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Thread: The end of The Web?

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Spider's Avatar
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    Default The end of The Web?

    This not a break from business, as the Water Cooler is supposed to be, but an integral part of today's world - life and business - the very future of the World Wide Web.

    An interesting article in WebProNews suggests that smart-phones, tablets, etc. and the ever-increasing use of apps is undermining the "web" nature of WWW. We are being lured into a different web - not the web that is an intricate network of interwoven, connected sources, but a web that can be considered a trap that tangles and ensnares its victim. (The Spider is well aware of these connotations!)

    Are you contributing the the fragmentation of the web? Are you enabling mega-companies to section off parts of our electronic universe and so eventually destroy the connectivity Timothy Berners-Lee and his cohorts created?


    Will Apps Unravel the World Wide Web? | WebProNews

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    Get In Where You Fit In Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily consider apps a part of the web, although many apps are just a combination of RSS feeds. Personally, I like the way it's going. It will never take the place of web and web search, but it definitely offers personalization, which it seems more people want. It's much more convenient to open your Etrade or CNBC app and immediately fill your screen with information, than to open your browser, and search from a mobile device as small as a phone.

    I think the app model is great for both users and marketers. With so many different app platforms now, we'll just have to wait and see what rises to the top and what flutters out.
    I'll put my money on Apple and Android apps to stay on the forefront for some time.

    The only thing that does disturb me is the push to promote specific hardware to run those apps.

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    Interesting topic. It's something that has been talked about by others and quite honestly in more depth than the WebProNews article. I actually wrote an article about this a few months ago, though more as it related to web designs and developers. Will Mobile Apps Put You Out Of Work?.

    At the start of that post I linked to an article by Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine, The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet, which I think is the article that first brought the topic up and is much more in depth than anything else I've read on the subject. Definitely worth reading.

    I think what we're seeing is simply the maturation of the web. There's no reason why every part of the web needs to be connected to every other part or why certain parts can't charge money or be segmented from the web as a whole through an app or a paywall. I don't think there's any kind of trap involved that snares people. No one is forced to download an app, paid or otherwise. No one is forced to sign up to a community that's not open to the public.

    Apps and paid content exist not by some devious plot, but because:

    1. They sometimes offer a better experience

    2. It takes a great deal of time and effort to create valuable content and unless the creators of that content can reap some reward there's little to no incentive to continue creating that content.

    As someone who frequents the web over a mobile device I can attest to the first. Many apps simply deliver a better experience than visiting a website through a browser. It's quicker and easier to open an app on my phone than it is to open a browser and navigate to the site. Often the app's design makes it easier to then use the site in question than the browser does.

    In the end both are ways to get to the same part of the web. I'm certainly not going to want an app for every part of the web I visit, but for those few I visit regularly the app generally provides for a better experience.

    As someone who creates content I can attest to how much work it is producing content people want. Unless there's a way for me to profit in some way it's hard to justify all that work. The profit doesn't have to directly be money, but there has to be something in it for the content producer. Consider the offline world for a moment and think about books. Writing a book is no easy task and most authors are not going to spend the months or even years to write books if those books are expected to be given a way for free at the end. Some might if they can derive some other form of compensation besides money, but the reality is if all books had to be free there would be a lot less books in the world.

    For some reason though people have an expectation that on the web we do need to give away the books we write. Why? And if content has to be freely given away what incentive exists to create that content?

    What's happening is simply natural in any community. As communities (in this case the web) grow they inevitably become too large for any member of that community to interact with all of it. Niche communities then form, each with different rules than the general larger community. That's where we are now. The web as Tim Berners-Lee envisioned it still exists. It's just that it's no longer every small corner of the web. That's a good thing. The "fragmented" parts of the web are an inevitable part of the web's growth and something that has to happen for the web to continue to be useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eborg9 View Post
    I don't necessarily consider apps a part of the web, although many apps are just a combination of RSS feeds. Personally, I like the way it's going. It will never take the place of web and web search, but it definitely offers personalization, which it seems more people want. It's much more convenient to open your Etrade or CNBC app and immediately fill your screen with information, than to open your browser, and search from a mobile device as small as a phone.
    I think the app model is great for both users and marketers. With so many different app platforms now, we'll just have to wait and see what rises to the top and what flutters out.
    I'll put my money on Apple and Android apps to stay on the forefront for some time.
    The only thing that does disturb me is the push to promote specific hardware to run those apps.
    Tha article isn't about the applications, Harold, it's about the fact that applications are being made for specific platforms. Imagine if those apps were being made for the web.

    The fragementation into separate eco-systems is what is disturbing and if continued could eventually kill the web.

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    Are you telling me, VG, that if I have an Apple product and buy several apps to use on it, and then I want to buy a different non-Apple device - a Blueberry, say - that the apps I already purchased will work on my new Blueberry?

    I don't think so - so the web is fragmented and the world is no longer interconnected. So, you get your stuff easily on your Apple device and I get my stuff easily on my Blueberry device but you and I cannot communicate so easily. You finish up talking with other Apple users and I finish up talking with other Blueberry users and you and I meet only at the fringes.

    Not good!

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    Get In Where You Fit In Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    I don't see the panic here. Everything isn't interchangeable. My Windows 7 programs don't all work on an Apple. Linux programs don't work on Windows. PS2 games don't work on XBOX. We are only talking about apps. The basic functions are the same. It doesn't interfered with any of the core functions for communication, text, email, talk or anything else. If you want to take your contact info, pictures, and music from your Motorola phone and put them on your Blackberry, you can. I can send you a doc from my Samsung to your Blackberry Playbook just like I always could.

    Basically you choose the platform that you want just like everything else and get the benefit of what else is offered for that platform.
    Technology has always been segmented like that. All devices have specific programs and accessories that only work on that device or platform.
    I don't really see much difference here.
    What I see is personalization and I don't see that "killing the web" because most apps and games are web based or just an extension of certain fragments of the web.

    Besides, most popular apps (not games) are available across all major platforms, just like video games, and movies are. For every utility on one platform, there is a compatible one one the other platforms.

    Everything we do is reliant on the internet. And that's much bigger than any app market or segmentation/personalization.
    Accessing Facebook though an app is no different than accessing it on my desktop. I'm still accessing the same site using the same connection, on the same web.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 01-16-2011 at 09:49 PM.

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    I see more of an opposite trend. Open Source is eating away at proprietary companies like MS. Why do you think they are working so hard on their search engine and other stuff. IMO its because they see market share on their proprietary stuff slipping. Apple has done a really good job of producing quality hardware packaged with their software. They have done a really good job at that. I see that as the exception not the norm. And one screwup and everything flops. No idea what the experts say, but right now I wouldn't be investing in MS.

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    Get In Where You Fit In Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    The other thing is that I don't see where it is written that the web has to be one thing or stay the same and not evolve.

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    Well, that's what makes a discussion, I suppose.

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    spider i have been thinking the same thing about the apps being a different thing and letting me do things the web didnt have for me and in easier ways..which is so smart, imho.... .......it feels like we are in another huge transition..
    and i like the story of it, that steve jobs left apple and came back so strong...
    ....ive just come home from a 2 week vacation and used the ipad quite a bit, instead of my laptop...and lots was connected to the web...as in reading the nytimes, thru their great app ...or checking anything on google as usual.and still having my excite page...but the ipad made a different experience...like reading in the dark!!! and learning new apps...and enjoying the ones i already have... i still cant believe how cheap apps are..
    im hoping it gets easier to move from my computer to my ipad....i know there are ways...
    im more comfortable on my laptop for a lot of things , but love my ipad for a lot of things!!!!
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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