A lot of internet-related jargon comes and goes, but a term we can't seem to get rid of is "portal".
I still hear this jaded moniker bandied about a lot, typically from people who have "a great idea for a website" (you know who you are). Said great idea involves creating a "one-stop-shop" related to subject x.
Typically this "portal" is no more than a set of links to other websites -- at best, we could call it a directory.
In fact, when have you heard someone say they were looking up a certain portal last night, or "I read it on a portal"? Never, right? (Substitute the word blog, which works, and you'll see that this is a fair test.)
Some sites have risen beyond mere portality, since they describe themselves as "vortals". About.com tells us that a vortal is a vertical portal, or "a portal geared toward a specific niche audience with focused content."
Errr... so can someone now tell me how a vortal differs from a portal, and how either of these differs from, well, any old web page with a set of links about a specific topic?
Still, I guess "portal" looks good, even expensive, in public sector reports on spending. It's up there with the e words, like e-tourism and e-enterprise.
As I write, someone, somewhere (probably in a pub), is having a "great" idea: Why not create a website aimed exclusively at the niche of ... world tourism? Except it won't be just a website, it will be an e-portal!
Tags: web design