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Subject: UKNM: sticky portals
From: Steve Bowbrick
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 10:19:12 +0100

I'm going to save Ray's comment on this topic: "...six or seven big portals
is as many as there ever will be..." because it sounds entertainingly like
an earlier seer's "...we anticipate the global requirement for computers
will never exceed seven..." (paraphrase).

The location of your portal seems to me to be the big problem right now.
Portals are still - universally, I think - constituted as destinations,
with all of the associated problems of attracting and keeping users in a
sea of me-too content.

Seth Godin from Yoyodyne says that there are eight million web sites and
eighty million web users so if you have an audience of greater than ten you
are already a success. You should give your eleventh punter a Vauxhall
Astra - you're ahead of the curve. Getting from there to breakeven is the
tough part - witness the Mutually Assured Destruction of spiralling
'exclusive partner' fees.

How about a portal that sidesteps the apocalyptic maths by creeping down
the chain to the user's PC and lodging there - in the browser. A
'persistent' or 'sticky' portal that stays in view no matter where you are
or what you're doing. Example: Neoplanet - Bigfoot's Explorer Shell which
is going down a storm with ISPs and Media Owners in the US where they fear
the implacable Godin equation more than anything.

Neoplanet is up to 2.0 and has been adopted as standard distribution by
160+ US ISPs, some very large. Neoplanet's footprint is tiny (it uses
Explorer's parser/renderer) and it keeps a set of centrally-controlled,
hierarchically-organised bookmarks in view at all times, along with an ad
opportunity and custom branding. It's like an embedded mini-Yahoo, present
at all times, on- or off-line. I think it's a powerful model. Take a look -
I'd welcome a discussion of its merits or otherwise.

http://www.neoplanet.com (interest declared: Webmedia Group is a
shareholder in Bigfoot)

Steve Bowbrick Webmedia Group
0171 494 3177 0468 257 570

http://www.webmedia.com/steve steveatwebmedia [dot] com (mailto:steveatwebmedia [dot] com)

http://www.bowbrick.com - he's very advanced for his age...

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