Monday, January 18, 2010

Minority businesses bridging the digital divide

What digital divide?

Curtis Brown was on the phone enthusing about how social media have boosted his Verona-based mobile marketing business when suddenly the line seemed to go dead.

"Whoops, sorry," he said after a moment. "I just got distracted -- someone sent me a message on LinkedIn."

A typical Internet geek multitasking on a cell phone and laptop? Yes, but Mr. Brown defies the stereotype in one important way: he is African-American, part of a demographic that has lagged behind other groups in Internet adoption surveys.

Not only did Mr. Brown cross the digital divide years ago, he and other minority groups, nationally and in Pittsburgh, are increasingly using social media to promote their businesses and build community.

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