Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Future of Portals

What is the site that you frequent quite often in the last six months?. Has it changed?

Here is my experience..

I used to visit my personal dashboard on Netvibes.com atleast once a week. But, Of late, I am seeing myself visiting LinkedIn very often compared to Netvibes.com. Am visiting LinkedIn to keep up with my contacts, find old/lost contacts, participate in group queries/discussions. If you are not visiting Netvibes, you should be visiting Facebook. Yes, the focus is clearly shifting from Portals to Professional/Social Networking sites.

I believe the reason why networking sites are such a big hit are - its about "me", interacting with people is fun than interacting with plain information,its real-time/lively, the information flow is bi-directional, it can bring new opportunities.

I dont know what LinkedIn is thinking about its roadmap. But, I firmly believe the personal home pages of these networking pages can become "the universal web desktops" and gobble the personal portal solutions like netvibes.

This Web Desktop can provision access to whole lot of services including networking. Yes, the networking would become "one of the services" provided.Many other services could be knowledge portal, bookmark sharing, access to social/enterprise applications and gaming.

And more importantly, the users would expect those sites to learn about themselves instead of users teaching the site about their preferences. I have been using Netvibes for more than three years now. What kind of knowledge it has acquired to provide me better services?

In the context of emergence of these networking sites, where do the personal portal sites stand? More importantly, in the Enterprise IT context, do you still need those expensive Portal servers?

Portal servers are expensive, complex and attempts to provide one-stop solution for everything whereas lightweight portal alternatives and new user behaviors are emerging in recent years.

Time has come for Enterprise IT to evaluate their portal investments and take decisive actions. Interestingly, this article also shares the same views about the future of Netvibes.

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