Home New Netscape.com – One Year On

New Netscape.com – One Year On

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?

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