Twenty years ago, a little hand-coded, community website was launched that jump-started an online revolution in The Bahamas.
BahamasB2B.com was the first to introduce daily online news, e-commerce, online community calendar, classified ads, business directory, threaded message board, online training center and many other features and services.
Embracing the late Jackson Burnside’s vision for the arts community, we were the first to publish Bahamian art online.
Seeing a need in the real estate market, we launched the first multi-agent online real estate listings.
We created a sub-site to explain, inform and combat the attacks on the Bahamas from the international finance community, which had seen our financial services sector being temporarily blacklisted. BahamasB2B was respected and appreciated by Bahamians and financial experts around the globe.
To further motivate companies to use the web, we created the very popular Bahamas Web Awards, which for three years inspired dozens of companies to get online and helped to elevate the standards of web design in The Bahamas.
BahamasB2B launched a weekly video series called “On The Blocks”, hosted by Craig Gibson, highlighting Bahamian musicians like Bodine Johnson, Daddy Whites, El Padrino, Ncity, Sammy Starr, Julien Believe and many others.
We created a weekly video series, hosted by Leah Eneas, called “Bar Crawl”, which featured Leah sampling favourite drinks at local bars.
“The Dish” was another weekly video series we created, which had our host Giorgio Knowles visiting local restaurants and critiquing their food.
Our most successful and longest-running video series was “Out & About” with our host Kristin Marie (my daughter). She maintained a wildly popular calendar of events and would appear on camera each week, from one of the event locations. (Yeah, remember when we could go out to events.) The videos featured the most exciting events of the week and interviews with people involved.
According to website ranking service, Alexa, BahamasB2B.com was the most visited, highest-traffic local website in The Bahamas… for more than a decade. More traffic than even the Ministry of Tourism’s website at bahamas.com.
We published a weekly email newsletter which featured news, events and an editorial column that set the pace for public discussion in the nation. Our double opt-in Bahamas Newsletter had more than 15,000 subscribers, making it the most read newsletter in the Caribbean at the time. The newsletter was so popular that once, when we failed to publish on our regular day (due to a power outage), we received dozens of messages from subscribers wondering where it was. lol
We scaled the site down as the local newspapers came online and other specialised sites fulfilled the needs and services that we had pioneered. When Facebook came along, we saw the writing on the wall and we shifted our attention back to art and photography.
Thank you the Bahamian community (and the diaspora) for the support you’ve shown our website over the past twenty years.
We are excited to work together with other Bahamians to take BahamasB2B (and by extension The Bahamas) forward, upward and onward.