Great blog from Andrea DiMaio of Gartner -
Why gov't-wide portals have a bleak future: leaner, more Agile Agency portals can solve the same probs, evolve with the new technology, & make more sense in today's world of new/social media.
“Should we stop caring about the user interface, which has been sucking so much of our efforts, and rather focus on APIs and build widgets that would be used wherever clients want?”.
His answer: Yes, of course. Go figure out for which information and service needs the portal will provide a better value proposition than a search engine, a social network, an agency or a third party web site, if any.