Netscape Buys Into the Social-Bookmarking Pyramid

Jason Calcanis, CEO of Weblogs, Inc. and now heading up the “new” Netscape.com announced the first 10 Netscape “Navigators”:

We’ve hired three of the top 12 DIGG users, the #1 user from Newsvine, the #1 user from Reddit, and a bunch of Weblogs, Inc. folks…

If nothing else, this is a smart PR move in that it calls out the growing masses of Digg / Newsvine / Reddit users early in the game, before there is a hands-down go to socially-bookmarked news portal. Digg, arguably the industry leader in this field has only been around since December 2004 after all.

Perhaps this is the safest and smartest way to go — we shall see — but many people who felt they caught the early wave on the revamped Netscape portal will surely be bummed to know that these selections were based on these numbers: 60% of Digg’s front page content is from the top 0.03% users.

Richard MacManus is not surprised by the imbalance of digg-posting wealth. But I must wonder if Digg will be at all affected negatively and whether or not Netscape will truly benefit from bringing the formerly faceless top Diggers on board.

It’s probably a good idea for portals driven by social bookmarking to hire talented aggregators, but why must Netscape be so non-organic in doing so? In going head-to-head with Digg (and its publisher, John Battelle’s Federated Media), the era of Netscape vs. the World (1994-~2003) is clearly dead.


P.S. I’m also a bit curious as to why the screenshot on the page explaining the new Netscape features photos of both Donald Rumsfeld and Ann Coulter…. jus’ wonderin’ 😉

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