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Portals go international

Orientation, which maintains a network of regional sites internationally, joins forces with a Sri Lankan content developer and aggregator.

International portals are vying for some of the action.

Portal developer Orientation, which maintains a network of regional sites internationally, joined forces with InfoLanka, a Sri Lankan content developer and aggregator to form Orientation Sri Lanka.

The service follows on the heels of the firm's rollout of a similar service, Orientation Costa Rica, that was launched last week.

Adopting the strategy for success that has proved lucrative for the likes of Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, and AltaVista, among others, international portal efforts are cropping up, as firms try to replicate the model of search, packed services, and localized directory assistance that nets eyeballs, ergo big advertisers.

Another international portal service,, based in South Africa just beefed up its offerings by signing on Northern Light's search. The search firm will provide's Internet gateway users with access to more than 5,000 publications that are included in queries with its "research engine." offers users guides to South African restaurants, music, and entertainment, among other search services.

Orientation Sri Lanka gives users access to a similar smorgasbord of local offerings. The service also provides access to local Usenet discussions, Sri Lankan IRC chat channels, news, and travel information powered by travel publisher Lonely Planet, among other features.

"Our goal is to make Orientation Sri Lanka the premier one-stop gateway to information on Sri Lanka," spokesperson Muditha Aghayagunawardhana said in a statement.

Orientation's services span from Asia and Africa to Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.