to relaunch as Digg imitator

The news that AOL is poised to relaunch as an experiment in community-filtered journalism is topping most tech outlets this morning. "The site is a journalist- and community-driven news aggregation site, much in the vein of Digg and other sites," writes basing its analysis on a "beta" version of the site that was released late Wednesday night. "This [goes] beyond just technology, and covers other culture/business/news/social areas." PaidContent is among many who see the new site as a credible attempt by AOL to become a leading online destination for general interest news. It aims to bring mass-market traffic to the kind of "social" news mechanism that had previously been the reserve of geek sites like Slashdot and Digg.

The relaunched Netscape is unlikely to match the traffic enjoyed by Yahoo or Google's news sites anytime soon. But the threat to Digg, which only yesterday announced that it would expand into non-tech news, seems real. "According to statistics provided by AOL, Netscape serves a whopping 811 million monthly page views -- far more than Digg today," writes Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, who notes also that Weblogs Inc. founder Jason Calacanis is heading up the new operation. On Digg, readers had already begun to circle the wagons against the challenger. Comments like "I love Digg, I won't switch," and "Long live Digg" led off an emotional discussion, in which at least a few downplayed the threat. "There's nothing to worry about here. Digg is made up of a large group of people who share very similar interests, ideas, and the like."

Meanwhile, some intrepid Diggers also appeared to have registered their disapproval on the new Netscape beta site itself by "voting up" to the top position on the site the headline "AOL copies Digg," and filling the related comment thread with bitter criticism: "How very Microsoft of you," began one visiting Digger. "Isn't this the same thing Microsoft did to the Navigator [Web browser]? Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony." The news has certainly gotten people talking -- and isn't that the point?
Posted by Oliver Ryan 8:43 AM 0 Comments comment

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