Last week Netscape & AOL announced that they would be reverting the Netscape.com site to its old news portal self and away from the Calacanis built and editorially driven social news voting and sharing site, and relaunching the Netscape project somewhere else in the AOL empire.
Breaking news just came out that AOL and Netscape have pulled the trigger with the rebranding and domain change of the Netscape ‘Digg-esque’ Social News site to Propeller.com.
Cute name and propeller logo. I’m expecting new “Propel It” Propeller buttons so publishers can replace their Netscape buttons, in a similar fashion that Sphinn or Digg use. Hopefully some other changes may be on the way, like the ability to submit similar stories and new Firefox add-ons or toolbars for IE and other browsers.
Netscape’s Tom Drapeau posted on the Netscape Blog that the social news ‘experiment’ will soon be moved and revealed at Propeller.com, and the Netscape team is working on a smooth transition.
Netscape Scout Muhammad Saleem notes on his blog that the name change may represent socially driven news better than the old Netscape brand:
by definition, to propel means to motivate, actuate, move, prompt, incite, impel, or to give incentive for action and cause to move forward with force. that said, what will we (at propeller, previously netscape social news) be propelling?
on a very basic level the name symbolizes socially driven news. interacting with content by submitting, voting, commenting, and sharing interesting, entertaining, and otherwise important news items. but more than that it symbolizes what netscape plans to do going forward, i.e. propel the social news model into the next generation through a mix of fixing the problems with the current generation and innovation.
With no backlinks currently available to Propeller.com according to Yahoo and Google searh indexes, the site will not initially drive the same SEO rankings and PageRank 7 power links as the old Netscape.com did/does, but in due time I foresee this service squeezing its juice all over the news sites and blogs which participate in the social news sharing and voting arena, especially with all of the Netscape redirects and expected links from AOL properties.
[Note : A quick Archive.org check shows that Propeller.com used to be the site of a video decoding software company, and has not been in use since 2002]