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AOL Targets Digg, YouTube With New Netscape Site 84

Posted by timothy
from the both-cream-and-scum-rise-to-the-top dept.
Dotnaught writes "AOL has re-launched its Netscape.com portal as a place where user participation is balanced by moderator control. The renovated site will feature community-driven news and user-submitted video, guided by editors called anchors. "The hive mind sometimes doesn't do a thorough job," says Jason Calacanis, CEO of Weblogs, Inc., a blog network acquired last year by AOL."
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AOL Targets Digg, YouTube With New Netscape Site

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  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:36AM (#15538937) Homepage Journal
    Fear leads to anchors, anchors lead to hate..
  • The earth goes round the sun, the middle east still has some.. ah... "problems", and Netscape STILL doesn't get it.
  • by DikSeaCup (767041) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:40AM (#15538958) Homepage
    If they're targetting Digg (which I've never bothered to go to), aren't they targetting Slashdot somewhat too? Probably not a good idea though ... the editors just need to post two or three "netscape.com" stories a day. We'll see just how capable their site is at handling traffic ...
    • by antic (29198) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @08:05AM (#15539088)
      I've always figured that I visited Slashdot often because of its timely updates. I liked to think that if aliens invaded the Earth, I'd probably hear about it via Slashdot before the local news. Now I think I'd hear about it through Digg first, and then wait for it to appear on Slashdot a day or so later so that I could read the comments (which are pretty retarded on Digg).

      Back on topic, the Netscape site is a pretty blatant rip-off of the Digg format - have they no shame? Not only is it the same format, but it's laid out in such a similar fashion. Not particularly imaginative.
      • This comment isn't really adding anything to the conversation, but that is exactly what I do. View Digg for the breaking news, view /. for the substance.
        Even since digg has implemented their digg/bury commenting system (which was an immense improvement) the substance of the comments are basically flamewar fodder and a place to post a link to a mirror, imho.
        • I tend to read the buried comments on Digg (if I bother with the comments at all) because they more often quality comments than spam or flames. At least, for the most part, the Slashdot system of moderation is reasonably effective.
    • you think you can slashdot netscape.com? I think you're a bit confused about how big your little chewing gum and paperclips forum is. Last I checked, slashdot gets a measley million or so pageviews a day. Netscape.com is around 50 times that.

    • They're not moving in on Slashdot's territory, they're taking the social moderation aspect of Digg and applying it to general news rather than just tech stuff. Which is exactly what Digg planned to do later this week or next. And hopefully this trend will result in a renewed appreciation for editors.
    • They are targetting Slashdot.

      You'll see the article in the usual two weeks Digg - /. differential.

  • by technoextreme (885694) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:40AM (#15538962)
    I click on the Netscape headline about how it's a ripoff of Digg which leads to an article about how Netscape is ripping off of Digg which links back to the Netscape article about how it's a ripoff of Digg which leads to an article about how Netscape is ripping off of Digg. Also, Netscape is using those stupid popup adds that get around Firefox.
  • by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@SPAM.yRABB ... minus herbivore> on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:44AM (#15538971) Journal
    this is the top story [netscape.com] right now. which is kind of fitting
  • I believe this (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:56AM (#15539042)
    The renovated site will feature community-driven news and user-submitted video, guided by editors called anchors.

    Is called /. - except for maybe the video. Why is it being compared more closely to digg?
    • Re:I believe this (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Trigun (685027)
      It is being compared more closely to digg due to the minor fact that it's pretty much a ripoff of digg, and not slashdot.
      Although, I honestly don't care about them ripping it off. If it's a good idea, and you think you can make it better, go for it.
    • Re:I believe this (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248)
      Never mind, I take it back. It's not closer to either, but a hybrid of slashdot/digg, taking features of either. It has more voting, ala digg, but as far as I can tell, it has comment system more like /.

