The Netscape home page has changed. It has gone all Web 2.0-ish, and now incorporates a hip Digg-like news voting system.
Trouble is, Netscape users don’t like it.
It seems that mainstream users think that the idea of voting for news stories is, quite frankly, ludicrous.
“What the mainstream wants is – duh! – a summary of the top news stories of the moment. That’s it. “What if the New York Times decided to have readers vote on where things should be placed in the paper?” Only a very narrow slice of the population – the Web 2.0 true believers – would view this as anything other than a rhetorical question. The best way to prove that a niche product is a niche product is to toss it into the mainstream and let it sink.
I’m sure there will be many more stories like this in the future. That’s what happens when the assumptions of a few geeks, fuelled by the prospect of quick riches and their own sense of self importance, slam broadside into the rock-face of reality.
I don’t think it’s a case of “educating” the users, or needing to step them through the functionality. The reality is that few users, outside geek niches, have any desire, or the time, to be news editors.
All the Ajax in the world won’t change that fact.