Weblogs and Portals: can David and Goliath collaborate ?

Proposal for blogtalk 1.0 2003

Author's last name and first name
Chanezon Patrick

Affiliations (country and name of institution or company)
France - Sun Microsystems

Email address
Telephone number
Weblogs and Portals: can David and Goliath collaborate ?

Proposal (not more than 500 words)

The Portal market is consolidating in 2003, as annouced by Gartner last year. In this maturing market, Portals are used for personalization, content aggregation, search, collaboration and application integration. Portals are centralized, and today targeted at enterprise customers. The Portal market is also in full standardization these days: JSR 168, WSRP.
Portal is the Goliath of our story: big, centralized, slow.
Weblogs are more decentralized, and up to now targeted at end users. They are like David: small, decentralized, developing quickly, not fully standardized yet.

What is ironic is that RSS was the enabler for weblog to become more collaborative. rss was invented initially by people from Netscape Netcenter Portal in order to let portal users syndicate feeds from each other.
Portals dropped the ball of RSS while rss-dev and weblog software makers such as Userland picked it up to make it a very useful data format for collaboration around a model based on subscriptions to data changing over time.
A few standards and tools evolving in the area of weblogs make them evolve from simple websites with syndication to very interesting collaboration tools.

And around weblogs new kind of software and services emerged: Weblog related software and standards provide a much better alternative to proprietary Portal products for content aggregation and collaboration.
Groove bought Pyra labs 2 weeks ago: by adding search to weblogs, they could sell a Google appliance to enterprises that competes with many Portal features.
I can see a clash between Portals and Weblogs in the enterprise, for enterprises who do not need application integration.
But Portals, with their centralization and identity management have a lot to bring to weblogs. David and Goliath should collaborate.

I think that Portals providers should adopt these standards and tools and try to leverage their Portal specific assets, centralization and identity management, to provide a richer webloging environment.
This would be a move similar to the one adopted by P2P software Groove via the Groove WS APIs.
(Curve showing Portal, weblogs, P2P collab software)
The article will present some proposals for meaningful Portal-Weblogs integration.