart-I-can-code-VB.net-in-my-sleep type of techies – the self-same ones who fawned over replacing my white coworker’s monitor while dumping my replacement monitor on my filing cabinet for me to fool around with...those...I can’t say that I’m sad to see them go...

But I digress. The point of new sites like ArcaNext.com is not to shut out the white folks. The point is to give ousted (or any) people of color like me a safe haven to discuss the news of the day that other folks just might not be interested in.

So check out ArcaNext.com -- give ‘em a try and register. I know I just did. And I'll bet you a dollar to a donut (as my mom used to say) that they won't ban me...

Paula Mooney's Musings

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kystorms said...

Hi Paula
Good to see that someone is going looking for a place where they can get their posts taken,instead of just taking the treatment. I have read on some other blogs that Digg is being frowned upon more and more as they are really more a group of young teen types with really bad behavior. I have signed up,but do not really see serious attempts for posting news etc.
Digg will be sorry they let you slip through their fingers one day!

sunhao123 said...

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Jason said...

Hey, Paula. Well put!
I often wonder how social software would be different if it were more black-focused (or more minority-focused) and Arcanext provides a great starting point.

Narrowcasting is all the rage but I don't always feel like we get the bandwidth we deserve. Can't wait to see how this space develops!

mario said...

Thanks for the kind review Paula. Our goal is to give the African American community a voice.

Rate, discuss and submit news worthy content. We have a long ways to go and we welcome any feedback.



ArcaNext Founder

Jennifer said...

Hey Paula... I'm right with ya on this. At times I feel like I need to hire an interpreter to live in my home so I can have some help when I need to call some tech service. I'm ALL about including others, learning from different cultures, and I believe the world thrives on diverstiy.... AND, I really wish, when I call an American company in America I could talk to someone who can speak English. LOL! Jennifer

Paula Neal Mooney