According to recent studies, African Americans turn to the Internet more often than others for career information and professional networking. According to the 2005 AOL African American Cyberstudy, conducted for AOL by IMAGES Market Research, 62% of African Americans feel the Internet is helpful with individual career advancement and 80% say it is a useful education tool for all ages. With this in mind, the launch of a new black business search engine called FraserNetsearch seeks to aid black businesses in promoting their companies, as well as provide an avenue for professionals to cyber connect.
Currently in its test stages, FraserNetsearch is a component of FraserNet.com. Founded in 1987, FraserNet is one of the oldest online business networks for African American professionals worldwide. Chairman and CEO George C. Fraser will officially debut the new search engine at the company’s annual PowerNetworking conference June 18-21 in Atlanta.
FraserNetsearch will allow the creation of an interactive networking culture. “It will be a social networking tool and search engine for black professionals, business owners, and community leaders of like minds,” Fraser says.
Companies can be added to FraserNetsearch by registering at www.frasernetcommunity.com or www.frasernetcommunity.net. The new search engine will generate revenue through advertising, membership fees, product sales of educational CDs, and books written by Fraser.
Additionally, Fraser says, FraserNet will officially re-launch its Website into FraserNet 3.0 on July 31. The site will feature new capabilities that include a state-of-the-art, custom search engine and an expanded networking community. “Businesses will not only be able to do standard social networking, but search more effectively and sell ads and collect ad revenues from visitors to their sites,” he says.
Fraser is also creating an online version of his popular black business directory, SuccessGuide Worldwide—The Networking Guide to Black Resources, which is published through FraserNet. “It is always the No. 1 question I get: When will SuccessGuide be available online?” he says. The directory will also be part of FraserNet 3.0.
FraserNetsearch comes on the heels of the launch of RushmoreDrive.com, a new online destination and search engine targeting African Americans. Launched in April, RushmoreDrive.com combines mainstream search results with those tailored to black audiences.
According to cyber marketing expert Johnny Lee Clarke, FraserNet will fill a different void. “There’s a niche that FraserNetsearch will fill, and it will attract business and wealth creation within an urban middle class,” says Clarke, whose California-based Maximum Balance Foundation creates direct online response programs. Clarke also says the venture is an advertisers’ dream. “[FraserNetsearch’s] target audience is the middle-class, married, African American business owner who represents revenue and influence.”
For Fraser the timing is perfect to expand FraserNet’s presence online. “Technology is now and the future. It is the simplest and most cost effective way to exchange ideas, earn money, share information, and start fruitful relationships,” he says.