Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Open Entrance Announces 'Top Ten Best Black Blogs'

I read with interest the Top Ten Best Black Blogs as researched by Brian over at Open Entrance. He uses a different measurement metric than we use here each month. However, the great thing from my perspective is that he made me aware of at least three Black owned & operated blogs that I simply hadn't heard about before.

His Top Ten list is as follows:
  1. (No BBR ranking)
  2. (No BBR ranking)
  3. (BBR #1)
  4. (BBR #3)
  5. Young Black & Fabulous (BBR #7)
  6. Nah Right (BBR #4)
  7. Sandra Rose (BBR #10)
  8. Crunk & Disorderly (BBR #97)
  9. Mrs. Grapevine (BBR #42)
  10. Open Entrance (BBR #113)
Brian noted, "The number of blogs in the black blogosphere has exploded and the number is only increasing." The updated Villager's Black Blog Rankings will be posted on May 1st.

Do you follow any of these blogs?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grant Recipient: BDPA Richmond ($2,500)

The BDPA Foundation approved $2,500 grant to BDPA Richmond chapter on April 27, 2008. The funding helps to cover some of the expenses for the chapter's 2008 Computer Technology Quiz Bowl that takes place on May 24, 2008.

BDPA Richmond is 3rd largest chapter in the nation. The fundraising team in Richmond actively solicits funds via the United Way, employee giving campaigns and other fundraisers. In fact, the primary source of funds used to cover this $2,500 grant came from payroll deductions made via the United Way. This chapter routinely reaches out to its large membership to request funding support.

Congratulations to Jackie Pryor (President), Julia Harris (VP-Finance) and other members and leaders in BDPA Richmond chapter on this successful grant request!

This Week In BDPA (Apr 28 - May 4)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that your blog readers know about the plethora of BDPA activity all around the country.
Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere:
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

Finally, if you like what you are seeing ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Darfur and Tibet ask 'Am I Not Human?'

Whether your are a blogger or a blog reader ... our hope is that you will join us on the 27th of each month to participate in our 'Am I Not Human' campaign. We often get caught up in our day-to-day lives or in the latest diversions in the presidential elections. Sometimes, we simply aren't aware of the atrocities being committed against human beings in places like Darfur, Tibet and elsewhere.

Sudan, the historic Nubia, is the largest country in Africa. Darfur is roughly the size of Texas. Sudan scarred having fought a civil war for 21 years that killed millions of people. Unfortunately, Sudan is an oil country with 70% of its oil derived revenue fed to the military while the Darfurian people starve. China is the largest stakeholder in Sudanese oil, purchases 70% of Sudan's exports and is Sudan's largest supplier of arms. China has major clout with Sudan. Yet, we have seen over 400,000 Darfurians senselessly murdered and 2.3 million have been displaced. The people of Darfur ask a simple question, 'Am I Not Human?'

Tibet was administered by Llamas (Tibetan Buddhist high monks) as a free and independent state from 1913 to 1950. In 1949, the People's Liberation Army of China invaded Tibet as a part of their cultural revolution. Millions of Tibetans have been murdered as a direct result of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet. Tibetans are not free to openly practice their their religion. The Dalai Lama is considered by China to be a terrorist instigator. Tibetan buddhists consider him to be the reincarnation of Buddha. However, speaking of him or possessing his photograph is torturously punishable by Chinese law. China recently renewed its crackdown of Tibet as a result of recent protests. The people of Tibet ask a simple question, 'Am I Not Human?'

I hope you take action! Download our E-book to see a number of ways to take action. Stop supporting businesses who support rapists, torturers or murderers. Do your research. Visit links here, here or here to see what you can do to hold inhumane criminals accountable and stopped flat.

Are you up to supporting this human rights campaign on the 27th of each month? What say u?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing

Nominations for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing are due April 30.

Sponsored by Bank of America, the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recognizes young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. By generating visibility for these young women in their local communities, the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing encourages their continued interest in computing, attracts the attention and support of educational and corporate institutions, and emphasizes at a personal level the importance of women's participation.

This is truly an excellent opportunity for BDPA members and supporters in the greater metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas and New York City to support high-school girls that might benefit from this award.. Preference will be given to students who are high school juniors and seniors during the 2007-2008 academic year. Please see the complete Award Information Sheet for further details.

Do you know anyone that might qualify for this award?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mr. Hicks Goes to Washington

BDPA Washington DC is currently the 5th largest chapter in the nation. However, I learned last night that the chapter is working hard to move up to the 2nd spot before the end of the month. This is one of the lofty objectives laid out by the DC chapter president, Perry Carter. Perry and I sat down this morning for a couple of hours to discuss BDPA's legacy and its future. I have known Perry for some 15 years. Once upon a time I supported Perry's efforts to publish I-Plus, a BDPA glossy magazine. I was very happy to see Perry take on the challenge of becoming the chapter president in Washington DC. He is a brother with both a visionary mind and the military training to implement his visions in the field. It is no wonder that his chapter was able to successfully host the BDPA Technology Conference in 2007 and is growing its membership to such high levels in 2008.

