Netscape is closing down social news. Really this time.

Netscape Closing Down Social News Site?

Last month, I reported a response to TechCrunch’s uncited source that Netscape social news was going away. When a valid source could not be reported, many of us dismissed it.

I was wrong. Digg, you win.

Sadly to say, looks like Michael Arrington was right. The official Netscape blog has reported that the current Netscape site will be taken down. From the blog:

Visitors to will see a more traditional news experience very soon. Don’t worry, the social news site isn’t going away! We will keep you updated on where you will be able to find the social news site as we get closer to making the switch.

Netscape participants are up in arms. The current top story on is about this closure / move. So far, here are some reports from the Netscape anchors within the story comments:

More details will be forthcoming over the next couple of weeks, but the point to stress now is that the social news site is not disappearing. Yes, we will be moving to a new URL, and we will have a new name. But the accumulation of stories, tags, and comment threads will follow us to the new location. And of course we hope that many of our members will do the same. In the end it’s not the name that matters–it’s the community that makes or breaks a social news site.

User accounts, stories, and the like are said to remain preserved. Yes, it’s true that the current reports say that Netscape isn’t going away, and that it is only moving domains. Still, I think that it will take some time to recreate the community and many will leave.


Perhaps TechCrunch is correct this time. TechCrunch reports that Netscape may be moving over to the domain, of Compuserver former glory.

Only time will tell.


  1. that jon jackson

    So why would anybody think that anything prefixed onto would be a good idea. I think I’ve visited aol a total of 3 times in my life, and each time I felt dirty, like I’m selling out to the man by being there.

  2. brian

    @jon: it isn’t a good idea. If they moved it to that would be better than a subdomain.

  3. Mike Belasco

    Let’s see, web browser, social news site, …?? Hot dog stand?

    Seriously what is next for these guys, weird

  4. brian

    @mike: lol. It seems like will be reserved for the browser again? No clue. They have such unbelievable traffic there, hardly seems to make sense to move it rather than keep it.

  5. Muhammad Saleem

    It’s unfortunate that even talking to me and having me explicitly point out to you what exactly is happening that you use a sensationalist headline.

  6. Brian Turner

    It seems that AOL just aren’t sure what to do with itself or its assets, which is a shame.

  7. Leonard Bartholomew

    That’s what they get for banning my site.

    Stumbleupon is easier to use. It takes me 5 minutes to get the traffic that it takes me over 2 hours to get from Netscape. That and the content is not so political. You can be yourself.

    Leonard Bartholomew

  8. brian

    @muhammad: I’m not sure if anyone knows exactly what is happening. Only a few weeks ago, Techcrunch reported that Netscape was going to close social news, which many of us argued against. We now see what he reported as coming to be.

    While you mention that my headline is sensationalist, but if you look at some of the recent headlines:

    AOL to Drop Digg-Like News From Netscape – AP
    Netscape Ends Digg-Clone Social News Experiment – Wired
    Netscape Digg Clone Is Kaput – Techcrunch
    Netscape’s Digg clone goes belly up – Cnet

    My story is pretty in line with other headlines, but many of them do not go into the further details such as the possiblity of moving off to another domain, continuing to maintain user accounts, etc.

    I’m a huge fan of the Netscape community and take no pride in reporting that Netscape, as we know it, is closing down is news site.

  9. brian

    @brian: yes, it’s indeed a shame. I’m hopeful that Netscape social news will continue on to exist in another form on another site, as is now being said.

  10. John

    “Perhaps TechCrunch is correct this time. TechCrunch reports that Netscape may be moving over to the domain, of Compuserver former glory.”

    Again Techcrunch is wrong, they never get it right.

  11. brian

    @john: lol, that’s the fun of speculation 🙂


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