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Friday, November 03, 2006

Revenge of the Portal?

Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion has an interesting post examining the impact widgets and gadgets will have on the future of web browsing. He writes that
Widgets and gadgets are going to be just as disruptive as RSS, blogs, Wikipedia, social networks and other recent developments - perhaps even more so. The reason is that as people begin to get familiar with these tools and the widgets get more sophisticated, we will spend less time going from property to property. This means that over time big web sites will generate fewer page views, which means that advertising CPMs could plummet.
As more users use personalized start pages like NetVibes and Pageflakes, we might see the rise of portals once again. This time, though, content will be pulled from many different sources through the use of widgets. As Steve demonstrates, it's already possible to embed any website inside a start page with Bitty Browser, embed a hard drive with Box.net, check RSS feeds, and look up the weather.

Of course, all this requires a new business model since page views will decline and so will ad revenue. Perhaps widgets will display 10-second ads before allowing you to access content from a third-party site. Funny to think that we might see portals rise again because of the success of niche sites.

Web 3.0 and the Widgetized Web


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