Suppose Barbara Tuchman claimed that “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.” No one would disagree with her famous quote. However, besides being a medium of conveying knowledge, books can be cumbersome and can take large amounts of time to find information. The virtual effects of science have caused a breakthrough making the storehouses of information right in front of our computer screen instead of a newspaper where news may be shortened for the sake of space.
The new generation has the power of online portals, which provide information with a mere click. No magic, no drama, just news served as a hot cup of coffee to revitalize your senses. It wasn’t that long after the Web first appeared that the first portals came into existence. Portals served and continue to serve as a important launch point for Web surfing, and although there are some special-interest portals out there that get some market share, the ones that started early are the ones that get the lion’s share of viewership.
The magical online portals have given the world of knowledge to man’s fingertip. It covers news, headlines, sports, entertainment, living, online shopping, articles, current events, current events, news updates.
But the old portals were plain compared to what they are today and what they will become in the next few years. Already a far cry from the plain, static first generation of portals, today’s Web portals takes advantage of new technology to create a much more exciting surfing experience. The driving force behind all this is the pervasiveness of broadband, which allows portals to hold more rich graphics and multimedia, colorful and fun animation, and functional applets such as stock market tickers and news feed.
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EMarketer’s report highlights the portal’s futures light, noting that portal services will go beyond Web itself into the areas of personalized desktops and video/multimedia search. And of course, portals make their money chiefly through advertising, and eMarketer notes that the type of advertising found on portals is also changing.
The biggest change in the future of portal services will be its expansion beyond traditional search, something we already see with Google’s branching out into other areas. Look for all major portals to launch desktop search products, personalized search tools, and even mobile search services in the coming years.
Private portals are also gaining in popularity as a convenient way to allow employees, clients, and customers to access personalized information via a password-protected portal site securely. Healthcare portals have become a handy addition to large HR organizations, which save time and money by allowing employees to log into their own healthcare accounts–relieving HR staff from spending time on low-priority, standard requests for information.
While the IT staff may be well-equipped to handle the technical end of the portal, leaving the project entirely in their hands (and not seeking participation from other areas) is likely to result in a portal that is not aligned with the true business needs of the company. The portal must be a priority not just of IT but of the entire company. Online portals are the new generation information provider, and yes, if Late Barbara Tuchman were alive, she would have had a different quote altogether; what say?