One year ago, the new-look netscape.com launched. What was once the leading portal in the 90's was re-born in June 2006 as a digg clone. Soon after the re-launch, there was an enormous uproar from the existing Netscape.com community - which, it turned out, were fairly 'old school' about what kind of portal they liked. The posts that we ran at the time got a huge number of comments - and overwhelmingly negative towards the re-design. Some even compared New Netscape to New Coke.

So how has Netscape.com fared over the past year? Let's check that out...

Netscape is said to have had 811 million monthly page views at the time of the re-launch, although half of those were email and browser users according to ex-Netscape GM Jason Calacanis in a March 2007 post. I checked out the Alexa charts, one year on, and it seems that some of those users have been lost. Indeed Jason's post suggests that Netscape lost a number of their old email users - he said that "if you were to add back in the lost email users the Netscape curve on Alexa would be a massive turnaround." Here then are two current Alex charts:


1-year chart; digg = red, netscape = blue

This shows that Netscape has gone down a little since June 2006. It also shows that digg peaked around December 2006, but has dipped since then. Although the Compete.com stats (below) suggest that digg has continued upwards - perhaps some Alexa flakiness there.

The trends become clearer in the 3-year Alexa chart, which shows that Netscape has been on a deep spiral downward since the end of 2004. Since it was re-born June 2006, the downward trend has continued - but not so dramatically as prior to mid-2006:


3-year chart; digg = red, netscape = blue

Compete's data also shows that Netscape has bled users. As bloat! pointed out recently, it is a roughly similar % drop from Alexa.


Source: Compete

A fairer indication of success is to look at the site activity on Netscape.com. A scan of the frontpage shows healthy voting - not on the magnitude of digg, but still good. And the number of comments on the top stories is encouraging. For example the story Al Gore Son Arrested has 116 votes and 254 comments at the time I looked at it (and this is night time Independence Day in the US).

Interestingly, the Gadgets & Tech section of Netscape.com has very little activity. But a quick scan of the Top Stories page shows that the more mainstream stories, like Politics and News, are getting a respectable number of votes and comments. But not as much as digg - I'd estimate perhaps 10 times as less votes and/or comments on Netscape than on digg. Indeed the Al Gore's son story on digg has 1,103 votes and 298 comments at time of writing - which is probably a fair indication of the difference in active users between digg and Netscape.

How do you think Netscape has gone over the past year, since its controversial digg-like re-birth in mid 2006?