AOL’s relaunching Netscape by using the format of the popular startup Digg, which allows users to decide what news is noteworthy though a voting system. According to a New York Times article, this effort to build the new Netscape was run like a startup by recently acquired entrepreneur Jason Calacanis who founded Weblogs, Inc. Perhaps for the first time in years, Netscape is startup-like again.
But is Digg vs. Netscape really David vs. Goliath?
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch says:
According to statistics provided by AOL, Netscape serves a whopping 811 million monthly page views – far more than Digg today.
Putting this kind of audience in front of a Digg like service could spell trouble for many sites that ultimately make it to the top of the site. A Digg or Slashdot story can send tens of thousands of visitors to a site in a matter of minutes or hours. With Netscape, this effect could be many times larger – possibly resulting in outages at sites headlining the new service.
Let’s check in with a business built on Amazon’s back that estimates Internet traffic using the portion of users that run the Alexa toolbar (similar to the way the Nielsen Ratings gauges TV viewership using Nielsen families) and displays it in an easy to view fashion.
It should be noted that this graph from Alexaholic suffers all the problems that Nielsen Ratings does and is not immune to the particular biases of Alexa toolbar users. Nevertheless, it’s a useful tool for comparison and tracking trends.
Not only is Netscape not ahead of Digg by an order of magnitude, it’s slipped behind it! How quickly a new startup can take an old startup’s glory.
Is Netscape startup enough to catch up?