First, I would like to reassess something that I've been repeating for some time now and formulated in a position paper: there is a general misunderstanding on the difference between ePortfolios (which belong to individuals) and an ePortfolio management systems (which belong to organisations) — here I use ePortfolio in the restricted sense of the term, not as synonymous to digital identity. In order to create you own digital portfolio, you can do a simple bricolage using any kind of digital tool, from a simple blog to a sophisticated website publisher.
The limit of bricolage appears quickly when a certain level of management is required:
- exchanging data with a potential employer or a job board (having a portfolio HR-XML compliant will be a necessity)
- managing a large number of ePortfolios in an institution or in processes requiring quality control -- think of the NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications in the UK) where nearly 500,000 qualifications are delivered each year on the basis of a portfolio -- and a growing number of ePortfolios
I see a bright future for ePortfolio platform providers. Organisations, regional authorities will need tools to facilitate the management of large cohorts of pupils, students or employees, they will require software solutions dedicated to the management of specific documents (portfolios) and processes.
I see an even brighter future for DIMS (Digital Identity Management Systems). Just have a look at current social software (Gaia online, FaceBook or Linkedin) and you might have a hint of what I mean...