Small Fish, Big Pond

“Web’s dead baby, Web’s dead.” Part 2

by Kerensky97 on Aug.18, 2010, under Internet, Technology

Like I said yesterday, Wired’s article is already making waves. Chris Anderson was interviewed on NPR about it this morning and this afternoon it made the news crawl on CNN.

One thing I like from the NPR interview is that Chris mentioned that by dead he’s talking about Web transitioning to Mobile. Which in a way is very true. Although he still talks about how applications rule and that they will kill the web.
Here’s an experiment to see if he’s right: Use only apps, no web browser.

Go 2 days without ever opening Firefox, IE, or safari, chrome, etc.
Don’t use Google (it’s a WEB page).
Try getting the things you want done with only dedicated web apps. No diversity of the millions of online web pages, just the 20 or so apps you can load before your phone fills up.
Don’t be fooled by apps that redirect you to a browser, they’re cheating.

Basically Chris’s prediction of the future of the web is where the multiverse of web pages is boiled down to a handful of corporate apps that port and filter the web for you. Much like the archaic AOL days in internet prehistory. And that scares the shit out of me.

Luckily he’s wrong!

Rob Beschizza edited the fact distorting graph used by Chris for the wired article to better fit reality. Pay close attention to the red “web traffic” That is “dying”. This is just the same graph but adjusted using the same data used for Wired’s article to reflect the actual amount of traffic passed in each category.

In Wired’s article it shows web use as a percentage against other high bandwidth internet traffic. Now that we can see the actual amount of web traffic we can see that in the last 5 years the web has almost tripled. Rob summed up Cisco’s data best:

Assuming that this crudely renormalized graph is at all accurate, it doesn’t even seem to be the case that the web’s ongoing growth has slowed. It’s rather been joined by even more explosive growth in file-sharing and video, which is often embedded in the web in any case.

In regards to using “bandwidth” to measure the value of internet traffic.

Does 50MB of YouTube kitteh represent more meaningful growth than a 5MB Wired feature?

It’s worth noting that we’re talking generalized numbers and graphs and that there will be a bit of variation in the data. But the web is still a LONG way from dying. Harry McCracken at Technologizer has another great article pointing out other technologies that have “died” recently (Hint Facebook died 2 years ago but Vinyl is alive and well).

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