RIP Web -
I have been thinking all weekend about what my blog topic for this week should be. I decided to expand on an article from Wired Magazine entitled “The Web is Dead: Long Live the Internet.” (The article is broken down into two sections, “The Web is Dead, Who is to Blame: Us” by Chris Anderson and “The Web is Dead, Who is to Blame: Them” by Michael Wolff. Pretty cool having back to back views on by whom the Internet is being corrupted and how social media sites like Facebook are taking over the Internet as a whole.

I found the underlying basis of this article to be validated by events and observations I made last night.

I had about 20-25 people over at my home to enjoy each others company before school became more demanding and the holidays start creeping up on us. The group was composed of a mixture of my friends from the law firm where I work, riding, grad school, and the other random friends I have met while living in Milwaukee… this was a random group of people with not a lot in common with one another other than some how they knew me and enjoy pizza and beer. The one thing that did make us all similar was that each of us had our cell phones on us at all times. Any time a question was asked about which actor was in “that one movie with that buff guy” that came out many years ago, or who won the last pre season football game the words “lets Google it” came out of someone’s mouth. Google has now become a verb and no longer a noun. 

But it wasn’t only Google that was being used to find this information but a series of apps for blackberries and iphones that allow people to gain information, check their e-mail, or visit social media sites without having to search for the information through a search engine first. All this information is coming straight from an app and taking the organic structure of the Net out of the picture for many users. Phones are becoming so full of apps that actually needing to go to a regular computer for information is no longer considered a necessity.

Chris Anderson, the author of WIRED’s “The Web is Dead, Who is to Blame: Us” commented on the growing use of cell phones over PC’s :

“And the shift is only accelerating. Within five years, Morgan Stanley projects, the number of users accessing the Net from mobile devices will surpass the number who access it from PCs. Because the screens are smaller, such mobile traffic tends to be driven by specialty software, mostly apps, designed for a single purpose. For the sake of the optimized experience on mobile devices, users forgo the general-purpose browser. They use the Net, but not the Web. Fast beats flexible.”

I found this to be very insightful and a bit alarming. Will I really only need to use my laptop for writing papers? And when I am done with school in May and will no longer be writing long papers from home, do I even need a computer? Or is my cell phone enough to maintain my social media habit? I wonder how the ever growing number of apps has affected PC sales… I also find it scary that apps require us to trust and take information from one source. If we decide to make no effort taken into finding the information for ourselves and we have taken Web laziness to a new level. 

Second author Michael Wolff in his “The Web is Dead, Who is to Blame: Them” discusses how Facebook has turned from being a social media website to becoming the biggest website of all time and should not even be considered a web site at all, there should be another name created to describe how big it is. I remember reading in the Journal Sentinel a few weeks back that the population of Facebook, in terms of country populations would be the third largest in the world. I know that I am an active member of the Facebook community, and I may even consider myself a Facebook junkie. Of which I am not completely proud.The Facebook app on my blackberry is used dozens of times a day and I have even downloaded the Google maps app and the weather eye app. By having these apps I guess I am helping contribute to the death of the Web. 

RIP Web, hello new awesome apps!

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