Wired Magazine is dead (to me)

By Richi Jennings. August 18, 2010.

As if we needed more proof that it's August, here comes Wired Magazine with some unbelievable hyperbole. Apparently, the Web is "dead," supplanted by other internet apps. Should Condé Nast be ashamed of itself, or do Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff have a point? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ask, "What's a magazine?"

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention The Oregon Trailer...

Chris Anderson proves which month it is:

The World Wide Web is in decline, as ... apps are less about the searching and more about the getting. ... This new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. ... Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts ... has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet ... but not the browser.


The Web is, after all, just one of many applications that exist on the Internet. ... The content you see in your browser ... accounts for less than a quarter of the traffic on the Internet … and it’s shrinking. ... The delirious chaos of the open Web was an adolescent phase subsidized by industrial giants groping their way in a new world. Now they’re doing what industrialists do best — finding choke points.

Rob Beschizza scoffs loudly, offering this math lesson:

The use of proportion of the total ... instead of the actual total is a interesting editorial choice. ... Total use increases so rapidly that the web is not declining at all. ... In fact, [since] 1995 ... the total amount of web traffic went from about 10 terabytes a month ... to 7 exabytes. ... The web's ongoing growth has [not] slowed. It's ... been joined by ... growth in file-sharing and video, which is often embedded in the web in any case.


Bandwidth, though an interesting measure ... isn't so good for measuring consumption. It doesn't map to time spent, work done, money invested, wealth yielded.

John Gruber dares to speak more plainly:

It’s hard to describe just how stupid this is. The only question is whether Wired’s editors are so stupid they actually believe what they’ve written.

Whereas Mathew Ingram is more nuanced:

Chris Anderson ... the author of such books as ... “The Long Tail,” has written a piece for [Wired] magazine with the ... inflammatory headline: “The Web Is Dead: Long Live the Internet.” ... The web is [not] dead ... the web, and the way we use it, is evolving. ... Anderson ... gets it wrong when he conflates the demise of the web browser with the demise of the web itself. Plenty of applications are using web technologies such as HTTP and REST, just as web browsers do.


[He] misses an ... obvious point, which is that this evolution has nothing to do with the web being “dead.” ... The dramatic growth of Facebook, which most people interact with through their web browser, should help to cement that idea. We may be using specific apps to access specific web-based services ... but that has little or nothing to do with the web being dead.

But Dave Winer just rolls his eyes:

Oh how the Bay Area culture loves to make technology a life-and-death struggle. Things that were never alive in the first place... are said to be "dead."


Corporate media is filled with lies and lunacy. But ... the web makes it possible for me to get more nourishing news and information, and other points of view. Before the web, well it was a lot worse. A lot.

And, per Alan Patrick, a pretty awesome pun:

[He does this] every few years. ... With the Long Tail disproved and FreeConomics debunked ... there is a need for ... a new schtick with which to beat us.

And Finally...

The Oregon Trailer [hat tip: Ken Gagne]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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