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Digg Wars: new version of site goes up against AOL

Expect the wraps to come off a few news community projects from major brands in the next few weeks: the Digg wars have begun and anyone with a prototype waiting in the wings will be feeling under a lot of pressure to push it out early.

As reported on this blog a couple of days ago, Digg, the tech news community, is planning to move into other news markets.

Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag gets the first (illicit) look at the test version of Digg, showing that there will definitely be news and world news "channels" on the new version of the site and potentially 23 - count 'em - other flavours of Digg for news fans to enjoy.

Meanwhile AOL has rushed out with its own news community site under the Netscape brand. It looks good at the moment, and has 30 channels including Autos, Do No Evil (Google news?), Family, Gay & Lesbian, Pets, Religion and Sex.

All the bases covered then? One issue for AOL  - and Digg - could be attracting a community fast enough to make each of these channels useful.

Key to the potential success of AOL will be their massive, mainstream customer base. Against that Digg has an early adopter army of connectors and meme-spreaders who will no doubt champion it and spread the idea. Could be a real word-of-mouth vs. ad spend show down, thought about like that.

But, like I say, it would be surprising if a couple of other major brands didn't throw their vote-for-news hats into the ring.

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