The social-news underdog, Netscape, is planning to remove the “Homepage Stories” statistic under a user’s profile. The noticeable difference here, is that Digg incurred a massive reaction, Netscape had a considerably small reaction.
First, we need to understand that Netscape is not as large as Digg, and not as technically-inclined. Director of Netscape, Ryan Budke, said their users aren’t interested in who’s stats are higher. Further stating that this is intended to further engage users (though, I’m not sure what that means).
Digg has a larger amount of users. Digg should have anticipated the needs of their geekier users who like friendly competition and failed to make changes with that in mind. For example, I suggest since they removed the top-100 users, include this stat one’s private profile when their logged in. Regardless, they made an attempt to resolve the issue of gaming the homepage and possible corruption in getting uninteresting stories dugg.
By contrast, when Netscape switched thousands of user’s classic homepage to the new user-generated social news portal, many users were livid about this. Those users preferred their older format, Web 1.0, AP syndicated news. The reaction on that has since subsided, but at least Netscape garnered free marketing for upsetting those users.
Muhammad Saleem, Netscape ‘Navigator’ and Pronet Advertising blogger, finds the low community response intriguing, which it isn’t to me. It’s expected due to Netscape’s user niche, they don’t particularly pride themselves on stats but rather opinions. I find that this move is a good move for Netscape to observe their user’s needs and anticipate these changes by blogging about it. I don’t think that either Netscape or Digg is ideal for “everyone,” rather they focus at engaging their users.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!