The New Portals

This is a really interesting observation:

For the last several years, Yahoo, MSN and AOL have all suffered a declining share of pageviews, but that does not mean the portal is going out of style. Rather it has been redefined, first by Google, and now by Facebook in potentially even more profound ways.”

“Facebook has a new answer to the portal question. The “social graph,” or your network of relationships, will push information to you. You’ll learn from your friends. The advantage of this approach is that it makes it relatively effortless for users to access a world of information that is both increasingly comprehensive and personal to them. Even if all this information were available through search (and it’s not), search actually requires work; the user must know what they’re looking for and type it in. Then they must parse the results to determine which are valuable, labor which is not shared and reused by others. By contrast, Facebook requires no work once your network is set up. Your friends push information to you that is likely to be useful, and if not you can tune your preferences until it is. Facebook promises a kind of Socratic knowledge: it tells users things they didn’t even think to ask“.

This is exactly how social networks will change the hunt-and-find paradigm.

Why just search when you can receive?

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