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Oct 12 2004 - News search engines and headline aggregators are welcome to index/link this story 
New Portal Gets Back To Basics: Links to Other Sites
Does the Internet really need another portal? Frustrated IT developer Ed Preston thinks it does, so he's launched .
To get the most from the whole Internet, true portals are invaluable.  But heavily commercialized portals, like AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, have plenty of information and links, but most links just take you to another page on their site — not much of a 'portal.'
Webstrider is built on the premise that the right assortment of individual sites beats the big pre-fab megasites any day. They want to be the shortest distance between you and really good, useful sites. Maybe their motto should be 'Welcome to Webstrider. Now leave!' 
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By definition, a portal serves as an entrance to other sites on the Internet. But the typical "portal" has become a megaplex of interconnected resources, all pointing to one another, and seldom, if ever, anywhere else. They have great content, but that's not really what a portal is for.

So what about the rest of the Internet? Where's all the good stuff?

Search engines are great, but slogging through a few thousand search results to find something gets old pretty quickly. Articles often provide information on good sites, but aren't much help if you need something right away.  Good sites, apparently, are where you find them, and finding them can be a lot of work.

Webstrider is the creation of Ed Preston, a Harvard graduate and IT professional, who became jobless when his employer switched to a remotely hosted database provider. Said Preston "I spent several hours searching for a really useful portal and turned up nothing. It was obvious that the major portals were more interested in keeping people on their site rather than helping them find good sites".

So Preston began developing a prototype portal to stay involved in web technology while job searching. The sole basis for its design was to simply imagine the kind of site he'd like to see when sitting down at his computer each day.  The results of his efforts can be seen at 

Three major revisions and a name change later, he's happy with how the site is shaping up. And so are the thousands of regular visitors who have bookmarked it or made it their home page. The first email he received from a new visitor said, "Your site is fantastic. I used yahoo as my personal home site for years. It took a lot for me to switch, but it was  a no brainer... I am very pleased with your site and hope to see you around for a long time."

Also encouraging is the indication that many visits originate from colleges, universities, news and research organizations, government agencies, and other places which suggest the site appeals to serious users of the Internet.

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