Finally got around to reading last month’s Wired cover article proclaiming the death of the World Wide Web due to the App Store trend in every consumer electronic device; the popularity of walled gardens like Facebook; and the emergence of dedicated media pipes like iTunes, Kindles, and Netflix.
First off, I don’t agree that the Web is dead. Is it evolving? Of course it is. Now a young adult in its eighteenth year, the Web is no longer a child. I remember what I was like 18. Those were the college years. And the experimenting and fun was just beginning. And that’s definitely fodder for an entirely different blog post. Maybe. If I get the guts to actually put those tales online.
So why isn’t the Web dead? Here’s why…
Walled gardens don’t last
I still can’t get past the notion that Facebook feels like AOL did in the mid-to-late 90s. In fact, a few years ago Facebook felt even more like that. But we’ve seen Facebook’s walls continue to crumble and inherit the openness of the Web. Facebook continues to intelligently transform itself from a social network into a platform.
The rise of HTML5 will make web experiences increasingly robust with a barrier to entry that’s lower to developers than that of Apple or anyone else’s app store. Even the robust API of Facebook (one of the more evolved Web 2.0 platforms we have) is still a relative pain to make use of.
One last thought…
All that said, the most interesting thing to think about with user experiences migrating off the open Web and into apps where Google can’t spider and index is the need for social interactions to facilitate discovery.