Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Portals or Social Network - Who wins?
The Portal v. Social Network debate continues to move along. Stowe Boyd and Steve Rubel are fueling that debate. I respect the knowledge and views of both Stowe and Steve. On this subject I have to side more with Steve. However, there is a caveat. The portals will only win out if they embrace social networks and not try to become one. This is why OpenSocial is such a significant development. The portals will win out if they allow us to bring the essence of our preferred social network or networks and encapsulate it inside my home page. The portals that allow us, the indigenous content creators, to create our own window on to the world we have created will win. The portals that try to replicate social networks and strong arm us in to using their flavor will fail. The successful portal will provide the open framework and underlying communications tools that allow us to be lazy. In this instance I believe laziness is the key. My attention is be scattered across a multitude of sites. The platform provider that allows me to consolidate those sites - on my own terms - will be successful. Don't you want to be able to fire up your browser with it showing your favorite search engine, a snapshot of your email and IM's and a window in to your social networks all there on one page? Or am I the only lazy one around?