This Danny Choo’s article presents a different approach to design a portal landing page and it chooses to change/adapt the contents to users rather simply.
Actually, his portal directly asks users if they’re new or not. If they are, it shows them the introduction of the site with simple descriptions about each sections of the site.
If the user considers he is a regular reader then he can choose the second option and a cookie will keep this choice for the next times. He would apparently see more detailed contents about each sections.
While this part could admittedly fall into the marketing trends of web2.0 (aka dynamic module mixtures), it just asks you what kinds of feeds you prefer and it proceeds to adapt the contents to your selection. One could argue that it’s not very “interactive”, but ultimately, this is not the point, since here, contents are mostly static – or portal generated.
Just my 2 cents that this Portal Design will be flourishing soon after the Ajax illusion fades (as it did for me).
But maybe you have a different interpretation for such design?