Mortal portals and the information superhighway ..


The Mobile Internet appears to be mirroring the Internet. In the early days, the word ‘Information superhighway’ was often used for the ‘Internet’. Notice that it is not used a lot now!. Certain players loved the word ‘Information superhighway’ – because a highway – connotes a tax. But the Internet is not a highway – it’s a network – with no single path – and hence no tax.

But the idea of a ‘toll’ on a highway still remains. On the Mobile Internet, the Information superhighway becomes a ‘portal’ – i.e. an attempt to create a single channel for the customer(read ‘toll booth’).

I believe that – like the information superhighway – portals are mortal

This week, both thefeature and Justin Pearse(features editor of New Media age pick this story up

In Bubble era portal obsessions move into the mobile space The feature points out, rightly IMHO, that

from the perspective of content producers, a screen is a screen, and so they’re all starting to “jockey” for position on various mobile portals. It seems like the classic entertainment industry view of these types of things. To them, all content is “broadcast” content — to be consumed passively by an audience, spoon-fed by the expert content pickers. They seem to believe that the only way that users can find content is if it’s handed to them by the operators in a “portal.”

Justin Pearse, whose views I value, also picks up the same story in new media age

UK operators say up to 70% of revenues come from off-portal By Justin Pearse

The market for mobile content outside operator portals is exploding in the UK, with operators reporting that up to 70% of revenues are being driven from outside the portal. The news is significant for a market that has long viewed the dominance of the operator portal as exerting a stranglehold on the market. The shift in consumer behaviour raises questions over the multiple millions spent by the operators building new brands with portals such as Vodafone Live! and O2 Active.Image source:

So, if portals are not the preferred means of finding content – what is? For the answer, look no further than google ..

Mobile search, while still in it’s relative infancy – is the way to go!

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