Anyhow, last night I spoke to Perry's chapter about ways that members can use BDPA to advance their careers. The dialogue that we engaged in with the audience ranged far and wide on issues such as networking, BDPA IT Institute, finding mentors, finding career opportunities, getting your boss to support your BDPA passions, high-performance computing and so much more.

One of the unexpected benefits of the meeting was the opportunity to see some BDPA legends in person. Gerald Peppers (past DC chapter president), Rudy Duke (past DC chapter president) and Dr. Jesse Bemley (HSCC founder) were in attendance. BDPA corporate sponsor representatives from AMARAM Technology (Vinson Palathingal, Breeze Johny), CCPace (Ron Peterson) and EDS (Morris Biggers) were in attendance.

Also, the attendees for this group donated a little over $500 to the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation to support scholarships and DC chapter programs. Suffice to say that it was an energizing evening. Heck, we had enough juice in the room that night to share some with the Washington Wizards ... as they won their NBA playoff game last night as well!

I look forward to visiting with other chapters over the coming weeks and months. We have a powerful organization and we need to work together to get the word out all over the nation. Let me know if you have any questions or wish to discuss ways that BDPA can advance your career by leaving a COMMENT below.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2007 National BDPA HSCC Champions (So. Minnesota)

These are the defending national BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) champions! Can anyone name the six people in the photo?

Join Blog Campaign: Am I Not Human?

I am hopeful that all bloggers and blog readers will take a moment to remember humanity. Sometimes we get so tied up on our day-to-day existance that we forget to look up or think globally about humanity. We have a chance to think globally with upcoming major competitive events such as the Beijing Olympics. Many agree that China is a country guilty of numerous human rights violations and outright oppression.

You are invited to take a moment to remember humanity on Sunday, April 27. On that day we are asking bloggers and blog readers all over the world to ask a simple question for Darfurians, Tibetans and others that have been affected by China’s lack of concern for human rights ---> Am I not human?

The Olympics should be global representation of friendship and humanity. However, the Beijing Olympics are tainted by the oppressive reality of China's human rights stance in Darfur, Tibet and elsewhere. China shows a willingness to ignore the lofty principles of the Olympic movement.

Our blog campaign, Am I not human? involves bloggers from a myriad of cultures recognizing the symbolic importance the Olympics claim to represent and the direct violation towards humanity China is guilty of in its act as a supplier to oppressive forces in the Sudan, and it’s unspeakable acts towards Tibetan Monks.

The campaign’s strategy is to educate, motivate and activate. A small ebook will be available for download detailing the background of the struggle in Darfur and Tibet, highlighting real actions that can and should be taken. The ebook will present the opportunity to continue action offline within our communities by anyone claiming to be interested in making a positive change.

AfroSpear blogger Eddie Griffin states, “We will no longer idly stand by and watch such blatant hypocrisy as human beings are inhumanely preyed upon.

The Blog Campaign participants will post in unity on the 27th of each month until real measurable, progressive change can be seen in Darfur and Tibet. Our first postings will begin on Sunday, April 27.

You can learn more from our 'Am I Not Human' Virtual Campaign headquarters or you can email the Campaign Organizers for additional information. The Campaign Organizers are: Daz Wilson, Danielle Vyas, Wayne Hicks and Eddie Griffin.

The next step is yours! What say u?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

State of the Chapter (St. Louis)

BDPA St. Louis is the 24th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter is meeting this week to discuss the 'State of the Chapter'. Attendance is important and will be worth your while. Lovis Daniels, BDPA St. Louis chapter president wrote, "We have some exciting things going on, so come on out." The chapter will provide membership packages to all members in attendance.

The logistics for the meeting are as follows:

Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Time: 6:00PM - 8:00PM CST

Location: Edward Jones * Dorsett Campus
141 Progress Parkway

This event is free to all attendees. Refreshments will be served and a special door prize will be raffled off at this meeting. Please RSVP for this meeting by email or phone (314.313-1337).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Personal Career Advancement (Columbus)

BDPA Columbus is the 17th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter works hard to advance the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from 'the classroom to the boardroom'. One way to live out that mission is to conduct relevant monthly program meetings.

The chapter's April 2008 program meeting will feature David Montgomery, Vice President at Cardinal Health. Mr. Montgomery will talk on the topic, 'Personal Career Advancement'. In fact, he plans to have a number of Cardinal Health IT senior managers and human resource professionals in attendance. The only thing missing is BDPA members and supporters from the central Ohio area showing up in the audience on Thursday night!

Here are the logistics for the meeting:

Date: Thursday, April 24, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Where: Cardinal Health World Headquarters
Dublin, OH

The event is free. Refreshments will be served. Please contact Cecil Jones by email or phone (614.736-1100) to reserve your seat at this program meeting.

