Portals for the Public Sector

Portals for the Public Sector

J. V. Lucke (German Research Institute for Public Administration Speyer, Germany)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch203
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Abstract

The term “portal” is traditionally associated with doors and gates. Room and front doors are used as simple entrances into a building or a room. Larger gates are constructed for the passage of vehicles. In ancient times the word “portal” was used mostly for monumentally designed entrances of buildings, castles, palaces, or cities, and triumphal arches. With the success of the World Wide Web (WWW) in the middle of the 1990s the term “portal” has a new meaning in a completely different context. Commercial providers of online services, search engines, and directories of Web-based links renamed their services as portals or starting points for the Internet. The providers of these portals were able to list their shares on stock exchanges with great success. Yahoo!, a commercial provider of directory services for the WWW, increased its share price steadily over 4 years since the initial stock exchange listing in 1996, which resulted in a true portal euphoria among investors until 2000. Merrill Lynch published a study in November 1998 about the internal use of portals and corresponding technologies in the enterprise, predicting unusually high growth rates and return on investment rates for such projects (Shilakes & Tylman, 1998). Many stock companies were able to increase their share price significantly just with the announcement of a portal strategy. Companies also began to rename their existing Web pages, online shops, and electronic markets as “portals,” entirely in the sense of superb entrances, although most of these services had no real portal functionality. Everyone just wanted to participate in the portal success. But only a few participants had an exact idea of the meaning behind the term “portal.”

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