Netscape users compare new site to New Coke

Over on my other blog Read/WriteWeb a passionate discussion is going on about the new-look Netscape, which was recently changed from a traditional portal into a community news site - a la digg.com.

new cokeOver on my other blog Read/WriteWeb a passionate discussion is going on about the new-look Netscape, which was recently changed from a traditional portal into a community news site - a la digg.com. The general gist of the feedback is that existing Netscape users dislike the new digg-like Netscape and want their old portal back. A few commenters compared the new version of Netscape to the New Coke debacle in the 1980's, when Coca-Cola introduced a new formula which turned into a public relations disaster.

As well as the expressions of hatred for the new community news-style Netscape, it's noticeable how many people still associate Netscape's homepage with the Netscape browser. In many ways it's common sense to associate the two together, because there is still a browser named 'Netscape'. But it does show that Netscape management has a branding problem, to add to the considerable teething problems they're having transitioning a reluctant 12 million users to the digg style homepage.

Netscape management is currently pointing its portal-loving users to AOL. On the Netscape homepage is this message: "Looking for a classic portal style? We suggest the new AOL.COM." However this suggestion isn't washing with some Netscape users, many of whom seem to be migrating to MSN and Yahoo.