Today’s big buzz, Jason Calcanis of Weblogs Inc. (Netscape et al.) has offered to “buy out” top users of Digg/Reddit/Flickr/Newsvine users. A thousand bucks a month for 150 stories, that is what his offering.
Last month Netscape launched a digg-clone in what TechCrunch called a “Digg-Killer“. Netscape has a far larger and wider audience that Digg has but so far, Netscape hasn’t even put a scratch on digg. On the contrary Netscape has had some bad responses to the new website and a petition created to have Netscape revert back to it’s old format. So far it’s 1391 Total Signatures.
Let’s see why.
Netscape unlike has a very different audience. Netscape.com is the default homepage for users of almost defunt Netscape browser. Most have switched to Firefox or still use IE. However there are plenty of people visting, it’s traffic lower than digg though.
The users of digg are there because they prefer the social news format. Netscape.com as such is the homepage of a lot of the browsers and most people don’t bother to change their homepages and this skews the record a bit. Netcape’s users aren’t in the same age range as you would find most of digg.com users. Let’s face it how many “tech-savvy” people still download a Netscape browser? Also Netscape has been steadily losing traffic to sites like MSN.com, Yahoo.com and digg. It’s Alexa ranking has dropped by about 79 points in the last 3 months. Netscape audience prefer’s the more standard news format, stories vetted by editors. Digg/del.icio.us/Reddit will fetch you odd stories, blog postings things of that nature. If you want news, you need a proper outlet.
Although Jason does have the right idea in trying this since the new format is here to stay, Netscape says they have received a “favorable” response. Hitwise tells us that the website has been on a upward trend.
If they really want to make it work they can just have some editor or bot post the news and automatically vote it to the top of the list. ReadWriteWeb.com has a good Digg stats analysis , that some good answers as well.