When I mentioned that I was putting together an encyclopedia of portal technology and applications that would have around 200 articles, a college at Victoria University asked me whether there was enough material in the world written on portals to do that. I replied that even if there was not, there soon would be. The final product you are reading bears this out, with almost 200 articles from 31 countries around the world. There are contributions from Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, UK, and the U.S.
A crude measure of the growing importance of the portal comes from a Google search of the World Wide Web. In September 2006, this search produced 1.5 billion entries relating to portals. A similar search, performed in October 2005, produced 425 million entries, and in December 2003, only 35.6 million. This measure is rather crude, as definitions change and some entities that were not previously called portals now are. It is also the case that some of these entries refer to other types of portals, such as those on medieval cathedrals. It is, nevertheless, clear that Web portals have become an important topic for discussion, and one that is becoming more important as time goes on.