AOL / Netscape, the company/ies you forgot you hate, have released a new service that is perfect for the attention economy and bad for the rest of us. Richard McManus does a good job of telling us why the system is subpar. But doesn't say why it's not really news.
Michael Arrington gives an info-only review of the new Netscape if you want to see the features without the commentary.
The site allows users to vote on what articles or sites they like that day, so people liken it to Digg. But then the Netscape staff judges whether the voters were right or not. If they were, then the site goes on the Netscape front page. If not, it does not. Some animals are more equal than others.
They even have a nice little revolving headlines section. (Today's announces that Google is opening a new place in The Dalles, Oregon, and their headline is the somewhat misleading "Google Moves".)
The new Netscape is perfect for the dimmest view of the attention economy. Each site is listed by its title, which links to comments to the article or blog entry on the Netscape site! So if this article was on there it would show something like this Digging Your Own Grave visit the site. The big, digging your own grave part is a link to internal Netscape stuff and the tiny visit the site actually goes to the article.
So Netscape is stealing attention from articles by directing traffic away from them and using their own content as bait. This makes perfect sense if your goal is to keep viewers on your site. It makes no sense if your goal is to make something useful for users. It's a narrow business decision winning over a good design decision.
They say how Digg did it and copied it like first year art students copying the Mona Lisa.
You can either move freely around the network - or you can get stuck in someone's web. The new Netscape is a sticky spider web that should be avoided.
Technorati Tags : Netscape, Google, Digg, business cooperation