As had been rumored for a while now, the social news site reincarnation of Netscape.com, about 14 months old, is now about to go dead, as the site reverts back to being a mainstream news site (essentially mirroring the AOL.com homepage). The social news site will resurface an an unspecified time later at another domain, the site said in a blog post. My guess it is will just be merged with AOL News.
The rationale? “We received some feedback that people really do associate the Netscape brand with providing mainstream news that is editorially controlled. In fact, we specifically heard that our users do have a desire for a social news experience, but simply didn’t expect to find it on Netscape.com.” In other words, baloney.
Someone in the post’s comment says it best: “Here is what I associate with the Netscape brand ever since AOL acquired it:
-“beta testing” new ideas for AOL
-a “guinea pig” brand used for market research for AOL
-a set of technologies used as a chip with partners like Microsoft
-lousy, unreliable “low priority” “expendable” email servers and services”
This comes as AOL Kids division also goes in hibernation, as we reported last week. This probably is the start of some major restructuring of non-essential units within AOL, and more layoffs….just my speculation.