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AOL Relaunch Netscape as Social Bookmarking Site

It looks like AOL’s relaunch of Netscape is underway. At this point it’s happening as a beta at http://www.beta.netscape.com/.

First impressions

  • They are obviously looking to compete pretty directly with Digg but on a wider range of topics (or channels). Their ‘votes’ set up is very digg-ish.
  • One thing I don’t like is that the main links on each story point to a Netscape page and not directly to the site that the story is from. They do have a ‘via’ link that links back to the source but it’s much smaller than the main story headline. It seems like they are trying to keep people on the site rather than sharing the link love like other social bookmarking sites.
  • Lots of Advertising – I bet there will be some criticism of this
  • They must be doing some serious traffic already as it’s all running quite slow for me and I’ve not had any success in registering yet.

Amusingly the top story there at the moment is one titled ‘AOL Copies Digg’ (it had to happen). Netscape is part user generated (and voted) and part edited content. It’ll be interesting to watch it develop and to see whether social bookmarking fans will embrace it or whether they’ll stick to the original versions of this type of site.

You can read more about the new Netscape at:

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Comments

  1. Good info. Thanks.

  2. Maurice says:

    Hmm

    Can’t even get the sign up form to work in IE very professional NOT!

    Looks interesting a non techie digg alike is somthing that is missing
    from the

    Rgds M

  3. JAMINUSA says:

    Well, honestly I am at least glad they admitted upfront that is part editor controlled, Digg did not do this. Having said that I found it quite amusing that when I was in Internet Explorer the pages did not look correct, but then I went to firefox and everthing looked fine. I registered and put my first story on the site. My story is under autos, titled Reviewed: Lexus IS350. We will see how it goes.

    My first impressions are that there are a lot of ads, and I say so what? You can look at any magazine on the newstand, and if you actually take the 100 page magazine and break it down to the articles, you are probably left with about 5 pages of real words.

    Secondly, I like everything Jason Calacanis has his hands on, they all seem to work out well, and become very popular very quickly. I just read a comment on another blog that techie people will stay with digg. Well so what, techie people are less likely to click on ads anyway.

    My conclusion, it won’t kill digg, but it will give them some really healthy competition.

  4. Robb D says:

    After creating my account, I am not able to log in. It is in beta though so I won’t complain too much.

    AOL may want ot exercise a bit of editorial control over the avatars that members can upload. Let’s just say that some of them are not so socially acceptable.

  5. I wouldn’t put too much stock in this. As companies both AOL/Netscape aren’t doing much now. They’re both pretty dead. I don’t think Digg has ANYTHING to worry about. This won’t go anywhere.

    - Bryan
    http://www.BryanCFleming.com

  6. TDavid says:

    Bryan – I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Netscape has 811 million page views a month compared to digg’s 5 million. That’s not insignificant. Who here wouldn’t want to be Netscaped, really, with that kind of muscle?

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    This will be an interesting graph to watch:

  8. Paul Short says:

    This is my personal view and opinion – one I’ll undoubtedly suffer a ton of flack (and ‘rationalization’) for.

    JC has been very publically vocal in the not-so-distant past about others copying ideas, business models, site themes, portions of sites and design/functionality, etc.

    Doesn’t anyone else remember this?

    Does anyone else, including the A-list bloggers and major tech sites/pundits not remember these instances???

    Jeez, someone out on the web does something even similar to WIN and they get trounced by the head of the largest blogging network online, but the trouncers go and do an “almost clone” of Digg and they are heros.

    Is ‘memory’ online that short or do all who spend too much time online have ADHD.

    Again, this is my personal view and opinion – one I’ll undoubtedly suffer a ton of flack (and ‘rationalization’) for.

  9. This definitely has all the markings of J-Cal…

  10. iZeby says:

    I love social bookmarking, it is an awsome way to promote sites for free.

Trackbacks

  1. sesblog says:

    Mélyreásott Netscape…

    Emlékeztek még? Anno ez volt A Broswer, aztán pénzügyi gondok, AOL felvásárlás, és persze a Microsoft úthenger. Maradt egy tucatportál, meg egy böngészõ is persze, de az aranykor megkérdõjelezhetetlenül elmúlt. Most viszont megint ké…

  2. [...] AOL Relaunch Netscape as Social Bookmarking Site [...]

  3. [...] I really am impressed with the idea of melding the social voting side of the web 2.0 world of sites like Digg with human editorial oversight. I think pure voting leads to a tragedy of the commons, where what happens is you get light fluffy interesting things pop up, but the real digging that a dedicated editor can do is lost. Slashdot’s strength shows what having editors can net you. Certainly this is by far more interesting than the purely mechanical Google News approach. I do agree with Pro Blogger Darren Rowe that it is annoying to click the links on the stories and not go directly to the stories in question. I’m shepherded within Netscape.com an extra layer, but this is another chance for Netscape.com to serve ads, and for financial viability it’s an obvious choice. I think, though, it does bleed out a little bit of trust for some users. [Source] [...]

  4. [...] Others unable to successfully register As reports continue to flow in, the list of others also unable to successfully register is growing: Danny Sullivan, Darren Rowse. [...]

  5. [...] If you haven’t heard the news already, AOL is relaunching Netscape as a social bookmarking site and has Digg dead in it’s crosshairs. [...]

  6. [...] This post by Darren Rowse of Problogger.net (and I love the guy and his blog) brought it to my attention. [...]

  7. [...] PS: I’ve now been able to sign up as a member of Netscape an in addition to my earlier first impressions I have to say that I’m not that impressed. [...]