Sent a note to the author of a Netscape story on tech-gossip The Inquirer just now.
Just a quick note on your story:
We lost 35-40% of Ntscape’s traffic over August and Sept when the email users from Netscape were moved to AOL. Since that time we have been flat, and are starting to ticket up.
The exciting thing is that the community stats: votes, comments, stories submitted, videos submitted, videos viewed, comments rated, and sitemail’s sent, have all been going on. In other words, folks are starting to learn what social news is.
Now, Weblogs, Inc. was going to launch a social news site on our own, but the Netscape brand was “in play” at AOL when I got there. They were even considering shutting it down and just throwing the traffic to AOL.COM!
In a year Netscape traffic will be up–most likely it will be up by the end of this year in fact. Netscape was heading downhill for 2-3 years… getting to flat IS A TURNAROUND! Let alone it when it start going up.
Also, look at the tech we built at http://blog.netscape.com. Any top digg user will tell you that our technology is much better than digg’s. We have sitemail, tags, and video–to name just a few things. Please we have people getting rid of spam and closing dupes–two huge problems on digg.
Not that it is a race with digg. Digg is for tech folks, Netscape is for normal folk. We are 50-50 male/female, while digg is 94% male.
The two sites are going to rise and fall together, as the concept of social news rises and falls. IMHO 20% of people want to get their news in this fashion TODAY, and 10 years 60-80% of folks will want to get their news this way. So, AOL is INVESTING for the future–and that is a big part of the story of Netscape.
It’s easy to throw stones from the sidelines I know… but look at how good the product has gotten in such a short period of time. Look at how well the community has grown in a short time.
Give it a year..