The first-ever search engine catering specifically to African American interests, RushmoreDrive.com, closed recently, if you hadn’t heard or noticed.
RushmoreDrive launched with much fanfare in April 2008 and was backed by media mogul Barry Diller, CEO of IAC. The company’s then-head of human resources, Johnny Taylor, came to Diller with the idea of launching a Web business aimed at the black community, reports Richard Prince’s Journal-isms.
Taylor and IAC subsidiary Black Web Enterprises “arrived at the idea of a black-oriented search engine after conducting focus groups with African-Americans across the country,” according to a clickz.com story at the time.
“We discovered that the number one activity blacks did online was search for information, while numbers two and three were searching for jobs or searching for and consuming news,” said Taylor. “‘So we decided to create a product that was first a search engine that delivers more relevant results [for the black community], but could also be a resource for jobs and news.'”
An IAC spokeswoman said the closing of RushmoreDrive.com will affect 17 employees. The spokeswoman said the company had exhausted possibilities for a sale.