If It Quacks Like a Duck...

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 19, 2005

Google seems to be taking great pains to avoid calling its new personalized home page a portal, but I’m not sure the semantic gyrations matter. It’s a portal!

So what does it mean? John Battelle sounds optimistic, while Dave Winer yawns and implies it’s the beginning of the end for Google. Search Engine Watch’s Danny Sullivan offers a tour if you want to make up your own mind.

Me, I’ll give it a shot, and if it helps me find and organize all my online stuff better, it’s all good (not evil). Only problem is, if nobody wants to be labeled a portal, what are we going to call these… things?

Reader Comments

Jack Krupansky

May 19, 2005 9:22 PM

If you tell me that something is a "portal", then I have to ask lots of questions to figure out what your really mean, but if you tell me that something is a "personalized home page", then I can instantly imagine what it might be. Back in the boom, portal took on enough different meanings that it's now a "broken" term that conveys little meaning. My Yahoo calls itself "customizable web page", which is a nice clean, descriptive term. I briefly tried Google's new "thing", but it seemly no less "clunky" than My Yahoo and less "sporty" and didn't even have web feed support as My Yahoo does or a tie in with Blogger. Back to the lab for this... ugly duckling.

-- Jack Krupansky

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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