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The Web Is Dead

The Web Is Dead

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Published by Luciana Moherdaui

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Published by: Luciana Moherdaui on Aug 17, 2010
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09/07/2010

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COVER The Web Is Dead. Long Live the InternetFEATUREThe Web Is Dead? A DebatePLAYScott Brown on How Max Headroom Predicted the Demise of TV Journalism 18.09
The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet
By Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff August 17, 2010 | 9:00 am |Wired September 2010Sources: Cisco estimates based on CAIDA publications, Andrew Odlyzko
 An earlier version of this graphic incorrectly listed the chart's timespan from 1995 to 2005. Thecorrect timespan is from 1990 to 2010. The correct version appears in the print magazine.
The Web Is Dead? A Debate
17/8/2010he Web Is Dead. Long Live the Interwired.com/magazine/2010/08//11/19
 
How the Web WinsHow Do Native Apps and Web Apps Compare?
Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline,as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about thesearching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explainshow this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures.
Who’s to Blame:Us
 
As much as we love the open, unfettered Web, we’reabandoning it for simpler, sleeker services that just work.
by Chris Anderson
You wake up and check 
your email on your bedside iPad — that’s one app. During breakfast you browseFacebook, Twitter, and
The New York Times
— threemore apps. On the way to the office, you listen to a podcast on your smartphone. Another app. At work, youscroll through RSS feeds in a reader and have Skype andIM conversations. More apps. At the end of the day, youcome home, make dinner while listening to Pandora, playsome games on Xbox Live, and watch a movie on Netflix’sstreaming service.You’ve spent the day on the Internet — but not on theWeb. And you are not alone.This is not a trivial distinction. Over the past few years, oneof the most important shifts in the digital world has been themove from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platformsthat use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhonemodel of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’tcrawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule. And it’s the worldthat consumers are increasingly choosing, not becausethey’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because thesededicated platforms often just work better or fit better into
Who’s to Blame:Them
 
Chaos isn’t a business model. A new breedof media moguls is bringing order — and profits — to the digital world.
by Michael Wolff 
An amusing development
in the pastyear or so — if you regard post-Sovietfinance as amusing — is that Russianinvestor Yuri Milner has, bit by bit,amassed one of the most valuable stakeson the Internet: He’s got 10 percent of Facebook. He’s done this by undercuttingtraditional American VCs — the Kleinersand the Sequoias who would, in days past,insist on a special status in return for their early investment. Milner not only offers better terms than VC firms, he sees theworld differently. The traditional VC has a portfolio of Web sites, expecting a few of them to be successes — a good metaphor for the Web itself, broad not deep,dependent on the connections betweensites rather than any one, autonomous property. In an entirely different strategicmodel, the Russian is concentrating his beton a unique power bloc. Not only isFacebook more than just another Website Milner sas but with 500 million users
17/8/2010he Web Is Dead. Long Live the Interwired.com/magazine/2010/08//12/19
 
their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to goto the screen). The fact that it’s easier for companies tomake money on these platforms only cements the trend.Producers and consumers agree: The Web is not theculmination of the digital revolution.—A decade ago, theascent of the Web browser as the center of the computingworld appeared inevitable. It seemed just a matter of time before the Web replaced PC application software andreduced operating systems to a “poorly debugged set of device drivers,” as Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessenfamously said. First Java, then Flash, then Ajax, thenHTML5 — increasingly interactive online code —  promised to put all apps in the cloud and replace thedesktop with the webtop. Open, free, and out of control.But there has always been an alternative path, one that sawthe Web as a worthy tool but not the whole toolkit. In1997,
Wired 
published a now-infamous“Push!” cover story, which suggested that it was time to “kiss your  browser goodbye.” The argument then was that “push”technologies such as PointCast and Microsoft’s ActiveDesktop would create a “radical future of media beyondthe Web.”“Sure, we’ll always have Web pages. We still have postcards and telegrams, don’t we? But the center of interactive media — increasingly, the center of gravity of allmedia — is moving to a post-HTML environment,” we promised nearly a decade and half ago. The examples of the time were a bit silly — a “3-D furry-muckers VR space” and “headlines sent to a pager” — but the pointwas altogether prescient: a glimpse of the machine-to-machine future that would be less about browsing andmore about getting. it’s “the largest Web site there has ever  been, so large that it is not a Web site atall.”According to Compete, a Web analyticscompany, the top 10 Web sites accountedfor 31 percent of US pageviews in 2001,40 percent in 2006, and about 75 percentin 2010. “Big sucks the traffic out of small,” Milner says. “In theory you canhave a few very successful individualscontrolling hundreds of millions of people.You can become big fast, and that favorsthe domination of strong people.”Milner sounds more like a traditionalmedia mogul than a Web entrepreneur.But that’s exactly the point. If we’removing away from the open Web, it’s atleast in part because of the risingdominance of businesspeople moreinclined to think in the all-or-nothing termsof traditional media than in the come-one-come-all collectivist utopianism of theWeb. This is not just natural maturation butin many ways the result of a competingidea — one that rejects the Web’s ethic,technology, and business models. Thecontrol the Web took from the verticallyintegrated, top-down media world can,with a little rethinking of the nature and theuse of the Internet, be taken back.
This development
— a familiar historicalmarch, both feudal and corporate, in whichthe less powerful are sapped of their reason for being by the better resourced,organized, and efficient — is perhaps therudest shock possible to the leveled, porous, low-barrier-to-entry ethos of theInternet Age. After all, this is a battle thatseemed fought and won — not justtoppling newspapers and music labels butalso AOL and Prodigy and anyone who built a business on the idea that a curatedexperience would beat out the flexibilityand freedom of the Web.
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