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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Netscape Reborn: New Social News Service

Posted by @ 10:22 pm

Remember Netscape, the first internet browser many of us used back in the day. That was until Microsoft started including Internet Explorer as the default browser on all systems using the Windows operating system. Since its highly publicized demise, Netscape has faded somewhat into obscurity, until now.

The portal, which is owned by AOL and the Time Warner Group, is to be reborn as a Web 2.0 interactive social news service. Touted as a DIGG and Slashdot killer, the new and improved Netscape will offer all the benefits of existing user driven news services plus more.

Visitors will still be able to submit stories and articles with a voting system similar to that of DIGG – the more votes a story gets; the higher it appears on a category page or on the main homepage. The difference is that the very top news articles will be determined by editors. Stories that are receiving a rush of votes can be escalated to the top by these editors (referred to as “Anchors”).

AOL are obviously determined to make the most of this user controlled news space, which is why they have decided to utilize the existing Netscape domain and traffic for the release. The Netscape portal still generates 811 million monthly page views; which far exceeds any of the current competitors in the space.

The obvious advantage Netscape offers over the likes of DIGG and Slashdot is that it covers far more topics and areas of interest. Rather than just technology based categories, Netscape offers about 30 channels of interest which should draw a more extensive user base across many demographics.

While the system has some initial glitches, the potential it offers combined with the immense power of the Netscape Brand should see it shake up the social news space.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (13 - comments)

WHAT a bunch of self serving, self promotional crap…Your development team has really screwed up, AOL is the mother of internet ruin.

By Tybo - July 1, 2006

tybo has it exactly right. AOL was always a lousy browser. Then they took over Netscape and ruined it. Fire ‘em all and bring back Netscape 7.2, the last version that worked.

By Anonymous - July 1, 2006

If I had wanted AOL, I would have signed up for AOL (I did, once, and cancelled within a week).
By remaking Netscape’s portal into an AOL-like thing, the best Web interface (IMHO) has been totally ruined. All of the things I liked about the Netscape portal page (maximum # of topics, fast loading, easy to use, my choice of search engine, personalized weather, etc, etc) are gone, replaced by a lot of drabble that nobody cares about.
Even the claim that the original Netscape home page is still available is untrue; is NOT the same as the Netscape portal page was until about a week ago.
Sorry, Netscape. After a decade, a faithful friend has died. Now I must go find a new portal, which will be followed by a new e-mail address (very traumatic after 8 years, but it will be done).
AOL/Netscape, you shouldn’t have tried to screw with near-perfection. Now, AOL, you will lose most of those 811 million monthly page views, as your users go elsewhere, just as happened to AOL years ago. RIP, and farewell!
Or, a little more acerbic, but more accurate comment: goodbye and good riddance!

By Anonymous - July 2, 2006

I have been using as my opening home page for the past 10 years, and loved it. I was actually online when the interface suddenly changed, and I thought something had gone wrong. I still do. I don’t want to see the most popular stories!!!! I want my headlines, my yellow pages – all things that made special. I couldn’t believe that Netscape had actually chnaged perfection! I think I was in shock the first couple of days – I would constantly click the home icon on my browsers, expecting to see my familiar page. Now, it has sunk in, I have grieved, and I am now changing my home page. Goodbye, Netscape – you’ve lost a loyal fan.

By Anonymous - July 2, 2006


By Anonymous - July 2, 2006

Put it back the way it was. My 12 year old could design a better page. I want my page back. After reading comments, none of them good, I can’t understand why its not bacl already. You are hurting your advertisers because many of us are or have left Netscape. Shame on you!!!!!!

By Anonymous - July 3, 2006

Terrible, now I have to find a new home page for Firefox


By Anonymous - July 4, 2006

I’m glag Corky from Life Goes On has a new job, but did you have to put him in charge of designing this new format? Just kidding. Netscape has been my home page for a number of yrs. & now I’m forced to look for another. Anyone have any suggestions? One similar to the old Netscape?

By Anonymous - July 4, 2006

I agree with all of the above. You’ve really shot yourself in the foot this time. You’ve alienated all of your faithful users and are driving them away as fast as possible, and the drivel on the “new, improved” (gag!) Netscape is not such as to either attract or hold any significant new users. I’m off to find a new portal!

By Anonymous - July 4, 2006

Why must one register for “New Netscape”? Old Netscape already has that info. on me. More trolling for data by folks who don’t really need it.

This change is all similar to what happened to me a few years ago when I was a Compuserve user & AOL took that over. It screwed up many things & made life more complicated. Eventually I abandoned Compuserve altogether as my ISP. That meant abandoning my long-standing email address w. them too, and signing up for a new email address with…Netscape.

History repeats itself.

Call it AOL homogenization. Sigh.

Also, remember, it’s typical for a corporate entity to dress up change implemented for the corporation’s good as “improved service for you!” My guess is that when it comes right down to it, this “improvement” is somehow saving $$ for AOL/Netscape. But telling us that just doesn’t have the same sort of ring…

For more on this phenom in American culture, read the new book _Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth about Bullsh*t_.

By Anonymous - July 11, 2006

This is an absolutely horrible site now. I’m not to sure what “social news” is. I can get quality news from a variety of well known, reputable sources via RSS. I question the quality of some of these “news stories”.

By Anonymous - September 2, 2006

The Netscape browser utility works fine, it is the web site and the email run by AOL that are all screwed up! AOL has been trying for years to improve their product and have only made it worse. Quiz: How many versions does it take to improve a product? AOL doesn’t know. They haven’t improved it yet! Once it is loaded on your computer, nothing is the same and when you try to remove AOL, the best way is to destroy your hard drive and start over!!!

By Anonymous - September 2, 2006

A friend of mine was telling me that when his son (who is a corporate network manager) found out his dad was using AOL, the son’s comment was “I’m sorry dad. You are damned forever and are going to hell!”

By Anonymous - September 2, 2006

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