Some intelligent people are discussing “the de-portalization of the Internet.” The image below–care of Edgeio–is a graphic representation of the changes currently underway.
Fred Wilson, a.k.a. “A VC” says:
Back in the first Internet era, it was all about amassing as large an audience as you could on your website. But the first Internet era was at time when consumers weren’t that comfortable with vastness of the web and they wanted a safe clean place where they could experience the web easily and comfortably. Today most consumers are comfortable with the web and all of its complexity. They simple type a search query into Google, Yahoo!, or some other search engine and off they go.
So if you buy that the web has been de-portalized, what do you do if you run the largest portal in the world? I think its pretty simple actually. Yahoo! needs to offer its users and customers (advertisers) the ability to get the same experience they get on Yahoo! all over the web. They need to stop thinking about keeping their audience on Yahoo.com and start thinking about serving their audience wherever they are on the web. They need to stop thinking about selling ads on Yahoo.com and start thinking about selling ads all over the web.
To use the visual metaphor above, Wilson is recommending that Yahoo! move out into the foothills. Wilson is concerned with Yahoo!, but every business that relies on internet traffic for revenue needs to consider the fast changing landscape. For instance, when AdPulp launched just over two years ago, Adrants was the major player in this space. Adrants still maintains its peak position (like Yahoo!), yet now there are literally hundreds of other advertising-focused media properties competing for mindshare.