According to a website speed testing platform called “Pingdom”, Oakland News Now is beating the SF Chronicle’s SFGate.com where it counts: speed.
As you can see by the results (and I have ran several tests) OaklandNewsNow.com blows the doors off SFGATE.com with a blazing fast load time of 1.44 seconds and a higher performance score of 65. That’s compared to 5.58 seconds for SFGATE.com
Oakland News Now Was Created To Challenge SFGate.com In Oakland And The SF Bay
In 2011, and after posting at SFGATE.com’s City Brights Section for three years (and with many of the same posts I had at my Blogger.com blog zennie2005.blogspot.com) I was blocked by their then-new executive director Alana Nguyen and for posting news on Former Texas Governor Rick Perry that many other publications, like Gawker, had posted. Specifically, the question “Is Texas Governor Rick Perry Gay?”
So after I was blocked by Alana Nguyen (who seemed to have been influenced by Rick Perry’s spin doctor Lin Wood), I posted this video:
And at the end of it, vowed to beat the SF Chronicle’s SFGate.com.
I am more than proud to say that in several ways I am doing that today. First a much faster news website, second dominance in local news areas I elect to focus on, and third in news delivery innovation with my vlog and smartphone based content delivery network.
The vessel works and the traffic is growing.
Thanks to Former SF Chronicle Executive Editor Phil Bronstein for recommending that SFGATE.com hire me as at least at consultant (they never did). And that was for good reason. Of the 100 million visitors the City Brights SFGate blog program generated, I contributed 25 million, or one fourth the total. Considering that ads were ran on my page, I estimate I made about 100,000 for the SF Chronicle.
It it were not for my installation of a special Zennie62 on YouTube Video Player at the top of my page, I’d not have seen any percentage of that money.
According to Phil Bronstein in 2010, I was the largest traffic generator in the entire site starting my first year 2009 – even over the SF Chronicle’s entertainment section, The Daily Dish!
Phil informed me just before this interview I conducted with him:
Steven Swartz, then the head of the Hearst Corporation News Division, used that 100 million visitors statistic in his presentation. He said he would take me to dinner in New York City, but never did – never followed up. He’s now Hearst Corporation President and CEO.
Then, their main editors met with me but wanted to know if I was doing some “weird stuff” to their website.
They could not accept that a black man who didn’t have a journalist degree or a computer science degree could literally rule over all other content producers.
The Lesson: Never Underestimate, Discredit, Disrespect, Or Steal The Ideas From Any African American In Tech
For those of you who went out to see the movie Hidden Figures this is a reminder that the same institutional racism that was the focus of that movie is still done in the 21st Century. And some of you have done it, regardless of race.
I have been told, and by a black Oakland elected official, that I “talk like I think I know everything,” and only because I offered a kind critique of a policy proposal.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s Staff pushes the SF Chronicle on social media: never do they push any post or vlog from Zennie62Media‘s Oakland News Now that is favorable to them. And so they wonder why I went rogue and started being a thorn in their sides. The Michele Byrd episode was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
Lesson here: hell hath no fury like a pissed off black guy in tech. I am way not done with what I am building. Keep underestimating me, making fun of me, dissing me, and dismissing me. It fuels the platform I have built.
OaklandNewsNow.com is nothing less than my giant middle finger to the racism I have faced. Never think a black guy can’t find the answer to any problem.
In closing I thank Oakland At-Large Councilmember and President Rebecca Kaplan and California Assemblymember Buffy Wicks and Julie Wedge for consistently using OaklandNewsNow.com as their blog platform. They’ve seen what it can do and are happy with the results.
A Special Note To The “Save Journalism Project”
Oakland News Now has posted the press releases of The Save Journalism Project (and will continue to do so), even though I don’t agree with the basic take of the organization: that “Big Tech” is killing journalism.
What’s “killing journalism” is journalists’ resistance to change: to building their own platforms and to working with those who have built their own media networks and advances that could help them in what they do. In short, what’s killing journalism is that journalists fail to understand that, today, media itself is tech.
As for my friend Craig Newmark, I continue to be saddened by your lack of understanding not only that there are not enough African Americans in media, but that investors don’t pay attention to what blacks in media tech are building. Rather than seek to understand that my post was not intended to be hostile, but an honest take on what I see as your responsibility given your lofty position as a media investor, you faded into hiding from my attempts to reach out. You continue, perhaps and hopefully unintentionally, to send the message that media is a whites-only affair – why?
And we did talk about the future of media in 2009…
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media