Users to Netscape: We Want Our Site Back!

Fans of the old Netscape blast Jason Calacanis, an executive at the company, for changing Netscape into a user submitted news site.

The once proud Netscape brand has been losing traffic numbers over the past year and something had to be done to get the portal back on its feet. But to everyone’s surprise, the executives at AOL decided to turn the news site into a viral community in which users submit their own news links and vote on the importance of each others submissions. The popular site Digg.com has grown into a net phenomenon using a model like this, so it only makes sense for Netscape to adopt the idea right? Wrong.

In a recent blog post, Netscape GM Jason Calacanis explains that the new Netscape is already growing in popularity and showing an increase in traffic of 17% between June 24th and July 15th – a fantastic jump to say the least. Jason also goes on to explain how only a small number of Netscape users are upset about the change (remember Netscape was losing traffic over the past couple years) while most people are welcoming the new Netscape.

In what can only be called a backlash from the Netscape community, Jason’s blog was barraged with user comments all reflecting their anger at the new change – probably not what the folks at Netscape want to hear. Nonetheless, the simple fact remains: Traffic to the site is up, and that’s what is important. Only time will tell whether the change will help the company in the long-run as their audience is sure to change.