This Week in BDPA (Apr 21-27)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that your blog readers know about the plethora of BDPA activity all around the country. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere: We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week. Finally, if you like what you are seeing ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Use BDPA to Advance Your Career (Washington DC)

African Americans in the technology industry have been hit hard by corporate mergers, offshore outsouring, H1-B visa immigrants and the failing economy. Are you a BDPA member that is worried about your future within the IT industry because of these major trends? Have you considered how your BDPA membership can benefit your future within the IT industry? If you answered YES to either one of those questions, then BDPA Washington DC chapter has the program meeting for you!

The special guest speaker is Mr. Wayne Hicks, BETF Executive Director and former National BDPA President. Wayne has been a BDPA leader for over 20 years. He believes that BDPA exists to advance the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from 'the classroom to the boardroom'. If this mission statement resonates with you ... then you need to make plans to attend this program meeting.

Wayne will engage you in dialogue on the following topics:

  • BDPA? What's In It For Me?
  • Tips on networking within BDPA
  • How to get the most out of being a member
  • How to market yourself in the IT industry
  • What you can do to strengthen BDPA's relationship with other corporations and yours

Refreshments will be served. Here are the logistics for the program meeting:

When: Thursday, April 24, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: ASAE Conference Center (The West Room)
1575 "I" (Eye) Street, N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20005
[M] McPherson Square Metro Stop

Attire: Business/Casual

Registration is open to BDPA Members and the public. You can learn more about other public events hosted by BDPA Washington DC, through 'BDPA Today'.

Email the BDPA Washington DC chapter if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tim Brown (Eli Lilly & Company) * BDPA Epsilon Award for Professional Achievement

Tim Brown won the BDPA Epsilon Award for Professional Achievement last year. He is currently working with the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation to obtain funding necessary for the 2008 SITES program conducted by our BDPA Indianapolis chapter.

Tim created impressive educational and career experiences for himself since receiving his first degree in Electrical Engineering in 1990. After completing his Masters in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Engineering, Tim focused on building his career experiences in Engineering and Project Management. Upon joining Eli Lilly and Company in 1999, Tim supported their Infrastructure group as he built on his own project management, operations management, and vendor management skills and expertise. During this time, Tim also pursued and completed an Executive MBA, thus completing the foundation to ensure his future leadership path.

Tim's community involvement includes supporting and developing youth in Indiana through participation and leadership roles in 100 Black Men of Indianapolis; Marion County Commission on Youth; Mentoring and Coaching of 4th graders in math and science programs; Indianapolis Public School Advisory Board; and also through his recruiting initiatives on behalf of Purdue University to reach into Indiana high schools to foster math and science interest. Tim’s history of community service demonstrates that his passion to advance the youth of today and future leaders of tomorrow is second only to his immeasurable ability to “give” of himself to that cause.

BDPA and Eli Lilly are both fortunate to have an individual who has chosen to give back to our youth and community, while delivering tremendous professional value within our organization as well. Please share your insights if you live in Indianapolis or work with Tim. We would love to learn more here on our humble blog...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring Enrollment Open for BDPA IT Institute

The Spring 2008 enrollment period is still open for the BDPA IT Institute. The courses scheduled for the Spring term (May 12 thru August 15) are the IT Associate Certification taught by Will Bundy, Ph.D. and the PMP Exam Prep taught by Matthew Kioko, PMP.

These two course are part of the comprehensive certification programs offered by the BDPA IT Institute. You can become a certified 'IT Associate', 'IT Professional' or 'IT Master', or prepare for taking the PMP Exam.

Key Benefits of BDPA IT Institute Certification?
  1. Respect and prestige of being 'certified'
  2. Increased technology business acumen and leadership skills
  3. Publication opportunities in the information technology industry
  4. Leadership, management and project management skill development
  5. Career advancement, progression and promotion from sponsoring corporations/employers

Apply now for Spring 2008 courses. Taking control of your destiny is just a step away! Please reach out to the Institute Director by email or phone (800.727-2372).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Reginald Jamerson (2002)

We need your help raising scholarship funds for this year's high school computer competition. We want to raise $2,500 to fund scholarships for the 6th place team at the national competition in Atlanta. Click here if you want to make a pledge towards this scholarship fund.

Last year, the HSCC team from Charlotte NC finished in sixth place and did not receive any Bemley Scholarships. I thought you might be persuaded to donate to our scholarship fund if you heard directly from a HSCC alumni from Charlotte. Take a moment to read the following testimonial from Reginald Jamerson:
"During my senior year of high school, I was informed by my guidance counselor about a BDPA computer training program for youth. I decided to give it a try to see what type of computer knowledge I could gain from the program. From day one I was impressed with the set goals and leadership provided by my BDPA Charlotte Chapter. The students were all very willing to learn and focused on improving their programming skill set. I learned about teamwork and felt as though I was apart of something bigger than myself.

