TODAY -

Portal? or Vortal?

Portal? or Vortal?
A feature by: Marc

"When I am still trying to understand what a Portal is, what the heck is this new thing called Vortal? In olden times we just knew of a thing called Portal and now what is this other thing ... Is it yet another net jargon added up? This internet age, I tell you, is going to leave me all huffing-puffing trying to catch up with it. "

So I did some snooping and found out what these things are. Iam going to share them with you ...

Portal is defined by about.com as "a kind of Web site". Oh great! as if none of us knew that. But as I found out, it's very much the same thing that we use to call a "web site". Then what is this new fangled thing called vortal and why do we need them and what's the difference. well .... let's see ...

Technically speaking, a portal site includes a start page with rich navigation, a collection of loosely-integrated features (some of which may be provided by partners or other third parties), and a diverse, large target audience. The term "Portal" originated with large, well-known Internet search engine sites that expanded their features to include email, news, stock quotes, and an array of other functionality. The all familiar sites like Yahoo!, Excite, and the like would fall under this category. Some corporations even took a similar approach in implementing their intranet sites and those went on to be termed as enterprise information or corporate portals or even intranet portals.

But as is always happenning with this internet world, the paradigm shift brought in a realisation that these all oh-so-familiar sites may be too general-purpose to hold one's interest and too broad (or horizontal) to attract targeted advertising money.

What's the solution? Vertical portals: Web sites that cater to very specific types of people who then attract specific types of advertisers who lust after the chance to reach a targeted audience. Chances are that, in the near future, there will be a portal for you no matter what your special interest is.

Now for the definition. About.com defines a vortal as a "specialized form of portal". well... that helps! and see! it's a Portal after all. What did I tell ya?

After the evolution of portals to corporate portals, a different form of Web site attracted the attention of analysts - a portal geared toward a specific niche audience with focused content. The buzzword vortal (for vertical portal) came to be born and was applied to this category of site to distinguish it from the others.

By targeting a very focused audience, vortals in theory can provide easier-to-understand navigation, deeper content, and a place for people with common interests to meet each other.

A Vortal can be said to be a hybrid - a cross between traditional Web portals and intranet portals. Vortals focus on specialized topics in much the same way as intranet portals do, and they also tend to support collaboration among users. Conversely, vortals also share features in common with Web portals such as open access policies and user interfaces produced by third parties.

So after all, the term "vortal" is not a new term after all. These, like I found out, are web sites you would like to link up to your personnal home page or would like to bookmark in your browser as it might hold specific information of your interest. On the other side Portals are where you would want to go so that you can go find your own things or find out where you can go.

Whatever said and done, like I said before, this internet thing is going to leave me all huffing-puffing for breath trying to catch up with it. Now, I better hurry up before it gets too far away from me. Bye!

Team E-Pao! adds...
E-Pao.Net: Portal or Vortal???

Portals are often the first page you would like your web browser to load when you start up your web browser(Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, etc).

The term "web portal" began to be used to describe mega-sites such as Yahoo, Excite, MSN, Netscape Netcenter and AOL because many users used them as a "starting point" or "entry point" for their web surfing. The term "search engine" had become inadequate to describe the breadth of the offerings of these leading Internet destinations, although search and navigation are still pivotal to most people's online experience.

However, Vertical or niche portals [vortal] are what we might have called web sites in the past. And they cater to specific ethnic groups, specific age groups, alternative lifestyles, religions, and other groups which are perceived to form a community or market. They focus upon a certain topical category or to a demographic community. For example ivillage.com (aimed at women), guru.com (specific for independent professionals) etc.

And since E-Pao.Net deals with information pertaining to Manipur only, the Team E-Pao.Net beleive that it is quite fair to be categorised as 'vortal' rather than 'portal'.


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