It is one thing for Prince, or whatever name he is going by these days, to proclaim that “the internet is dead” and that “all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.” It is a completely different thing when a respectable tech magazine such as the Wired puts forth the same claim that “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet“.
So what are they talking about?
What seems like an outlandish and delusional title actually makes sense once you think about it. The Web as an open and free space is being relegated to secondary status in comparison to other well polished and closed systems and applications that we feel are worth our hard earned money and time. Platforms such as the iPhone, the iPod and other mobile technologies changed the way that we use the web, and made us rely on applications that provide us with just what we need. This move to recreate the open space of the web and shape it into walled gardens and communities that are hidden from both Google and the Web.
This is how the article explains the state of the dying web and the thriving internet, the internet filling up with rich media and private content and spaces. 10 websites in the world have accounted for 75 per cent of US page views up from 31 per cent in 2001. This might have been the threat realized by Google and it is the reason that made them shed their “Do no evil gown” and start talking with Verizon for the sake of negotiating premium access.
Say it ain’t so!
The article has sparked a fierce debate on the blogosphere with the old guard vowing to put their life on the line to protect their baby, while the new generation are like “meh, where is the news in all of that?“, actually the Wired faced its own share of character attacks for even daring to make that claim. Some just were sarcastic about the whole thing.
Personally, I think there is some truth to the argument that is put forth by Chris Anderson. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have spent a red cent on a service on the web, with the exception of one perhaps, but the fact of the matter is that it didn’t value anything on there to be willing to pay for it.
On the other hand, nowadays it’s a natural habit of dropping by the iTunes app store to pick an app for my gym workout or just buy a song because I couldn’t be bothered looking for the free alternative that is available for sure, but in a much less polished state. This paradigm of buying rather than building is as old as time, and as the internet grows it was just natural that those closed apps and services will develop to create separate and diversion notion between the consumers and producers. That was what was unique about the internet early days: the majority of consumers on the web were also producers and that group no longer is the majority of users on the internet, while they might still be a sizable minority on the web.
What do you think of the Wired article? Are they right to claim that the Web is dead? Share with us your thoughts in our comment section below.