Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Portals Used to be All the Rage

I was doing some maintenance when I noticed that only one post was tagged "Portal." Portals used to be all the rage, back in the 1990s. This trend may have stretched into the 2000s, though I cannot say for sure as the lingo for it may have changed.... but I guess I better explain what a "portal" is before I go any further:

A "portal," or Portal, was supposed to be your "Information Superhighway On-Ramp." Basically, your starting webpage. The problem, originally, was that every portal tried to be proprietary, so you were still forced to search from portal to portal to find whatever it is you were looking for. Now, with "Web 2.0" we are starting to see what portals are capable of - but I have no idea how many, or what, portals are making money, if any.

Portals were supposed to provide everything a Netizen needed to utilize the Web and, in 1999, they did: Personal webspace/website, e-mail address, starting page, and all the training wheels you could afford. Unfortunately, portals are going the way of the dinosaur and the only thing that keeps them topical is social networking.

Social networks are the new portals, proving only that portals are necessary - to some extent - or at least still necessary. While many of us may have gotten caught-up in the commercialism of the Internet, the original purpose was better communications, and it seems that people are drawn toward social interaction and connection online as much as they do offline.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011
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