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.