      I'm hoping the reply system is more like /., on Digg you can only reply directly to the 1st gen comments and it makes getting a decent conversation started difficult.
  • by killeena (794394)
    They aren't targeting Digg, they are using the idea of Digg. Digg is a site for tech news, and AOL is using the same format for general news.
  • Terrible design (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @08:02AM (#15539070) Journal
    The page looks absolutely awful. The colour scheme is weak and amateurish, the AJAX is terribly, terribly slow, the "visit site" link (the most important button on a content portal) is, bizarrely, smaller than any other element in the article summary and hard to see against the site background, the adverts interrupt the placement of the content... overall, it's a total mess that looks like it's been thrown together with no real coherent plan. The worst type of imitation.
    • Re:Terrible design (Score:3, Informative)

      by Odiumjunkie (926074)
      Oh god, I hadn't even noticed the huge, ugly, slow frame that sticks with you if you follow any article link - because just what you need when a site slow due to high traffic is extra, totally pointless stuff to load and code to process.
    • They also completely butchered the classic Landor Associates identity from the mid 1990s by setting the logo in a meaningless circle, and switching from the elegant serif font to a cheap-looking sans font, doubtless in response to Apple's similiar image adjustment. There is no real concept of "identity" on Netscape...its just a flat, visually boring, uninspiring design, which also strikes me as needlessly clumsy in terms of navigation.
  • by bigmouth_strikes (224629) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @08:04AM (#15539085) Journal
    What it all boils down to is still the quality of the comments that the users post. Nothing else. There are dozens and dozens of story submission sites with some sort of social networking thingie, but it's really uninteresting unless there is a userbase with knowledge, experience, diversity and some degree of communication skills.

    That is why sites like Digg et al is a miserable failure from that aspect; the comment section is entirely uninteresting and the intolerance and mob-mentality is mind-numbing. As a tool for staying within a 24hrs of the technology (hype) curve it is successful.

    I read Slashdot for the comments and Digg/Playboy for the articles...
  • They just dont get it... They create the site, and then jam it full of soo many ads its almost unreadable.. You even get ads spaced in between the comments.

    Plus it doesnt render properly for firefox.
    • Plus it doesnt render properly for firefox.

      Delightfully ironic, since the Netscape browser and Firefox both have Mozilla origins. It's a sad day when Netscape is targeting their websites for IE.


      • the Netscape browser and Firefox both have Mozilla origins
        Not only that, the Netscape browser has Firefox origins - it's based on Firefox 1.0.7 and uses the same rendering engine.
  • Social Networking sites have been doing this for ages, including Rupert's Myspace. What started as fairly simple became elaborate, with space for video , music, etc, and each site borrowed features from the others. This is what you call convergenge, where the basic features of facebook, tagworld, myspace, etc are all the same, with their own unique twist. Welcome to 5 years ago.
  • The site's intermittently up and down for me. Wow, I haven't seen the Netscape icon on Slashdot in a while.
  • "The hive mind sometimes doesn't do a thorough job," says Jason Calacanis, CEO of Weblogs, Inc., a blog network acquired last year by AOL."

    And AOL does do a thorough job? A thorough job of screwing up, maybe...

  • by eko33 (982179)
    Anyone else getting tired of seeing Beta slapped all over everything?
    • Well, I wouldn't award this site beta quality even. Upon filtering the comments as "5 Excellent" I get a few nasty SQL errors. It looks like they run an extra database query just to fit in the advertisement after 5 comments. I'm sure they could've done this in the code instead of lazily running another query.

      Column 'rating' in having clause is ambiguous SELECT c.commentid,m.alias,c.text,c.createdon,c.modrating , IFNULL(modRating,IFNULL(SUM(cr.rating),'Neutral')) aggregateRating, avatar, m.memberId, cr2

  • Too many adverts, and too many non complementing colours on the pages is my first impression. A site with feedback should flow well, you should be able to comfortable move from one comment to the other without being assaulted by significant changes every inch of the site.

    In short, people won't want to stick around long because they won't feel comfortable.

    Good forum example are here, or the X3-reunion forum. Nice layout, decent colour scheme, interesting to read, and very well moderated.
  • Who exactly is AOL trying to target with this? I mean, the simplicity/clickiness of Digg, but with the userbase of AOL? *shudder*
    • I think that AOL is simply trying to surf the "Web 2.0" wave. They are, once again, looking for content. That was already one of the rationales behind the merger with Time Warner a few years back. Except now, their strategy is different. Instead of merging with another big company for content, they want users to provide the content themselves. Getting users to post stuff and comment on it, for free, is a way cheaper way to get content than getting involved in a multi-billion merger.

