Web Portals

Author(s) : Salvino A. Salvaggio & Michel Bauwens

Bibliographic Details : Brussels : Observatory of the Digital Economy

Date of Publication : 1999

Executive Summary : Why are portals so important in the Internet landscape and what are their future prospects, especially in the European context ?
The first part of our report summarises the key importance of portals in the attention economy, as they can control a substantial part of Internet traffic towards electronic commerce related sites. It looks at how directories and search engines have evolved to become portals and gateways, but also at how they are transcending this role to become true destination sites. The equally important trend towards geographic and thematic specialisation is also discussed.
The second part of the study examines the specific business role of portals. It first examines their business model, with attention to their revenue and expenditure streams, and looks at the key role they play in directing traffic to business sites. Finally, it looks at the trend towards vertical portals, i.e. the specialised industry-specific portals (which are also called Vortals) and their possible role in creating entreprise-specific portals located on intranets. Eventually, they may evolve to true digital marketspaces.
In the third part, the report puzzles over the specific situation in Europe, specifically the struggle between US imports and native projects.
The last chapter is dedicated to the relative reach of portals amongs the European user population, focusing particulary on pageviews and unique users as indicators of relative importance.

File size : 1.1 Mo

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