By Li Evans
Guess what, Digg's not the only Social News site that's changing, you might have missed it, but another site just managed to do a hefty change, domain name and all. If you've gone out to Netscape in the last day or so, you might be in for a bit of a shock. Gone is the social news page, no more voting on stories at Netscape.com. The Netscape site has been replaced with something the might look familiar to readers. Low and behold, it's just a Netscape news page like it use to be, years prior to that guy who started Mahalo came and went from Netscape/AOL.
Yesterday AOL/Netscape launched Propeller in place of Netscape's social news. No fear though, minus a few cosmetic changes - such as the icons being a propeller and the color scheme changing, nothing has really changed. Logins still work the same, you have the vote/sink options and can still comment on the submitted stories. It's just a domain name change and prettied up a bit.
Propeller differs from Digg though, in that they actually pay their top editors and submitters. Because of that, you don't have the "Troll Like" audience you do at Digg, you know that younger set that is rabid about Macs, hates Microsoft and anything at all to do with Search Marketing (thank goodness for Sphinn, eh?). The audience over at Propeller skews a little older, I guess that's because when you get paid to submit stories, that's a little more like a job (that whole responsibility thing ya know tends to set in). The audience tends to be a little more mature, considerate, responsible and there isn't the "Bury Brigade" on this social news site, like there is at Digg.
I for one, like Propeller (Netscape), perhaps it is because the users are more like minded to myself. Although I work at home, I don't work out of my basement, and I do have a date on occasion (yes, sarcasm) so maybe that's why Propeller appeals to me more.
Will this change, sink the original idea of JC's Digg clone? I don't think so, I think it really gives it it's own identity. Thinking of Netscape as a social news site for any techie who's been in the business since it was a browser, is tough to swallow. I for one welcome that change, and I welcome the change to Propeller.