Portals exist for a large number of topics and they have become quite common on the Internet. So far, researchers have not extensively studied the evolution of portals and only a few portal business models have been reported in the literature. We wonder if Internet portals are following the same evolution path, and what kinds of similarities and differences can be observed. The theoretical references, we drew on for the design of a field study, were derived from a number of theories considering portals, online communities, and network economics. We chose to research six portals, comprising Danish, Finnish and Swedish portals, of which three represent healthcare and three mobile services. We learned that the portals are quite similar in their scope of operation. Furthermore, we noticed that there is a difference between portals hosted by large organizations and portals that existing independently. All six portals are national in their geographical sphere of attention. This stresses that the local language capabilities are important when launching a portal. Finally, existing theories seem to provide an adequate theoretical vehicle for explaining the evolution of these portals. The practical contribution of this paper lays in the set of guidelines that can be applied by portal managers to identify their focus areas. It also provides some guidance about in which direction Internet portals currently develop.
Damsgaard, Jan; Horsti, Aleksi; and Nilsson, Olle, "Sustainable Evolution of Business Models: Cases from Scandinavian Internet Portal Market" (2004). ECIS 2004 Proceedings. 37.