What's Jermaine Dupri Doing With a Social Network?

Tired of those long conversations on Facebook and Twitter? Looking for a hip-hop alternative? Now there’s a place. Call it Global 14 or “G14.” Either way, did music producer Jermaine Dupri really just create his own social network?

Jermaine Dupri, the man behind some of rap and hip hop’s greatest hits from Beyonce to Janet to Boyz II Men, is now behind the “coolest, hippest city” on the Internet. The Grammy Award-winning producer just officially launched a new website and social networking community called Global 14.

“Global 14 was created because of the increasing trend of ‘social notifying’ versus ‘social networking,’ says Dupri. “Social notifying is when people share information, such as in ‘Hey, check out this website.’ There’s no conversation or expectation of a response.”

Dupri was inspired to build the site when he was president of urban music at Virgin Records and working with longtime collaborator, and onetime girlfriend, Janet Jackson on marketing her ’20 Y.O.’ album.

“I created a contest for Janet’s album where I went to the Internet and asked fans to create an album cover for her,” Dupri explained to AllHipHop.com. “That was the beginning of me engaging people on the Internet. It was overwhelming and it was the most records she ever sold in her first week. That let me know the people wanted to be involved.”

Dupri wants his site to be the place where artists, fans and the like go to establish dialogue and make connections, and he’s made some lofty promise to keep that up.

“There’s no real social networking anymore,” maintains Dupri. “People just post updates without replying or engaging their followers. At G14, if you hit me up with a question, nine times out of ten, I’ll respond. I’m talking with people all day on there.”

In less than three months, the site has secured over 10,650 subscribers and receives about 100,000 unique visitors a month.

Just like Facebook, members can “friend” and follow each other and post conversations that can be linked to other social media accounts.

Unlike Facebook though, Dupri doesn’t envision just a master fan base.

“Unlike other sites, G14 is not about how many followers you can get,” says Dupri. “It’s about the relationships. ‘Friends’ should be your real friends.”

Celebrities who have gotten on board with Global14 include Mariah Carey, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Bow Wow, Monica, Anthony Hamilton, and Kevin Hart.

The site also includes nearly 500 discussion groups on topics from dating and relationships to cooking, education, music and sex.

Tell us what you think in the comments. Will you “hip hop” your way to this new breed of social networking? Do celebrity names help pull you in?

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