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Netscape is back, only this time it looks a lot like Digg.com, the social news aggregator that allows readers to submit and vote on news stories. The more votes, the more likely a story appears at the top of the list.

AOL-owned Netscape  includes videos, as well as news stories, and categories include News, Technology, Music, Autos and Celebrities.

As well as reader-submitted stories it also uses in-house editors to compile news. These 'top' stories feature at the top of the page, housed in a rather charming AJAX mini-browser.

The Netscape launch was stage managed by Jason 'Mad Dog' Calacanis, who recently sold his Weblogs Inc blog network to AOL for lotsadosh.

Michael Arrington reckons this is a Digg killer and says it isn't a clone, largely because of the editor-selected stories. I'm not so sure... it seems like a very smart move by AOL/Calacanis.

But who knows what Kevin Rose has in store for us with Digg 2.0?

Digg is currently undergoing the redesign treatment and plans to broaden its reach to include more populist subject matter. Despite some reservations about the current voting system we think Digg could be a contender, it could go all the way.

Will Netscape steal the social media crown? With heavyweight financial support behind it we can expect big things, though AOL is a brand in decline and for me it remains synonymous with a poor online user experience. Presumably there's no chance of Netscape becoming a walled garden though.

Digg suitors should act now...

Chris Lake

Published 15 June, 2006 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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