Jim Moore discusses ten trends that are “changing the way we live, create, and invest.” Among them:
1. Strategic convergence has come to the new web: Business strategist Gary Hamel coined the term “strategic convergence” for the industry situation where companies race to match each other point for point, feature for feature, and grow ever more similar over time. Google and Yahoo are rapidly converging toward each other–both have newsreaders, email, news, targeted ads, search, small business services such as site traffic analysis, etc. etc. etc.
2. . Google and Yahoo have converged at the strategic level. Google and Yahoo are essentially identical clusters of services. The two companies have differing interfaces, but this is a difference at the level of style and the cognitive path for the user, not information architecture.
Google starts each experience with an open text-line-based search, and has directories of ways to specialize a given search. Once a search is specialized, it again usually continues with an open text-line-based search.
Yahoo shows you sample content as early as possible. Yahoo email shows you a summary of Yahoo news. The main Yahoo the front page is filled with celebrity photos, teasers for dating, news, weather and so on. When you are attracted to a particular category of content, one click takes you to more content. You are more or less continually awash in content.
Both styles have their advantages, but neither is in itself an innovation any more. Portal concept plus unifying user interface style is not original in 2005.