A Cruise Down Rushmore Drive

African-American-targeted search engine Rushmore Drive closed up shop recently after one year, but the debate still continues as to whether or not there was a need for it in the first place. Hunter-Miller Group founder and president Pepper Miller and consultant John Parikhal discussed it on AdAge.com.

The cons: Rushmore Drive was called racist and separatist, and parent company IAC was ripped for thinking it had a chance to make a dent versus Google.

The pros: In Miller’s words, “Rushmore was better than Google at collecting, organizing and disseminating black information.”

Miller and Parikhal weren’t the only ones to weigh in on Rushmore Drive, though.

PCG Technology Services co-founder and vice president Donna Smith-Bellinger was pro-Rushmore Drive:

We need special search engines like Rushmore Drive to make it easier to identify and locate African-American information online. An African-American search engine not only helps other African Americans find black-owned business Websites, but it can also aid corporations looking for minority companies to hire.

But business strategist Jaclynn Topping disagreed:

There was nothing missing (from using Google) as a black person. The concept of a race-based search engine (or browser) is ridiculous, especially in the face of the move to open platforms. The World Wide Web is color-blind, gender-blind, disability-blind. No barriers. It’s all about the tag, keyword density and linking strategy. It’s the Internet’s greatest strength. What is Rushmore giving me? What’s black about browsing?