The Flattening of the Portalsphere

Is it possible that the portalsphere could flatten by 2010?

… we believe that the Internet is moving away from big centralized portals, which have gathered the lions share of Internet traffic, towards a pattern where traffic is generally much flatter. The mountains, if you will, continue to exist. But the foothills advance and take up more of the overall pie. Fred Wilson had a post earlier this week about the de-portalization of the Internet which is essentially making the same point when seen from the point of view of Yahoo.

I certainly believe the space will flatten out a great deal. I think the big opportunity is for smaller publishers to flatten the space. I think this is what Keith is probably focusing on. His quote of $180k per month seems to come from the publisher angle.

I’m not sure I agree that the portals will vanish. We’ve always seen a power law curve and I believe this is a natural state of the Internet. It may become less severe over time (and certainly this is a good thing) but even the blogosphere (which is much more open) we’re seeing a power law distribution.


  1. Thanks Kevin,

    I definitely think the power law curve is being modified. As traffic flattens there will be lots of localized power law curves (biggest gardening sites; biggest auto sites) but the very fact of flattening is a modification to the more dramatic power law curves of the past.

    I also don’t think portals will disappear. Just become Relatively less significant. The traffic pie will grow (a lot) but its shape will change. And the dollars spent on advertising will grow also but will grow more in the foothills than in the mountains.

    Hope that clarifies.

    I realized that reading Fred Wilson’s post before mine really helps. I assume a lot of his points and so just reading mine can be confusing. Oh well. I’m new to this blogging thing :-)






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