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The Melonfire Community - The HITG Report
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Portal, Portal On The Wall...
All-encompassing digital "portals" are jostling for your attention - but do they deserve it?

Portals, as the name suggests, are gateways or entrypoints to the so-called treasures of the Web. They are essentially neatly categorized lists of Internet sites in different categories, thereby making it easier for Joe Netizen to find what he's looking for faster and more efficiently...or at least that's the theory ;) And if you called them gigantic bookmark lists...well, you wouldn't be far wrong!

But this is just the beginning of what the average portal has to offer : most portals also offer free email services, financial information, news headlines, chat and shopping areas and message boards. And all of them have a search engine which lets you scan their database for the information you need. Many of them also allow you to personalize the content you see when you visit them; so if you want to know how many years Tommy Lee is doing in a federal guesthouse, but aren't particularly interested in the war in Bosnia, you can ask the nice folks at Yahoo! to only deliver entertainment(?) news to you, and cut out all the really important stuff ;)

Portals are also the hottest new thing in an industry which has so many new flavours of the month it can barely keep track of all the different tastes...and almost all the big players in cyberspace have one of their own. Unfortunately, in our review, we came across only two which actually rate a mention - all the rest come across as poster boys for the new science of cloning, and have nothing particularly interesting or different to offer. In short, we came away distinctly unimpressed :(

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