Is There a Place for a Portal…

In this web 2.0 world?

Tom Morris (whose blog is one of the first things I read every morning) was talking earlier today about my mini-review of Web 2.0 applications. He made a good point about Netvibes and My Yahoo, saying there are really portals and not truly Web 2.0 applications.

Although I have only recently started talking about Web 2.0, having tried unsuccessfully to never use that phrase, I agree that Netvibes and My Yahoo are portals. And I agree that they are different from a lot of the other Web 2.0 applications we have been discussing.

Tom goes on to say, however, that he doesn’t understand why anyone would use Netvibes or My Yahoo. He prefers the greater scale and flexibility of an RSS reader.

While I get most of my information via RSS feeds, I still use two portals. I use The Home Place, my personal portal, and My Yahoo every day because they are better at aggregating the non-RSS stuff I want to see every day. My My Yahoo page has my stocks and mutual funds on one side, the weather and sports scores on the other and news headlines in the middle. Some of those headlines are old media- AP, Reuters, USA Today, etc. And some are new media- blogs and other converted RSS feeds.

The Home Place has links to web sites that I used to visit all the time (ESPN, some newspapers, etc.) and links to my websites for easy access. It has a Google search box (which is now largely unnecessary in light of the Google Toolbar) and some other search boxes.

I guess My Yahoo is my newspaper alternative and The Home Place is my bookmarks alternative. Clearly, my RSS feeds have rendered a lot of what’s on The Home Place unnecessary (for example, I now keep my blogroll at Bloglines). But my RSS feeds don’t really give me the same stuff my My Yahoo page does- at least not yet. Granted, I could set up RSS feeds for my stocks and for weather and for news, but I like the fact it’s all there on one handy screen.

So yes, they are portals, but I still need them. Or at least I think I do.

On a related Web 2.0 note, Virtual Karma has put together a complete list of Web 2.0 applications. It’s a great reference for what’s out there.