I think not. Much of this rumor mill was started on TechCrunch, and has grown to a debate all over the place on Digg, Sphinn, and even back to Netscape. While I’m usually a big fan of what TechCrunch has to say, this time, I have quite a few problems with the article.
Tom Drapeau, the Director of Netscape, has come out and written a counter statement to TechCrunch’s claim:
Umm… who are all of these sources? I run the Netscape.com social news site now, and I wrote the text that you quoted in your article.
The cobrand launch this week was simply an effort to give a place to go for those who desire a Netscape portal experience instead of a social news experience.
The Netscape.com social news team is alive and well, despite your “rumors”, and have extensive plans for 2007 and 2008 which are already in progress. We may exist in a different AOL division than the AOL.com team, but that doesn’t make this a turf war.
I am speaking to the editorial team right now, and as they knew this portal was launching weeks in advance – they aren’t “completely freaked out”.
Where are you getting these sources/rumors?
If you are curious to know about Netscape.com, e-mail me at tom at newnetscape dot com.
Derek van Vliet, a popular Netscape scout known as Neophile also write on his blog:
When Jason Calacanis launched the Netscape social news offering, there was an initial backlash from the old portal users. But that was over a year ago.
Since then the Netscape user base has grown considerably, with 300,000 registered users and over 10 million visitors per month. Their enthusiasm for the site abounds, as evidenced in recent comment threads.
So, big deal? Lots of folks out there make things, and then move on to something else. Let’s review:
Should we say that because Kevin Rose is developing Pownce, that Digg will be shut down? Not likely. This is just my 2 cents, but I believe that Netscape is here to stay. It’s a great community that has been growing nicely as of late.