How One Man and a Website brings Jamaican Culture to the World
SOUTH FLORIDA – In March of 1992, while studying at Miami-Dade College, Xavier Murphy started a monthly printed newsletter called “Nuff Respect” as an effort to provide cultural information and promote his island home, Jamaica in South Florida.
As the newsletter gained popularity, so too did the worldwide web, giving rise to platforms like AOL and Google.
A few years later, while working for a travel-related electronic marketing company in 1995, Xavier recalled doing an internet search and realized that on the new emerging worldwide web, there were not many outlets focused on Jamaica, Jamaican culture and lifestyle.
Being in possession of so much content from “Nuff Respect” Xavier asked himself: “Why not start a website?”
“The Unofficial Website of Jamaica” was born. For two years, the website operated under that name, attracting visitors who quickly became regulars.
After an almost year-long process of the then-tedious task of securing a domain name (thank goodness things have changed with technology), Jamaicans-com graced computer screens worldwide.
What happened after is still beyond Xavier’s wildest dreams. Jamaicans-com has evolved to become the world’s leading website and media entity covering Jamaican and Caribbean news, travel, food and culture, with over 756,000 unique monthly visitors (March 2020) and over 200,000 followers on social media.
The site has grown into a media outlet offering additional services to include social marketing, podcasting and news broadcasting.
“We knew we were onto something early, and so we decided to spend more time on developing the website and expand services,” stated Murphy.
Murphy, along with regular contributing writers and a small team of volunteers spent hours adding content and updating the site with news, entertainment, trivia contests, cooking recipes and as much Jamaican content as possible.
Today, the site provides a wealth of information with contributors from Jamaica, the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada and as far away as Australia.
“Jamaicans-com is my go-to platform when I need to share news and information,” commented Calibe Thompson, Publisher of Island Origins Magazine and a frequent contributor. “Whether it is through their website or social media platforms, they are the largest and most respected authority site, I know of, reaching the Jamaican Diaspora”.
As Jamaicans dot com continues to expand, facilitating a space for independent writers and authors to connect with more readers, its reach has extended to creating content via video and utilizing Facebook Live at least twice a week as well as a weekly e-blast to over 20,000 subscribers.
“Consistency is important”, Xavier explains. “there are a lot of key areas to focus on. The website is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Florida-based media personality Gregory Cole, who recently joined the Jamaicans-com family with his “Midday Link-up with G Cole” states, “Jamaicans-com is currently, to me, the best and most cohesive gateway to the diaspora, internationally; when it comes to professionalism they cannot be topped.”
Jamaicans-com not only shares and educates on Jamaican culture, but encompasses other cultures, as well.
Murphy is very active in the South Florida community and has served in a leadership capacity for many organizations including President of the South Florida Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and past President of the Miami-Dade Jamaican Student Association. He is the founding and current President of the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of Florida (JCOBAFL) and chair of its annual “True Blue” Weekend & Dennis Ziadie Cup Committee.
A resident of Miramar, Florida with his wife Karen and their three daughters, Murphy plans to continue to build on the success of Jamaicans-com. He looks forward to developing other assets, evolving with technology while continuing to keep Jamaicans connected globally.