The Portal-Ization of My Inbox?

    June 2, 2005

In Yahoo Mail today I notice a module for “top stories,” a list of today’s headlines. Why?

At least it’s not as bad as the diabolical Bell 390 phone here on my desk. Somewhere along the line someone at Bell Canada decided that it would be OK to run ads on the screen of the $200 phone you paid for (not to mention the phone service you’re paying for). “Are you a lotto 6/49 millionaire?” And it has horoscopes, too. Talk about a bizarre concept from some legacy “Internet services menu” plan from about ten years ago. I wouldn’t say it’s interrupting me, exactly, but I do have a hankering to smash the screen with a large rock. Except I find the call display handy for screening out telemarketers.

GMail also has introduced headlines, in a couple of different ways, not to mention ads.

When is enough enough?

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Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.