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Netscape, We Hardly Knew Ye


Netscape logoNetscape is backing off their “social experiment.” On the Netscape blog yesterday, they announced:

Visitors to Netscape.com will see a more traditional news experience very soon. Don’t worry, the social news site isn’t going away! We will keep you updated on where you will be able to find the social news site as we get closer to making the switch.

At first glance, this may seem like a giant step backwards into Web 1.0. However, the blog post claims:

We received some feedback that people really do associate the Netscape brand with providing mainstream news that is editorially controlled. In fact, we specifically heard that our users do have a desire for a social news experience, but simply didn’t expect to find it on Netscape.com.

If this is truly what a majority of their users wanted, it’s a wise decision to yield to them. They haven’t yet revealed the site for their social news (they’re probably off domain shopping as we speak). But they say that:

We, as a company, remain committed to delivering a compelling social news experience for our users. This move is an effort to make both the former portal experience and the social news experience accessible so that you can decide which you prefer–or, even better, that you want to participate in both.

Although it seems like most people disagree with this decision, again, if it’s really what their users want, I think it’s a good idea to separate the two. I think it was a mistake to fragment their brand by trying so many different things at once, but this could be a step in the right direction to fix that.

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  • http://www.terryhoward.net/ Terry Howard

    Wow, it truly is refreshing to see someone embrace the realization that not EVERY site has to be web 2.0 ajaxalicious. These things are a great direction for some sites on the web, but sometimes, as Netscape has heard, people just want to “read stuff on pages”.

  • http://www.qdoos.com Buy and sell

    I guess they can’t really carry one being userpowered with the huge spam issue they are having. Half the stories on the front page get fake votes.

  • http://www.webmaster-money.org Webmaster Money

    I almost forgot about Netscape. It is good that is is doing something to compete with others.

  • http://www.vbulletin-faq.com Joeychgo

    I have forgotton about netscape well. It would be nice to see them grow again.

  • http://bushidoblog.com.ar Bushido

    I agree with webmaster money and joeychgo. Netscape is kinda like Yahoo! in some way, trying to compete with the big fish to win back their market share. I don’t think they’ll make it, though.

  • http://www.ericlander.com Eric Lander

    Netscape’s rebirth, if you’d even want to call it that, was little more than a stepping stone for Calacanis. He’s obsessed with over-marketing everything. He did really well with Netscape. Once he left though, the decline began. The same is true too though now with his Mahalo project. He’s over hyping it, allowing the users and social aspects dictate growth and progress.

    A year from now, I’m willing to bet that too will be dead in the water.

  • http://www.yosax.com yosax

    netscape is the best!

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    The question is whether or not this is really being done in response to what users want or what Netscape wants. If they are reacting to what their users want then it’s the right thing to do.

  • http://forum.vbulletinsetup.com Brandon

    I get quite a bit of traffic from the new netscape, cheers for them. :)