The 2002 BDPA conference at Walt Disney World was wonderful! I found the Youth Technology Workshops informational and truly felt blessed with the opportunity that was presented to me; additionally I had never been to Disney World. I’ll never forget the lessons learned at the BDPA conference and how it in a way prepared me for my freshman year of college. I currently work as a Networking IT professional for Wachovia and have goals to become an entrepreneur. This was an invaluable experience!"

Share some BDPA-Love with Reginald in the COMMENTS section below. You can help all of our students by donating to the Bemley Scholarship fund today. You can make your pledge below in the COMMENTS section and I'll get back with you directly. What say u?

Second Annual Ghana ICT Awards

The second annual National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Awards takes place on May 17, 2008 as the world celebrates World Telecommunications Day and Information Society Day.

The awards reinforce the commitment of the government of Ghana to place emphasis on the country's ICT potential. Ghana wants to provide a foundation for building an information and knowledge society within the overall framework of its ICT policy. Ghana seeks as many corporate and individual nominees as possible.

There are two category types - Competitive (10 awards) and Non-Competitive (two awards).

    1. Top ICT Personality of the year
    2. Top ISP of the year
    3. Top Mobile service of the year
    4. Top Software Company of the year
    5. Top Hardware Company of the year
    6. Top ICT4D Project of the year
    7. Top Government ICT Project of the year
    8. Top Education/Training ICT Institution of the year
    9. Top Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) of the year
    10. Top Internet Café of the year


    1. Best Foreign entity Supporting ICT Development in Ghana
    2. Best ICT incubate/young personality

Winners of these awards will automatically be entered into the African Achievers Award held later this year in South Africa. Is it time for BDPA to 'go global' by supporting awards such as these?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

United Way of Greater Cleveland

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation paperwork submitted to the United Way of Greater Cleveland (UWGC) requesting approval as an 'eligible volunteer agency'. Our understanding is that the UWGC Agency Eligibility Committee meets on April 29, 2008. UWGC will notify us about our eligibility status by May 15.

We want to work this same type of arrangement with the other United Way offices co-located with the other 49 BDPA chapters. Let me know if your chapter is interested in working with us on this fundraising initiative.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grant Proposal: Turner Broadcasting System

Turner Broadcasting System is committed to giving back to the communities where their employees live and work. To make the most significant impact, the company concentrates its efforts on education for at-risk middle school students, the environment and arts and culture organizations.

BDPA Foundation joined with BDPA Atlanta chapter to submit a $15,000 grant proposal to Turner Broadcasting System today. The president-elect of our BDPA Atlanta chapter is a Turner Broadcasting System associate. Hopefully, that inside contact will give us a greater chance of success with this grant proposal.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Inside Secrets of IT Recruitment (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter is the 4th largest chapter in the nation. They are focused on providing programs that advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry from the 'classroom to the boardroom'. One way they deliver on this mission is to provide monthly program meetings with excellent insights and information. BDPA Cincinnati chapter invites you to their April 2008 program meeting so you can hear first hand what IT Recruiters are looking for when hiring new employees.

Any attendee who is unemployed or under-employed will have a chance to apply for an IT position immediately and on-the-spot. Feel free to bring all questions you ever wanted to ask about IT recruiting as there will be open question and answer session. The presenters for the evening will be Andy Erickson (LÛCRUM recruiter) and Chuck Clevenger (Seapine Software recruiter).

The logistics for this event are as follows:

Date: Thursday, April 17, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm (Networking); 6:30 pm (Presentation)

Where: Fifth Third Bank – Madisonville Operations Building;

5050 Kingsley Drive, Training Room 1C
(Off I-71 North Red Bank Exit)

Cost: This event is free

Attire: Business Casual
You are encouraged to RSVP online. If you have questions or want more information, then you should reach out to Tashawa Perrin (Professional Development Director) by email or phone (513.956-0636).

Clutch Magazine Offers Summer Blog Academy

I'm pleased to see more and more Black bloggers taking their craft seriously. Dede Sutton, the sister who runs Clutch Magazine (BBR #17), plans to partner with with Black Web 2.0 (BBR #237 and others to create a summer series that helps her readers learn how to succeed online. The seminar will go over just about every element someone should know when entering the online game. Also, it will hip them to the most up to date trends in social media.
Some of the topics to be discussed in the Summer Blog Academy include:
  • How to make money from your blog or website.
  • Tactics to increase traffic.
  • Learn about social media/marketing in general.
  • Learn how to set up, design and maintain your site.

It should be an interesting experience. I plan to participate as a prelude to attending the Blogging While Brown Conference in Atlanta on July 18-20.

This Week in BDPA (Apr 14-20)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that your blog readers know about the plethora of BDPA activity all around the country. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere: We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week. Finally, if you like what you are seeing ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

AT&T Employee Giving Campaign

BETF proudly received pledged payments through the AT&T Employee Giving Campaign made by Gibran McDuffie and Gary Justin. Our foundation is proud to be part of the annual giving program for AT&T. The donation made by Gibran will be used to support BDPA Chicago programs and services. The donation made by Gary will be used to support BDPA Los Angeles programs and services.

Our hope is that other BDPA members will consider making payroll deductions during annual giving campaigns put on by United Way, Combined Federal Campaign or the company itself. Others may simply want to make a one-time donation directly to BETF in support of the youth education programs taking place all over the country.

Please share some 'BDPA-Love' with Gibran and Gary in the COMMENTS section below!

BDPA Foundation Blog Milestone: 300 Posts

Our BDPA Foundation Blog just passed the 300-post milestone this weekend. We began on this blogging journey on August 16, 2007. This is my second blogging effort. I created the Electronic Village (BBR #27) back in January 2007. Admittedly, the BDPA Foundation Blog (BBR #448) has a smaller niche audience than the Electronic Village, however, I'm still disappointed in the results from this blog to date. I'll need to do much better over the next 300 posts...

My overall goal with this blog is to provide information and discussion about BDPA that gives people a reason to financially support our non-profit foundation. BDPA exists to advance the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from the 'classroom to the boardroom'. The BDPA Foundation wants to fund BDPA programs and services ... especially those related to our youth.

I encourage all of you to subscribe to BDPA Foundation Blog so that you won't miss our positive growth over the coming weeks and months! Currently, we have 19 subscribers to our blog. I hope to increase that number to over 100 by mid-year. If you like the flow of our blog ... then I encourage you to subscribe today!

Our favorite topics over the past 300 posts have focused on program meetings, BDPA Cincinnati chapter and BDPA Philadelphia chapter.

This blog averages 29 visitors a day right now with 56 daily page views. I'm told that BDPA members appreciate the information that is shared here. I want to thank each of you that takes a moment of your day to view our daily blog updates. Personally, I believe you get what you measure. We track our metrics to show when we've done our best (see date in parenthesis):

  • Highest Feedburner Subscribers - 22 (2/20/08)
  • BlogCatalog Ranking - 41.3 out of 100 (12/6/07)
  • Highest Technorati Authority Ranking - 23 (2/18/08)
  • # Blogs Between BETF-Blog and #1 Blog in the World - 360,865 (2/18/08)
  • # Blogs Linking to BETF-Blog - 72 (4/8/08)
  • # Bloggers listing us as a 'favorite' - 7 (12/1/07)
  • Top Daily Visitors101 (3/3/08)
We're not, but, we do our best! I have no idea where the next 300 posts will take us. However, I pledge to be consistent in efforts to grow our BDPA Foundation blog community.
I hope that you will regularly visit with us and POST COMMENTS so that we know what you're thinking. With your support we can grow our organization, our foundation and our blog! Asante sana!

New Black Search Engine:

Villagers, did you check out the new search engine that seeks to deliver a better experience for Black folks? It is called -- named after the street on which its Charlotte offices are located. The new concept is to go beyond the traditional search results that we can get from Google. Each query on RushmoreDrive also returns news, images, video and blogs. The guy who runs it is Johnny Taylor (president, Black Web Enterprises).

Blacks want "everything we already get from Google plus highly relevant news," Taylor says. "RushmoreDrive will deliver a more relevant search with people who identify with being Black."

RushmoreDrive determined through focus group interviews that Blacks on the Internet were most interested in search tools, news and job networking, which led to the addition of features that rival job sites and, plus ways to network based on church, Greek and social affiliations. The site's editorial staff will also cover timely issues.

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to list 'BDPA' as one of my professional networks. This is the first time in my memory that this 30+ year old organization of African American information technology professionals has been listed as an pre-identified option. Showing some love to BDPA, along with the fact that AfroSpear member Faye Anderson is a featured blogger gave me the incentive to register with this new search engine.

As traffic grows, those learning schemes are designed to create a smarter search site, and similar technology can create search engines for other communities. "It's not just a Black search engine and it's not just a Black technology. It's where vertical meets search and creates this new thing," Taylor says. "Identity search is going to be the way to go." [SOURCE]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Grant Proposal: The Boston Foundation

As Greater Boston’s community foundation, the Boston Foundation devotes its resources to building and sustaining a vital, prosperous city and region, where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone. One way that they fulfill this mission is by making grants to nonprofit organizations and designing special funding initiatives to address this community’s critical challenges.

BDPA Boston Chapter and the BDPA Foundation combined to submit a pre-application grant request of $5,000 to partially fund the 2009 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Boston. The online pre-application application was completed on April 12, 2008. We await approval at this first stage of the process before we move on to the second stage of the process.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Grant Proposal: Eli Lilly and Company Foundation

The BDPA Foundation submitted a joint grant proposal with BDPA Indianapolis chapter to the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. We requested $17,000 to cover funding for the 2008 SITES program in Indianapolis.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Voices of Africa Nominated for 2008 Webby Award

The 2008 Webby Awards are known by many as the 'Oscars of the Internet'. Nearly 10,000 entries from over 60 countries and all 50 states received this year for the 12th annual Webby Awards. Neither of my blogs, Electronic Village or BDPA Foundation, have been nominated as of yet. However, we were very pleased to learn from the BDPA Philadelphia blog that the mobile project known as 'Voices of Africa' recognized as an Official Honoree by the Webby Awards 2008. [SOURCE]

Voices of Africa gives African reporters the opportunity to report with mobile phones about events in their country. This unique initiative in Africa is part of the Africa Interactive Media Foundation, based in Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Pim de Wit, chairman of the Africa Interactive Media Foudation: ‘We are very happy with this recognition. In the past nine months, hundreds of mobile videos have been published on and We were able to support more young reporters from Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Cameroon. We believe by doing so we have contributed to a more balanced image of these countries. In the same time, we have given our reporters a podium to the word and helped the improve their skills.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Letter of Inquiry: Fifth Third Foundation

The Fifth Third Foundation has been making meaningful grants where Fifth Third Bank operates since its creation in 1948. Last year, the Fifth Third Foundation made over 560 grants throughout Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida. Grants totaling $4 million were made in the areas of arts and culture, community development, education, and health and human services.

Fifth Third Foundation accepted our letter of inquiry today requesting permission to submit a $5,000 grant proposal on behalf of our BDPA Columbus chapter. We should know before the end of the month if Fifth Third Foundation will invite us to submit the grant proposal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Membership Drive (Detroit)

BDPA Detroit chapter is the 10th largest chapter in the nation. They seek to make a major move towards the top of the list with a membership drive targeting the 47,816 technology professionals in metro Detroit. The chapter will partner with Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) to share information about ways that professionals in the metro Detroit community can make a difference on April 17, 2008 at the Grand Central Lounge!

BDPA is a proactive professional organization that seeks to advance the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from the 'classroom to the boardroom'. Members have opportunities to enhance networking skills by playing an active role in planning, developing, and implementing local and national projects designed to meet BDPA’s goals and objectives. The skills gained through taking on responsibilities in BDPA prove to be a valuable asset to one’s professional and personal life.

We encourage all BETF-Blog readers in or near Detroit to attend this event. Here are the logistics:

Date: Thursday, April 17, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cost: $10 cover charge

(proceeds benefit scholarship fund)

Place: Grand Central Lounge
311 E. Grand River Ave; Detroit, MI 48226
For more information you can reach out to BDPA Detroit chapter president Anquanette Clegg on (313) 438-3519.

Monday, April 7, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Apr 7-13)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that your blog readers know about the plethora of BDPA activity all around the country. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere:
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week. Finally, if you like what you are seeing ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Grant Declination: The Hartford Insurance Group

Our $24,906 grant proposal to The Hartford Insurance Group sent on behalf of the BDPA Twin Cities chapter has been denied. This proposal was driven by the passion of one of our BDPA members who works for The Hartford.

We plan to submit a new grant proposal to this funding source for the 2009 SITES program in Minneapolis after the conference is over.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Allstate Giving Campaign

BETF proudly received pledged payments through the Allstate Giving Campaign made by Yvette Graham, Lewis Hamer, Cheryl Lewis, Felicia Mansfield, Chandra Morton, Christina Outlay and Ura Puranda. Our foundation is proud to be part of the annual giving program for Allstate Insurance. The donations made by these seven BDPA members will be used to support BDPA Chicago programs and services. Allstate Insurance leveraged the generosity of these BDPA employees with an additional 15% matching fund donation.

Our hope is that other BDPA members will consider making payroll deductions during annual giving campaigns put on by United Way, Combined Federal Campaign or the company itself. Others may simply want to make a one-time donation directly to BETF in support of the youth education programs taking place all over the country.
Please share some 'BDPA-Love' with Yvette, Lewis, Cheryl, Felicia, Chandra, Christina and Ura by using the COMMENTS section below!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Membership Drive (Baton Rouge)

BDPA Baton Rouge is the 30th largest chapter in the nation. They want to make a major move up the membership rankings by hosting their first membership drive on Monday, April 14, 2008 at Southern University's John B. Cade Library. This membership drive is part of the comprehensive 2008 strategic plan promised by the chapter leadership when they were chartered as the newest BDPA chapter in February.

IT professionals in Louisiana are encouraged to invite your friends and family to meet the professionals and students involved in BDPA. Learn how you can support the BDPA Baton Rouge IT training team as a student, mentor or assistant. There will be food, fun and door prizes! So please pass the word.

Here are the logistics:

Date: - Monday, April 14, 2008
Time: - 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Place - John B. Cade Library
Southern University

Please RSVP with Joe McMahon, BDPA Baton Rouge chapter president. Of course, we hope that you will leave a COMMENT below if you want to congratualate Joe and the other new members of our Louisiana-based chapter!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

Monique Berry leads the defending BDPA Chapter of the Year. She shared the following message with her chapter members, supporters and sponsors. We thought you would find her message of interest:

As a child my grandmother often said, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" when I needed to be reminded that the potential benefits in a new opportunity mitigates the risk of stepping out to meet any challenge. Now, after a few months' as chapter president, our chapter is entered this new year with a mostly-new slate of officers:

We're "stepping out" to meet the challenge of BDPA leadership, and we invite you to step out too. We're hoping that you may be feeling energized to try something new this year. We have anticipated that energy, and have provided some opportunities for you.

Step out to an enlightening April 16th chapter meeting. Our Vice President of Strategy has invited Camari Ellis of First Genesis Financial Group, to tell us about wealth management. I hope that every member will take this opportunity to step out from their 401K comfort zone to see what's perhaps unknown -- but promising about planning for the future.

Or, perhaps you can step way out -- to Atlanta, for an informative, interesting and memorable National BDPA Technology Conference on August 6-9. Speak with any chapter member (or any one of your executive board members) who has attended a past BDPA conference ... I believe each would be able to explain why the venture was worthwhile.

Step UP to your potential -- see what your BDPA chapter can bring out in you! Besides being a friendly, supportive group, we can help you to develop-and to demonstrate- leadership skills. You don't have to over-commit...just try out something, like sharing your observations and responses to a speaker's presentation or to a new technical book or whitepaper. Write these in a short article and get published in our newsletter (and build your professional portfolio). Help plan a chapter program-locate a speaker, or introduce that speaker, or write an official chapter letter of thanks afterwards!

If you'd like to work on your public relations skills, or give a short presentation on a topic of interest to our profession, great! We'd like to develop our Public Relations this year, so we need some committee members. And we'd like to introduce a new segment to our meetings entitled "spotlight speaker," where we'd enhance each meeting with members who would show us samples of their work and tell us about their companies and their jobs.

Does any of this sound promising to you? There may be some risk attached with any one of these opportunities, but I sincerely hope that you will take that risk and gain from it. We are only an email away!

Thank you for all of your support.

Monique F. Berry, President
BDPA Philadelphia
Vision: Partnering for Continued Growth!

What do you think about BDPA Philadelphia chapter president's message this month? Does your chapter president publish monthly updates such as this one?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Vincent Foundation

The Vincent Foundation board of directors meets twice each year with the meetings held the third Sunday in May and October. It is at such meetings that decisions are made regarding requests for funding. Material must be received prior to these dates so that each Board member can receive copies in a timely manner. The deadlines are March 21 and August 21. Six copies of your application and an equal volume of supporting materials for examination by the Board will be most welcome.

In recent years, annual distributions from the Vincent Foundation have been in the range of $100,000 with a maximum of $15,000 set by the Board for any one recipient. Preference is given to "grass roots" organizations, to those in the inner-city, as well as to those in the home areas of members. Their guidelines for giving should be consulted and followed closely.

Projects in the inner city or in the areas wherein Board members live have priority. Those areas include California, Connecticut, Maryland and South Carolina.

BETF seeks to partner with eligible chapter on funding for their SITES program. If you are interested please let us know through the COMMENTS section below. First come; first served...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Top Ten Black Blogs (Apr 2008)

I continue to be amazed at the growing number of Black-owned & operated blogs out in the afrosphere. Many of you recall how perturbed I was last year when I saw a list of so-called influential bloggers with no people of color included. Frack it (as us Battlestar Galactica fans are known to say) ... if others won't give props to Black-owned & operated blogs ... then we must do it for ourselves.

Today we announce the Villager's Black Blog Rankings (BBR) for April 2008 with 1,045 blogs in the mix. We began tracking the Top Ten Black Blogs in September 2007 with only 75 blogs listed. The number of blogs on the list grew to 602 by the beginning of the year. Last month the BBR had 850 Black blogs on it.

We have no idea where this ranking will take us. However, Prometheus 6 (BBR #44) sat down with me over a pizza and Sam Adams beer in New Jersey last week and I anticipate that there will be some new twists and turns over the next 30 days. In the meantime, I encourage you to post a comment below if you are a Black Blogger interested in supporting our efforts in some manner this month!

We need your help! First, please share a link to this post so that your blog readers can learn about the diversity of thought and talent in the afrosphere. Second, we still need one of you to be creative and help us create a nice button or banner that folks can place on their own website or blog pointing folks to the Villager's Black Blog Ranking (perhaps with a visual of a rhino on it). Any creative folks out there with ideas?

Finally, I encourage you to visit Vanessa's On The Black Hand Side (BBR #286) as she shares more insightful details and nuances from Black Bloggers with her '20 Questions With' interviews. This is outstanding opportunity to learn more about talented brothers and sisters that you see listed in the Villager's Black Blog Rankings.

Anyhow, with no further ado, here are the Top Ten Black Blogs for April 2008:

  1. The Bossip: (Authority: 1,194 / Rank: 1,962) - [Entertainment] holds down the BBR #1 slot for the third month in a row. It is worth noting that is the first Black blog that we've seen break into the top 2,000 blogs in the world ranking! is a fast growing urban-focused new media property that draws a loyal following of young and influential trend setters who are up to date with what’s hot in society. Top tags for this blog appear to be Quote of the Day and Fill In The Blank. I encourage villagers to give 'em a tip that they are the #1 Black blog in the universe.

  2. Pam Spaulding: Pam's House Blend (Authority: 1,163 / Rank: 2,057) - [Politics] This is a prolific blog averaging over 110,000 hits per month. Top tags for this blog appear to be Race, Politics, Feminism, Gay and Lesbian. Pam participated in the Take Over America conference with some candid comments on what we can expect for bloggers and blogging after the 2008 election cycle is over.

  3. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop (Authority: 1,036 / Rank: 2,519) - [Entertainment] This is a Black celebrity entertainment blog with gossip, music, celebrity interviews, pictures and such. Angel Laws, a 23-year-old college student in Jacksonville, NC, started this blog as a hobby. Top tags for this blog are Candids, New Music Review and Brian's Music Posts. OK, I'll bite ... who is 'Brian'?

  4. ESKAY: Nah Right (Authority: 787 / Rank: 3,938) - [Entertainment] This is another Black blogger that is steadily moving up in the rankings. Personally, I like the eye candy that has been on this blog since it started in May 2005. However, the top tags for the blog right now are Miscellaneous, Music and Movies. Are there any Nah Right fans out there?

  5. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 633 / Rank: 5,608) - [Politics] Oliver moved into the Top 5 this month! Oliver has been taking flak about his views since he began his blog in April 2005, however, I hope that he will visit our Electronic Village and leave a message at some point as he moves up the list. I guess he's mad that I took the New York Giants in the Super Bowl (seeing as Oliver is a manic Redskins fan)! Anyhow, his top blog tags are 2008 election, conservatives and republicans.

  6. Fresh Crunkjuice: Crunk & Disorderly* (Authority: 626 / Rank: 5,691) - [Entertainment] This gossip blog was created in August 2004. Recently, Fresh Crunkjuice decided to make the move from a site to one that he owns himself, so we anticipate that this entry will begin to fall down the ranking as the readers move over to the newer blog. This blog has admirers in some unusual places. The top tags are 'Finally Some Good News' and 'Why Must I Cry?'

  7. Natasha Eubanks: Young, Black & Fabulous (Authority: 603 / Rank: 6,020) - [Entertainment] Natasha is a 25-year old law student in Washington DC. Her blog has been one of the hottest Black celebrity gossip sites on the net since it was created in June 2005. I hope that I have a chance to meet Sis. Eubanks when I travel to Washington DC later this year! Top tags on her blog are Candids, Parties and Rumor Control

  8. La Shawn Barber: La Shawn Barber's Corner (Authority: 486 / Rank: 8,705) - [Social Commentary] La Shawn continues her transition from being a political blogger. Her blog, born in Nov 2003, now writes about faith, culture, digital technology and, occasionally, how these three things intersect. Sis. Barber is an entrepreneur who consults with interested bloggers. I 'met' Sis. Barber during NPR Blogger Roundtables that we did in Nov 2007 and Jan 2008. Top tags on her blog are Faith, Pop Culture and Technology.

  9. Jack Turner and Jill Tubman: Jack and Jill Politics* (Authority: 471 / Rank: 9,111) - [Politics] - JJP offers a Black bourgeois perspective on American politics. This is a blog that posts multiple times per day with some unique and accurate analysis of the 2008 election cycle. This is one of the fastest moving blogs in our rankings ... they moved from BBR #31 in Sep 2007 rankings to current BBR #9. Top tags for this blog are 2008 Democratic Primary, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. This is one of three daily reads for me here in the Top 10!

  10. Wayne Bennett: The Field Negro* (Authority: 380 / Rank: 12,092) - [Social Commentary] I should start by saying that I'm not an unbiased observer. In my view, this is the best blog ever written. Period. The Los Angeles Times said it better than me when they interviewed Field last year. Simply stated, I think that you should read this blog every day. Period. NPR News & Notes recently included Field on their blogger roundtable to discuss Obama's Farrakhan Dilemma. Top tags on this blog are Barack Obama, Pursuit of Happiness and Killadelphia.

The only qualification is that the blogger needs to be of African descent. The blogger does not have to be a member of The AfroSpear or the Afrosphere Bloggers Association, although we invite all Black bloggers to join either (or both) of those organizations.

Those blogs with an asterisk after their name are members of The AfroSpear.

Black Blog Rankings lean heavily on the Technorati Authority and Rank score for each blog. The Technorati authority and rank numbers are shown in parenthesis. The authority figure includes a number of factors including the number of blogs that are linked to this blogger over the past six months. The rank number indicates how many blogs are between the person listed and the #1 ranked blog in the world.

We do think that these Black blogs are important spheres of influence. Let them know that you appreciate the work they have put in over the past few months and years to get on this list. My vision is that many of the brothers and sisters on this month's BBR will join us later this year at the Blogging While Brown conference in Atlanta, GA on July 25-27, 2008.

Finally, I encourage you to provide some link-love to this post so that others can learn about the Villager's Black Blog Rankings! Next step is yours ... what say u?