One of the big technology stories going around today (not the one about Bill Gates) is the AOL relaunch of Netscape.com, currently at beta.netscape.com, long the same lines as Digg. The site relies on member participation to vote on stories, this provides a pulse on what is hot at the moment. I was going to ignore this but a couple of things conspired against me and I had to step up.
Ben Barren wrote about the launch (Hey Ben I can now read and understand what you are writing, a good change), and I clicked through to Jason Calacanis’s comments and found myself in the site. So given I was there I had a look, below are my thoughts.
- The site is very messy, seems to still have the typical portal look and feel, way too many things all over the screen! UI re-write needed!!
- The first time I tried to register I was presented with an error screen, not a nice once just the standard web server message of something bad had happened.
- While looking around I noticed the different Channels, specifically the Careers channel.
- AOL have employed full time anchors who submit stories, and provide a moderation type service for each Channel, a good idea. Users can still submit, vote and comment on stories.
- Voting on a story or comment requires you to register, second time lucky and I was able to register.
- The Careers Channel has a job search provided by CareerBuilder.com, interesting.
- When you open the Careers Channel you have to scroll down the complete screen to before you see any stories. Bad UI!
- Submitting a story was fairly easy, I submitted a post from my blog, just to see what happens.
- Having submitted my story I did not see it appear in the Careers Channel, strange. A bug or will the anchors review before it appears, if they have to review every story the site will not scale.
- There is an RSS feed for each channel, a required feature. Oh and I subscribed.
- Along with the RSS feed there is the tag cloud.
- Sites like this and the upgraded Digg will put pressure on other community destinations. Coming to mind is Minti, the parenting startup from Perth, Australia, can they compete with the Family Channel?
- During my visit I had to re-login several times there seems to be a bug with the security side of things. I hope this is fixed soon.
Overall an interesting site. Not sure if I will long term I guess it depends on the content,