Blackbird is a new browser built on top of Mozilla technology that is supposed to make it easier for African Americans to discover relevant content on the web and to interact with other members of the African American community online by sharing stories, news, comments and videos via the browser.
The browser displays a pre-set news ticker on top, pulls in news content from Google News that might be of interest to African-Americans, and features a section with video content from online TV sites like UptownLiveTV, NSNewsTV, DigitalSoulTV and ComedyBanksTV. Other than that, there's a lot of integration with the most popular social networks, a ‘Black Search', preset ‘Black Bookmarks', etc. There's also a ‘Give Back' program that streamlines donations to a number of non-profit organizations (Blackbird intends to donate 10% of its 2009 revenue to these partners as well).
In a way, Blackbird feels much more like a skinned edition of Flock (who also created versions for specific audiences in the past, see the women-targeted Gloss for example) than anything else, especially because of the heavy tie-in with social networking websites and applications. And just like I wondered when I came across Flock's Gloss edition, I'm not entirely sure if it is enough of a proposition for African Americans to download and install a completely new browser, with all the customization tools that are already built into most recent builds of the popular browser applications.
Then again, I'm definitely not the target audience, so hard to judge. Any African American readers who want to try it out and come back to weigh in here in the comment section? Note that it only runs on Windows machines.
(Hat tip goes to Mike Street, who also penned a review of the browser)