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Abstract

This article presents a model for Internet portal management. The model allows portal implementers to monitor and reflect on their portal implementation process and to identify appropriate strategies to improve their community building efforts. The portal management model (PMM) is a lifecycle model that contains four stages. Each stage is identified and described by a number of characteristics and an associated existential crisis. Each crisis must be addressed for the portal to remain in business but it must be overcome to move on to the next - more advanced - stage. Four competitive strategies are presented as effective for steering the portal through each of the stages. At the initial stage, the new portal should seek to be the unavoidable pesky little brother and seek to imitate the older established portals. At the second stage the appropriate strategy is for the portal to gain strength through marriage rather than staying single - called the battle of the sexes strategy. At the third stage it is time to take firm control over the portal community. Here open confrontation is unavoidable as in the fairytale of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. At the fourth and final stage, the established portal must ceaselessly monitor the market for new contestants and counter them.

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