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Thursday, October 26th, 2006, 3:35 am

Interview About Netscape Move

AS time goes by, occupations evolve. It was under 3 months ago that I made a move towards Netscape. My absence in Digg was noticed by a few friends including Stacy Doss (also known as 3monkeys) and linnerd.

Some time ago I did an interview with a Netscape colleague. It is yet to be published, but below is a copy.

1. When you were first approached about the offer, what was your first reaction? (Taking into account your standing on Digg at that time, and possible backlash from the Digg community)

Understandable reaction from the Digg community was by all means a cause for concern. And yet, its impact was by far surpassed by woes over neglect of my principles. I perceived my role in the community as one who promotes not-for-profit causes, which led to a clash of ideologies. The reaction was thus a mixture of confusion, a sense of self-betrayal, and fear of the outcome. It was a tough decision to make and, being a self-funded student, I needed support which, in turn, would enable me to evangelise values I believe it, principally Open Source.

2. How long did it take you to decide, what factors did you take into account, and what made you finally decide to make the switch? (Was it the money, the networking opportunities, both, or something completely different?)

In hindsight, I would have handled things differently. I was very hesitant and self-critical, to the point of losing the ability to focus. At first, I began by making isolated submissions to Netscape, as means of ‘testing the waters’. I was a Digger in heart and soul at the time. From a usability point-of-view, I become critical of both sites. Each had its strengths.

As weeks went by, a few top Diggers were recruited. Prominent examples are Derek and Henry. They wrote about it and discussed it. With discussions, thoughts began springing to mind and another perspective — from a Digg’s mentality — was laid out. Ultimately, my inclination to relocate involved a mixture of factors: joining ex-Diggers whom I knew, being able to make ends meet, and seeking a change. Yes, just for the sake of change. *smile* We all need that sometimes. My early involvement in Netscape was the fruit of curiosity rather than desire to be hired.

3. How has it been at Netscape so far? (Interaction with the users, other navigators, anchors, devs, and so on)

There is going to be a snag here. Communication from a contributer’s point-of-view slightly differs from most, especially when a Navigator role is involved. Putting myself in the shoes I (metaphorically of course) wore at the start, interaction among users goes beyond IM. But at the end of the day, the scope and goal of both sites is slightly different, so there is no clear basis for comparison.

4. Are you still contributing to your old community? (Digg)

Yes, in a sense. Several times a day I read through hundreds of Digg submissions. I probably spend a couple of hours per day reading Digg alone, yet I limit my active (as opposed to passive) contribution, i.e. participation. I very much enjoy seeing what friends are up to, as well as what they share with the rest of the community. It’s an educational experience, which is what such sites (can be?) are all about.

5. What was your friends’ reaction to you making the move? Did you feel like you were abandoning them? Did they have such feelings?

I have clear memories of particular reactions. In general, there were not many flames as I preferred to keep off the limelight and never dive too deep into the controversies. I particularly appreciated the supportive words from “George W (no relation)”. I truly wish that people can be /happy/ for others, as adverse to logic and ego as it may be. It’s important to understand that a lot of effort and time (including long nights) is spent working for the benefit of the community. And it’s all about sharing /happiness/ and bringing /happiness/ to others. Isn’t that the raison detre of social bookmarking?

6. What has been your most fruitful experience at Netscape so far?

This would definitely have to be the formation of cliques. I am not speaking about cliques that mutually benefit members by votes, but rather a bunch of people who share thoughts and opinions on- and off-site.

7. Where do you see Netscape in another 6 months?

Where would I want to see it? Or where do I think it will be? Frankly, the two intersect. I have kept tabs on Alexa and Netcraft traffic ranks, apart from various statistics that are visible on the site. They seem encouraging as there is a gradual elevation, which follows a long decline that predates New Netscape.

Anything else you would like to say?

If you enjoy Digg, then Digg on. If you seek something different, cat least consider Netscape. Each has its merits. And, as I always say in the context of GNU/Linux, it’s all about choice!

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