A couple of months ago I thought the new Netscape was doomed.
Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc. fame was taking a grand old dame of online news and giving her a social news facelift: lifting the everyone’s-an-editor philosophy from Digg and delicious and transforming an informative-if-stodgy site into what I saw as a wanna-be web 2.0-ish social media site.
I’m starting to think they might be right. And the recent tempest in a Digg teacup over the Digg algorithm adds fuel to that fire.
Due to a widespread perception that Digg is controlled by a small but influential cabal of users, Kevin Rose announced that Digg is changing its front page algorithm. Which promptly touched off a super-user rebellion … and interesting reflections on what a Digg without top users would look like. Top Digg users removed their user icons in protest.
All of which makes Calacanis’ Netscape moves look good: user-focused, friendly to the super-user, and appreciative of top contributors. Add to that increased traffic of late, and things are looking good.
I think that what we’ve seen recently from the Netscape.com team is that the way to win online is to learn: learn fast, adapt, keep learning … and make changes based on what you’re learning. Adapt faster than your competition, and you’re more likely to win.
Which is precisely what Calacanis has brought to Netscape.
Of course, this is not really the last laugh. It’s not even the 7th inning stretch.
But it is a good indication that Calcanis is more clueful than widely given credit for, knows where he’s going, and can take what many thought was a moribund Netscape web property to a new promised land.[tags] calacanis, netscape, digg, reddit, social media, news [/tags]
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