The Web . . . Dead? Whattchu Talking About? (74) (Aug 26, 2010 11:30 PM)

Me: “The Web is Dead!”
She (me’s alter ego)”: laughs
Me: “No, really, it’s DEAD”
She: “Yea, right!”
Me: stomps my proverbial foot and storms off (no, wait, I can’t storm away from my alter ego… can I?)

When I read the cover of Wired‘s issue this month, I wondered what editor would allow a piece to be published that proclaimed the death of the Web.  And after reading the article, which was written by two authors, I found that Chris Anderson basically reneged the death toll when he states “Ecommerce continues to thrive on the Web, and no company is going to shut its Web site as an information resource.  More important, the great virtue of today’s Web [which would indicate it’s not dead] is that so much of it is noncommercial” (164).

I first heard of this proclamation of death to the Web on NPR when they interviewed one of the writers.  I listened, carefully, I thought, but I did not understand his definitions or explanations as to why he and others thought the Web was officially dead.  The article is divided into the two parts.  One is “Who’s to Blame: Them” and the other is Who’s to Blame: Us.”  I chose to read the “Them” section first and was still pretty clueless at the end, but then I read the “Us” part and it all began to come together.

The fact of the matter is we spend a lot less time surfing and a lot more time picking up our smart phones and iPads and launching Apps to do the things we want to do.  Anderson reports that “Morgan Stanley projects [that] the number of users accessing the Net from mobile devices will surpass the number who access it from PCs” in five years (125).  One point to keep in mind is that the Web is not to be confused with the Internet, which existed long before the Web.  All of these devices use the Internet to receive their information, but that is not the Web.

Is the Web dead though?  Hardly.  People still use browsers to do research and people are still Googling their little collective hearts out.  What it will be in five years, I have no idea.  I had no idea it would ever make it this far from it’s rocky beginnings.  But at one point and time theorists wanted to proclaim that the author was dead, so I guess Wired can proclaim that the Web is dead if they so desire.

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