      My guess is that it won't
  • Digg.com [digg.com] is down for an upgrade! Could this be the all inclusive version 3?
  • I feel like this article is out of the late 80's with those to companies in the title. BRING BACK THE FISH CAM! users can control that plastic diver who swims in the tank.
  • Another mile long web page stuffed with all kinds images and garbage. Makes it real easy to not be able to find anything.

    Reminds me of this pile of crap [pennlive.com] we have for our area.

  • AOL + web 2.0 community sites...this is gonna be so awesome. Finally, all the lusers in the world, conveniently staying located at a single site.
  • I saw "Netscape" in the article title, and began to wax nostalgic.

    Does anyone remember when Netscape was the browser of choice? Then the moment that AOL bought Netscape, it went straight to crap, and I don't know anyone who uses Netscape as their web browser anymore.

    Based on that (via an admitted quantum leap), I can't see how a Netscape link-aggregation site can possibly succeed in the face of very popular existing sites in the same vein.
    • Based on that (via an admitted quantum leap), I can't see how a Netscape link-aggregation site can possibly succeed in the face of very popular existing sites in the same vein.

      This has been the core strategy of AOL ever since they were taken over by Time Warner (yes - I know they bought TW). AOL executives see something online, and immediately give marching orders to copy it. Here are some examples:

      1. VoIP - recently came out of beta
      2. AOL broadband - Implemented, scrapped, and implemented again
      3. Cheap dial-up - w
    • See also: "brand necrophilia [google.com]"
  • So I'm going to throw out a bit of wild speculation for your entertainment.

    This is potentially a threat to net neutrality. For one, netscape.com has 811 million pageviews per month. That's a shitload of traffic going here and there. What if Netscape's service does a slashdot effect many orders greater than what Slashdot itself can create? This will have many, MANY web providers and their customers going "My bandwidth is choked! My NICs are Frying!!! Throttle these people down, please!!!!!!" and the next
  • Coming from a company that cancels my email account if I don't use it for 30 days, I am less than enthused.

    90% of the time, when I sign in to my Netscape email account, it has been deactivated. That's one of the reasons that my Yahoo and gmail accounts both get more use. I know they're trying to get me to sign in more often, but the fact that it is an effectively unreliable email address tends to produce the opposite effect.

    What if I take a break and decide to stop using the portal for a month? Will they
  • And yet somehow their tagging system is out of beta...

    - RG>
  • http://tech.beta.netscape.com/story/2006/06/15/aol -copies-digg/ [netscape.com]

    The comments are great ..

    TIP: Putting an ad in the middle of the comments isn't going to get more people to view it; it's going to get more people to *block* it.

  • The Mind (Score:3, Funny)

    by intangible (252848) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:57AM (#15540572) Homepage
    For some reason I read the article summary as this:

    'The AOL has re-gurgitated its Netscape.com portal as a place where user
    participation is monitored by master-controllers. The renovated site
    will feature minion-driven news and peon-submitted video, guided
    by godlike editor entities called anchors. "The hive mind sometimes
    doesn't do a thorough job", says The Queen, Overlord of Weblogs, Inc.,
    a mind-control network acquired last year by the AOL.'

    Don't ask me why...
  • "AOL Copies Digg" hahahahahaha.
  • Google currently returns 703 hits for Brand Necrophilia [livejournal.com].
  • I'll give it a chance. It does, after all, have the brand name of a portal site thats flopped about eight times previous to this. And an outdated web browser that passed it's prime in the late 1990s. Does AOL still have a marketing department?
  • Is it me or is AOL like a drowning man grabbing at anything that might keep him afloat?
  • A "new" Netscape site eh? Did they add a Shopping button?
  • I got this: Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat) Server at celebrities.beta.netscape.com Port 80 attempting to sign up.

    I thought netscape/aol had some server software? Sad and quite typical they don't use their product.

    Thank dog I've got flash blocker.

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose