Netscape buys community directory

Newhoo just got assimiliated. The human-edited Internet directory has been acquired by Netscape Communications for an undisclosed sum. In the deal, Netscape will pick up NewHoo's five founders and about 4,700 volunteer Web editors. 'A lot of the content that Netscape has now is sourced outside the company,' said Rich Skrenta, CEO and cofounder of NewHoo, who will be the engineering lead for the new service, dubbed Netscape Open Directory. 'This would be content that Netscape will provide ourselves.'

Netscape Communications made an investment in content today, acquiring human-edited Internet directory NewHoo for an undisclosed sum.

In the deal, Netscape will pick up NewHoo's five original founders and about 4,700 volunteer Web editors.

"A lot of the content that Netscape has now is sourced outside the company," said Rich Skrenta, CEO and cofounder of NewHoo, who will be the engineering lead for the new service, dubbed Netscape Open Directory. "This would be content that Netscape will provide ourselves."

The company said it would use its Mozilla service to grow the amount of human editors it uses. The NewHoo directory includes more than 100,000 Web sites, classified in more than 24,000 different interest categories such as business, science and sports, according to a statement from Netscape.

Skrenta, a former engineer at Sun Microsystems, started NewHoo with four other engineers in June 1998.

"Netscape was impressed that we were able to build the fifth-largest human-edited directory on the Web in just five months," Skrenta said. Yahoo is the biggest human-edited directory, followed by Looksmart and Snap, according to Skrenta.

Last week Netscape acquired Internet services company AtWeb for about 3.36 million shares of Netscape stock, worth roughly US$95 million. The company said it will integrate AtWeb's software into its small-business section on Netcenter in an effort to link more small companies to its site.

Netscape will try to integrate Netscape Open Directory with various Netcenter channels and services, such as smart browsing, community forums, My Netscape, custom Netcenter and international Netcenter.

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