Sunday, October 23, 2005

EGO PORTAL

When I heard about the bidding for America Online's web portal (AOL), my initial reaction was similar to the first paragraph of Dawn C. Chmielewski's article, AOL is the belle of the ball again.

Did I miss something?

One day, America Online is this Internet anachronism, stuck in a bygone dial-up era when the world has gone broadband. Now suddenly it's this tech stud muffin being pursued by Google, Comcast Microsoft and Yahoo. They're all reportedly vying for a minority stake in AOL that could go for $5 billion. (MercuryNews.com, 10/20/05.)


Joe Lauria gives the main reasons for MSN, Yahoo, and Google's interest in AOL:

Although AOL is losing 2m subscribers a year, it still has 20m customers and it is an amazingly profitable Time Warner unit, raking in more than a billion dollars in profit in 2004. (TheBusinessOnline.com, 10/23/05.)


In order to become even more attractive for potential buyers, AOL is downsizing.

So, how do you think will win the battle of the portals?

It is highly convenient for Time Warner, the world's biggest media company, that its struggling web portal, AOL, is suddenly at the receiving end of competing bids from all three of the other internet giants. Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, was the first to start haggling, via its portal, MSN. Then Google, the world's most popular search engine and nowadays Microsoft's archest arch-enemy, came running, with Comcast, America's biggest cable company, as a prospective co-bidder. And now Yahoo!, the biggest web portal and determined runner-up to Google in internet search, has also entered the bidding. (Economist.com, 10/20/05.)


Don't you think a network of blogs could become a site portal or "super kickstart page" in the future? By the way: Do you remember Pointcast's push-technology?