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OPLIN 4Cast #192: Is the Web Dead?

Posted in 4cast

tombstoneLast week, Wired magazine ran a pair of articles by Chris Anderson (who wrote The Long Tail) and well-known journalist Michael Wolff under the heading “The Web Is Dead: Long Live the Internet.” Predictably, this provoked a lot of response from technology journalists. Why does it matter to libraries? Well, it might be something to consider as you decided whether to devote precious resources to a “killer” library website as opposed to a “killer” library app.

  • Dead. Blame us. (Wired/Chris Anderson) “Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’t crawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule.”
  • Data. (Cisco Visual Networking Index) This is the data-laden report that supplied much of the information used by Wired magazine. The executive summary is full of interesting projections.
  • Dead? Doesn’t look that way. (New York Times/Nick Bilton) “Although Wired might be right in its assessment that apps are on the rise, with billions downloaded from Apple alone, many areas of the Web continue to grow dramatically too.”
  • Not dead, just evolving. (GigaOM/Mathew Ingram) “We now have applications for maps, applications for photos, applications for reading books, and apps for video and location-based ‘check ins’ and dozens of other things. That doesn’t mean the web is dead; it means that the web, and the way we use it, is evolving. Instead of wandering around on the web looking for interesting websites by using services such as Yahoo or AOL, we’re using task-specific devices in a sense.”

Sobering Fact:
From the Cisco Visual Networking Index: “It would take over two years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks every second in 2014.”