Organized randomness

I think the new Netscape ( for now) is a good move for the portal site owned by AOL.
It’s combination of user-submitted story links and human editors playing the good stuff on section fronts is effective to me. It an interesting model for newspaper and other traditional media news sites to study because it plays to our greatest strength — organizing information — while at the same time leveraging the collective interests of users. For me at least, it’s a lot more coherent than . And the angst from the faithful about the new Netscape site is a bit misplaced. The Netscape developers borrowed some Digg-like features, but the Netscape site is no mere knock-off.
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I don’t like two things: 1) When you click on a headline, you go to a Netscape page instead of the content itself (which you get to by clicking a smaller link); and 2) there is a Netscape “sidebar” navigation frame that stays with you when you go to an external site.
I hope the Netscape folks will rethink some of that.
Whether it gains enough traction to challenge the news services of the behemoth search engines remains to be seen, but it’s a timely update to the Netscape domain.