Mike Arrington has a blog post entitled AOL-Netscape Launches Massive "Digg Killer" where he writes
On Thursday, AOL’s Netscape property will no longer be just another portal
- it’s being converted into a Digg-killer. I was briefed on the new
site by Jason Calacanis last week. As of tonight, he owns the Netscape
property at AOL. The new site will run at beta.netscape.com for now, converting over to the main Netscape.com property soon.
It’s not exactly a Digg clone (home page screenshot here).
Submitted stories are voted on in much the same way, and the more votes
a story gets the higher it appears in a category home page or on
Netscape.com itself. However, the top few spots in each category and on
the home page are determined by an "anchor" - essentially an editor
choosing from stories moving up the ranks.
There's also some good commentary on this in Greg Linden's post Netscape's News Scrape and Danny Sullivan in his post Netscape Aims To Be Digg 2.0, Slashdot 3.0 With Community News Model. Using the wisdom of the crowds to improve news sites is an good idea and one that has worked for Slashdot and Digg as Danny Sullivan points out. However I agree with Greg Linden that the holy grail is truly personalized news although the Slashdot/Digg/Netscape approach is a decent middle ground.
I was going to send a mail at work about this and encourage Microsoft to do the same until I realized I didn't even know which division of folks to send the mail to. If you read any random Microsoft press release you'll see the following excerpt
MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most
So MSN is for programmed content like your traditional news site and Windows Live is for personalized content. So which of these two divisions would be interested in a half-way approach like Slashdot or Digg? I literally have no idea and I work at Microsoft. So I cancelled the mail and blogged this instead. If I'm confused by this arbitrary distinction between MSN and Windows Live, I can only imagine how much our customers get it. :)