Netscape Throws it’s Web 2.0 Hat in the Ring
Well Netscape.com, launched their entry into the world of Web 2.0 by introducing the web to beta.netscape.com. According to Jason Calacanis, member of the AOL team working on the "new" Netscape, the beta version of Netscape is a "meta-journalism" (or social journalism) site. Now those are definitely Web 2.0 terms, my take on the definition of those terms is that they are allowing their users to determine their content. Haven't we heard about this type of site before? I have and it's called Digg, and I'm not the only one. So instead of comparing the 2 websites, I'm just going to review the Netscape site.
First thing I noticed when I visited the site for the first time, was how busy the front page was. I'm not saying it's annoying, but not only listing the top 25 headlines, Netscape has included ads, a feature called Netscape's Anchors Recommend, a tag cloud, and a category list(which they call channels).
The first question I ask myself when visiting a new website, "Why do I want to come here?" For the Beta site, I think it is a good place to go to see what other people are interested in. You might find an article on a website you have never even heard of. This is not just a technology related site, although in the beginning it will lean that way until the normal internet users find it. For me, I enjoy sites that will expand my view of the internet, which in turn expands my knowledge base and maybe even my base of friends.
The next question I usually ask,"How easy is it to use?" Well Beta is pretty easy to use, once you log in, if you find a link you like all you need to do is click the vote link, to let people know you liked the link, and that could be it if you'd like. Thats pretty easy, but thats not all, lets say you find this article interesting and want to share it, you could "Submit a Story". You just click the link that says Submit a Story and it will take you to another page, where you enter the applicable information such as URL, Tile, and Description. That's not too hard, and wham! You added a story.
Now that you can vote and submit articles, what else is there? Let's say you noticed that someone has been submitting articles that you enjoy, you can add them to your friends list. Which means you can keep track of their submissions, which is nice if you find someone who has similar interests as you. One little feature I really like is when you leave the Beta site to read the orginal article Netscape adds a frame to the website, which allows you to vote on the article while you read it, it also shows 8 other submissions in the same Channel. You can also view the other stories without returning back to the main site. I really think this is a real good feature that will save the users time.
So based off all that, I say this could be an interesting site to keep an eye on. I also think that their friends list could be expanded, so not only can you follow a users submissions, but you could contact them via AIM, should both users choose this feature. I have suggested it, since AOL owns both Netscape and AIM, and I actually got a response to my suggestion, and to my surprise it was not a generic form email, thanking me for my suggestion. I really think someone sat down and typed a reply. That's kind of nice nowadays.
Now on to the hard subject, as I stated earlier Netscape Beta is very similar to Digg. I also covered Digg's expansion with it's next version, supposed to be out in 3 weeks. Will the Digg fanboys/girls out there let Netscape run it's own site, without trolling the beta site causing trouble? I doubt it, the latest and greatest users of Digg are not the most mature people on the face of the earth. It will be interesting how this will play out. For now I think I will continue to go to the "New" Netscape.