Global Grind has launched a hip-hop “home page” service, which lets you personalize a starting page with hip-hope related content.
The site is designed to push up content — blog, videos, music, and photos — to the top of your page based on the activity of other users. At first, site guides, or “curators” will push relevant content to the top. Then, the site’s “relevance engine” will take over and offer up content related to what you are viewing or have liked in the past.
The New York City company is backed by Silicon Valley’s venture firm Accel Partners (investor in Facebook), and Russell Simmons, an entrepreneur with a hip-hop background. The amount is undisclosed but we’re hearing it is around $4.5 million, maybe more.
The company says its targeting a market of 24 million people in the U.S. who like hip-hop and have $500 billion in spending power. Many hip-hop artists are already online, including at MySpace, so it’s too early to say whether the company can gain the critical mass to draw new users. However, Brooke Hammerling, who handles PR for the company, says the hip-hop community has had no way to stand out at MySpace, and that members want a place to see content specific to their interests. “Hip hop is not just about music,” she said, noting that hip-hop is a distinct culture and set of interests, from unique views on news events like Katrina to the sort of advertising hiphop adherents like to wear on their clothing.
Right now, visitors to Global Grind are confronted with a multi-step process, which may be a turn-off. You first have to click enter, then you’re confronted with a page of videos about how to use the service.