The web is dead. Who cares?

Those graphical sites are becoming a smaller part of the bustling traffic on the Internet, but that's OK.

No doubt many netizens of cyberspace were surprised to hear this week that the World Wide Web is on death's doorstep while the Internet is alive and well and ready to be the platform for an electronic Camelot. That's because for many folks the Web and the Net are synonymous. They use the words interchangeably in their daily lives, and they're likely to continue using them that way even if the prediction of the Web's fade from glory becomes a reality.

Let's face it, all this talk of the Web's rapidly diminishing importance is simply "inside baseball" palaver for many cybernauts who just want to get things done and don't care about what enables them to do it. To them, it doesn't matter that what they see in their browsers represents less than a quarter of the traffic on the Internet and is shrinking, or that most of the traffic is consumed by peer-to-peer file transfers, e-mail (90 percent of which is spam), corporate virtual private network traffic, machine-to-machine APIs, Skype calls, interactive online games, Xbox Live players, iTunes users, voice over IP phone calls, chatting, Netflix streaming movies, and so on.

Wired's Chris Anderson is absolutely right when he writes in his obituary for the Web: "Openness is a wonderful thing in the nonmonetary economy of peer production. But eventually our tolerance for the delirious chaos of infinite competition finds its limits. Much as we love freedom and choice, we also love things that just work, reliably and seamlessly."

So the Web is dying. Why should we care? The answer to that question lies in the paradigm that will replace the untidy world created by openess and the nonmonetary economy. That world is not unlike the one that some say will be created by the Google-Verizon "framework" that's predicted to destroy net neutrality on the Internet. It's one that Anderson describes as inevitable. "It is the cycle of capitalism," he writes. "The story of industrial revolutions, after all, is a story of battles over control. A technology is invented, it spreads, a thousand flowers bloom, and then someone finds a way to own it, locking out others. It happens every time."

Will it happen again? That remains to be seen. But its inevitability is assured if the only response to the call that the Web is dead is, "who cares?"

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetweb

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John P. Mello Jr.

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?