I haven’t been posting much on Netscape lately, it’s not that I don’t want to or that I am boycotting it; rather, just the reward aspect of that it had on me. I loved posting everyday numerous interesting articles and being apart of the machine that Calacanis created, but I have the feeling of “eh, why?”. More importantly is the demographics of Netscape users that doesn’t excite me as much.
I don’t mean this in a negative way, but if I wanted to see constant banter of politics or constant flaming – I would just turn on the TV and watch it there. It seems that what an older demographic is interested in is politics, specifically conservative values, and well I find that not exciting. On the other hand you will have a minority of the users post very volitile postings about completely liberal posting and that will cause constant fighting on Netscape.
I was in command of the Netscape Technology section based on my stats and also based on the fact that most of the stories in Tech were posted by me. It seems acceptable to Netscape’s staff (C.K. and Calacanis) that their paid Navigators aren’t necessarily contributing much other than ripping RSS feeds and posting them. That I find annoying. If I wanted ripped RSS feeds, I’d just use a feed reader such as Google reader. Coming back to demographics – not many of NS users care much for Technology, so therefore no real ‘community’ is formed in tech other than me and the NS Navigators.
Other than that, I still like Netscape, and would visit on a daily basis, but I feel overall they didn’t listen to their core users and that hurt them for the short term. Not listening to your users is always short term until others hear of it and have a mass exodus. From a user of netscape I found it almost insulting that Calacanis did not offer their tenured Netscape.com users the classic homepage back. People to this day, STILL rant about it. I know change is here, but not all people are willing to adapt to a newer style of news such as social news. I mean who wants to see their homepage filled with articles like “The terrorists win”, among a plethora of stories about pedophiles. Some people want spoon-fed AP-quality news.
Calacanis responded to the requests by saying that AOL.com has what the users want. It’s obvious many users aren’t satified with that. If anything, dissatisfied with AOL. The homepage is so “busy”, and ideal for repeat users who have taken the time to become accustomed to the website. It’s not for the typical tenured NS users. In case you haven’t used Netscape.com in a while, here’s what it looked like in March 2005:
Now for contrast and comparison is here is the current looking AOL.com and Netscape.com:
I can understand why some users like the classic. I mean, if I dont want things to change I would be upset. In any case, Netscape turned from a static website, to a dynamic news portal, ran by users instead of top news sources.
I shall return to Netscape later, when I’m more interested in posting stories. 🙂