New Netscape beta is an interesting variation on digg

Netscapes new beta versionNetscape yesterday launched a beta version of their site. At first glance it is a digg clone. But its puts on some interesting twist by having an editorial team to follow the proposed stories and introduces another set of buzzwords: metajournalism and social journalism.

Jason Calacanis (GM of Netscape): “We did not create the New Netscape to copy DIGG, no more than DIGG copied Delicious or Delicious copied Furl. All of these sites are evolutions of the first wave of bookmarking services. The key thing we are doing different is that we are having our editorial team followup on stories that make it to the top 20 list. We’re not doing this to become gatekeepers, but rather to add a journalist process to the power of social bookmarking. You can call this metajournalism or social journalism, and I think it’s the logical next step.

“If the audience votes a negative story about AOL to the top of the list (like they did today–our first day!), we will follow up on it for our users. If the audience votes up a negative story about Netscape–like this one–we will follow up on that as well.

I know this is very meta, but this is the evolution. Journalism–>Wisdom of Crowds–>Journalism—>Discussion=Better Journalism.”

Interesting concept

Firstly, i would like to notice that this is not metajounalism, cause this would be according to the definition of meta that i know journalism about journalism. But as usual nobody will care about that :-(

Secondly, i definitely think this is an interesting concept, cause it give immediate feedback to the “Anchor” if he is picking the right stories etc. Especially i look forward to see how the announced 24/7 chat with the anchors will work out.

Thirdly, as somebody employed by a news agency i’m wondering if this could not be a role model for the interactions between a news agency and its customers. You just have to subtitute the variables in the above equation in the following way:

Journalism := News Agencies Correspondents (+ Affiliates + Free Journalist etc.)

Wisdom of Crowds := Wisdom of News Agencies Clients editors (+ end users?)

Journalism := News Agencies Editors + News Agencies Correspondents

Discussion := Voting by the crowds, discussion between crowds and news agencies journalists.

Definitely a radical departure from todays practices, but at least a start for an interesting thought experiment

So i definitely will have a detailed review of netscapes new beta when the chat/discussion is enabled.

Deeplinking is unacceptable

But there is already one thing that i definitely not like ion this beta and that is the way the links to the original contents site is done. If you click on the “Visit the site” the site is opened in a two-frame layout that hinders the direct bookmarking of the original content. That is something that is unacceptable to the ariginal content owner and they should protest as loud as they could.