Assignment 4: The Web is Dead.

Today I read Wired‘s article entitled, “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet”. After reading, I was intrigued. I hadn’t really ever given much thought about how little I use the “web,” which I have recently learned is different from the internet! After thinking about it, I realized that nearly everything I do on my browser is essentially an application, these include: Facebook, Gmail, iTunes, Weather.com, Netflix, and occasionally Youtube.

I found this to be mildly regrettable because I know there are so many neat things on the Web! It’s finding them that’s the trick. Luckily, a year or so back a friend introduced me to StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is technically an application, but it is one that allows me to see cool things hiding within the Web’s infinite depths. After first installing the program/toolbar on my browser (sadly there isn’t one out for Chrome yet) I take a quick survey about what interests me, and then I’m ready to stumble. By just hitting the “Stumble” button on my newly installed toolbar, I am taken to web sites that are unusually nifty. One can find anything from a picture, to an article, to a button that shouts “Hiyoooo!” every time it is clicked. StumbleUpon is renewing the Web’s value in my eyes.

The article spoke about how iTunes has turned many of us to softies. It conveyed the idea that we are too willing to go for convenience and simplicity at whatever price, and that if we really wanted, we could probably get what we needed for free if we put in a little effort. Well I’ll just paste the quote:

Blame human nature. As much as we intellectually appreciate openness, at the end of the day we favor the easiest path. We’ll pay for convenience and reliability, which is why iTunes can sell songs for 99 cents despite the fact that they are out there, somewhere, in some form, for free. When you are young, you have more time than money, and LimeWire is worth the hassle. As you get older, you have more money than time. The iTunes toll is a small price to pay for the simplicity of just getting what you want. The more Facebook becomes part of your life, the more locked in you become. Artificial scarcity is the natural goal of the profit-seeking.

Now to me that seemed a little like the article is encouraging me to participate in less than reputable practices, but maybe that was just me. This was probably my favorite part of the article because I could see the point so vividly through my parents, but only in regards to computers. They become so easily frustrated at the computer when it is really themselves causing the problem which is frustrating them. My brother and I have become the I.T’s in our home. Now my dad however is quite quick to condemn downloading via p2p sharing, or at least the idea of it. But when it actually comes down to pay say $50 for a Mavis Beacon learn to type program, his tune starts to change.

Is the web dead? I don’t think so. I think as technology continues to evolve, the web will follow suit in some way or another. Google certainly is NOT going away anytime soon which the article may have implied. In fact many web pages have developed pages strictly for mobile devices, so that way they’re not alienating anyone. Will the web totally ever die…it might change shape, look, or feel but ultimately in one form or another it will always be around, even if it’s totally unrecognizable from the web we know today.

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