Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

I Mean a Service, Not a Website Silly!

Posted on: April 28, 2007

lately there is a confusion that is running rampant and not helping anyone, I see. Everyone who has ever anything to do with a web server, or some Javascript code seems to claim to be a web 2.0 company – Even worse is that those who are doing nothing more than a information portal, are claiming to run “services”. Perhaps its time to clarify something.

So what is MY definition between a Web Service and a [Information] Portal? Well, a service is essentially a tool. It is on the web, anyone can use it and in most cases it is free – but at the end of the day whats crucial is to know that it is a tool. It is built with a specific purpose in mind and a pain-point that it addresses. Just as a hammer is meant for driving nails, and a shovel for digging, a web ‘service’ clearly is built for a purpose with all the elements to make that functionality a pleasing experience.

Portals, and information portals on the other hand are like Encyclopedias. They dont require an action nor a problem to solve. It’s pretty much like one reading the enclyclopedia, where they can choose to do something about the information, but thats pretty much upto them. Contrast that to a person standing with a hammer in his hand doing nothing and you’ll see that there is a stark difference between the two.

The problem with perception is that, both of these two are valued on eye-balls and they both use usage statistics to measure the impact that they’ve created – which translates to value, and there is no clear differentiation. Which is where the problem begins.

All that said, when someone says that they are building a web 2.0 service, I really do hope that those I interact with hitherto, really mean what they say.

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2 Responses to "I Mean a Service, Not a Website Silly!"

Is Wikipedia a service… or a an information portal? Maybe both? 😀

Actually, what is your encyclopedia, is it a tool or reference utility? I think the same answer applies. I’d say Wikipedia is a information portal… it has information about something, just like cineblitz has on the cine industry or any such site for that matter.

But of course, your thought might differ.

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