Hindery, a former cable executive, then a hosting operator who sold out, says that "portals" are going to "die out," replaced by content and distributors.
By distributors, read phone and cable companies.
Mike at Techdirt, from whom I got this news, did a good job taking apart the idea that distributors mean anything.
Let me throw a history lesson at the first claim.
They were a fad about a decade ago. After Yahoo succeeded in search, it lost the plot and decided to be all things to all people. It was followed by other search engines of the era (now nearly all gone). Yahoo spent a lot of phony mega-billions trying to become something it wasn’t. Among its purchases was Mark Cuban’s Broadcast.Com. (Whatever happened to them?) Another purchase was GeoCities, a free site hosting-service backed by ads.
Without Google to show the way (which was search) Yahoo might have gone the way of the others. Google came along after the portal craze, dedicated to search. It won fans because it did search well. It still defines most of what it does in terms of search. And in the great "make or buy" debate folks like Hindery (who want to be bought) constantly describe, Google makes.
Google has pushed other Internet companies to innovate as well, not just buy. More important, it has made the whole Internet more accessible. While the RSS of this post will go out to subscribers immediately, over time most of the traffic this post generates will be from search engines, mostly Google.
Don’t listen to wankers.