Is the web dying
IN a recent Wired Article The Web is Dead, Long live the Internet Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff paint a picture of the Internet where the popularity of the web is declining. The argument is pretty simple. Applications on phones and other devices are growing rapidly. Streaming audio and video that don’t travel on port 80 are being accessed more and more by people who discover that they don’t need to plan their schedules around their favorite shows.
The graph that is used to portray this situation is quite startling and may present some problems. It clearly displays the web as a shrinking proportion of internet traffic. Here is one of the first problems…traffic is data. The web is essentially text with some images…pretty small compared to large media files that are the bulk of peer-to-peer and video traffic. It would be an entirely different matter to compare the number of users, number of server requests or number of sites instead of data. Just because the web doesn’t use as much bandwidth doesn’t mean it’s any less popular. Measuring bandwidth usage doesn’t map to time spent, work done, money invested, or wealth yielded. Wikipedia, blogs, Google. These aren’t getting any less popular.
The argument itself has merit. How we use the internet is changing. More of us will be using smart phones and digital devices to access information over the next couple of years. It’s fair to say that the web will no longer be the clear majority of internet usage but to claim that it may go away is a little absurd. I see the future of the internet as a convergence of many types of applications. Some web based, some not.
So I have trouble with the argument of the article and the image used to present the data.