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Subject: Re: UKNM: Re: Portals?
From: Phil Gyford
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 17:55:44 +0100

At 15:18 20/08/98 +0100, you wrote:
>> and it doesn't help when everyone starts calling their sites portals. As I
>> understand it, a portal site is trying to do everything - directories,
>> searching, email, chat, forums, entertainment, news, weather, homepages,
>> ads, pagers, personalisation, shopping, and whatever else
>erm, aren't these called 'bookmarks'?

erm, no.

The word "directories" in the list above are bookmarks. Last time I checked
my bookmarks they weren't giving me personalised news, letting me chat to
friends, or suggesting things I might like to buy depending on what I'm

>Unless a 'pxxxxl' (i can't bring myself to write it) provides information
>which is unobtainable elsewhere, then I'll just edit my own list of
>bookmarks - and if the site provides that sort of information, then I'll
>go there without having to be lured by a list of links.

I didn't mean to imply a portal must have *every* one of those items, they
were just things the major portals seem to be collecting together. It's
just that the sites who have initially generated all this portal nonsense
are based around directories/search engines.

>something like www.iii.co.uk is an excellent example of a what I think a
>portal (damn, wrote it) might/should be, but I am more than willing to get
>lynched for my opinions by those of you who have better ones. Portals
>targeted at specific interest-groups are always going to batter the more
>general "here's some stuff on the internet" options.

If iii is a portal then it really is a meaningless term. Substitute 'site'
for 'portal' in the paragraph above and it makes perfect sense, but because
you like a site, use it a lot, or even have it as your start page does not
make it a portal. Sure, lots of people (probably most of us) aren't going
to use portals as their gateway to the Web. But people who know nothing
about it, and are presented with Yahoo (or whatever) to start with will be
happy to use it as a base, at least until they realise what else is out
there and maybe settle on a few favourite sites which they don't need a
portal to find.

I don't mean to stand up for portals, or claim they are The Future, I'm
just trying to define what I thought was an easily definable word.
Obviously it isn't if it causes such confusion.

Phil Gyford
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  Re: UKNM: Re: Portals?, Phil Gyford
  Re: UKNM: Re: Portals?, Aidan Cook

  Re: UKNM: Re: Portals?, Phil Gyford

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