Wired: The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet.

The Wired Magazine feature an interesting article in one of their more recent issues. It talks about how people are moving away from using the web although still using the Internet. How might they do that? you may ask. The convenience of things such as phone apps have introduced easy and efficient options for users to access Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet applications. Thus, rather than having to type in and search the address into the web browser, the app comes to them – just a button click away. This article was written by Chris Anderson, who believes the web is dead due to the power of capitalism, and Michael Wolff, who talks about why these new media apps promise more advantages than the web.

Chris Anderson:
In his opinion, Anderson feels the fact that the web is dead is because of the technological shift from using the world-wide web to “semiclosed platforms” which do access the Internet, but not to the web browser itself.

“It’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to go to the screen).”

In the end, we are all in search for convenience and efficiency. We are always looking to improve and enhance the technology we have today to aid us in performing our tasks. And in this article, the problem lies there. Instead of actually using the web browser to look for different things, we choose the ‘easy way’ by getting what we need by applications. Taking iTunes for example, we know many songs are out there on the web free of charge. However, because we know the songs we are looking for will be on iTunes, we would rather pay the song fee than look for the song ourselves manually through a search engine on the web browser.

Still, people are using the web to create their own websites to express themselves and create a reputation for themselves. However, viewing the web as a successful marketplace is something many people would disagree with today. Thus, the Internet is the powerful tool nowadays. We rely on it very much, whether it is used for social networking, business and work, or just fun and games.

I agree with Chris on this subject but only to a certain degree. It is true that we are using those phone apps more often nowadays as it is made possible with these new networking systems in place, especially since the introduction of the iPhone. Yes, we do use the Internet everyday for various purposes. However, I do not think the web is ‘dead’. Many people still use the web and in fact, we are still developing the web. Students are learning to code pages, companies continue using the web as a way to promote themselves to the world, international corporations are able to see updates from other corporations through the web, and so on. New media artists use the web as well to create their works and interactivity on the web is becoming quite popular. Therefore, Chris is correct when he says humans are attracted to convenience, but we are also curious beings and will always be searching and discovering new things on the web.


Michael Wolff:
Wolff talks about how websites are often used in a business-like structure in which the bigger websites with more pageviews are the ones that are reaping more money. Yuri Millner, a Russian investor mentioned in Wolff’s article, believes that companies use their webpage as a source of income and like the pyramid scheme in the business world, there are only a few that have the power to control the many users that visit the page. Facebook is a good example of this controlling power – millions upon millions visit the website everyday, always checking for updates, and there are only a few in the executive team that run the website itself.

Wolff then goes on to speak of the two sides of the web:
1) the Internet as an agent that has broken down businesses and power structures
2) an ongoing struggle for power and recognition as companies on the web compete with each other to dominate different sectors – retail, e-mailing system, homepage, etc.

Wolff explains how the web has given many profitable opportunities for people. He uses Facebook as an example, a social networking system that started up not too many years ago. In the beginning, it was a closed system in which people had to be invited to join the network. As the years progressed, Facebook kept developing and more and more people got interested until finally, signing up for an account was free to everyone! It was not until then that Facebook decided to create apps to allow users to access Facebook directly from their phones.

Business do not seem to be benefitting much for their display of ads on the sidebars of various websites now:

“According to a 2009 comScore study, only 16 percent of users ever click on an ad, and 8 percent of users accounted for 85 percent of all clicks.”

Because ads online are not as effective as they used to be, online companies have decided they do not need to spend much money on the designs of their website so they can save up for other things. Unfortunately, unpleasaingly designed websites are even less attractive and turn customers off, thus, even less people feel the need to access the web to purchase things.

With all these new technological inventions that allow us to access the Internet without having to go through the trouble of searching things on the web to get to the location we want, the web is slowly dying.

I believe that Wolff has made some very good points about how businesses have been using the web. It is true that a lot of advertisements are not clicked on when users are browsing the web. People see the ads, but do not have any interest in clicking on them for more information. At this time and age, we expect what we want to see on the Internet to come to us – the phone apps allow this, we can access the Internet through gaming consoles now, such as Wii and XBox. Many businesses have offered the service of connecting us to the web applications we want to go to without having to take time getting to the websites manually ourselves. This process of getting to certain websites to look for things has become very unattractive to users – time is of the essence nowadays.

Thus, I agree with both authors in this article. The web is slowly dying. However, I do not think it will ever die completely. There will always be the curious users that like exploring the web. Artists will browse the web and create their own sorts of interactive projects through the web. It is true there are many services offered to us that help us avoid wasting time finding addresses on the web, but in the end, I believe the web will always stay alive.

Sources:
The Wired Magazine

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~ by omejelee on September 27, 2010.

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