Is the web dying?

Is “Geeky Mom” on to something in her recent post, “Thoughts on being online”? A sampling:

Over the last year, I’ve noticed several blogs pass into oblivion, either with or without an announcement…. Several of the blogs of people I’ve been reading for 5 or 6 years are either gone or on a very sporadic schedule.  Twitter and Facebook seem more popular….  My WoW guild is having an existential crisis of sorts….

I have a couple of thoughts about what appears to me to be not a “death of blogs” or “death of the online world” moment, but certainly a moment of transition.

I also think the online world is being used for other things.  Gaming thrives, but older games like WoW are losing their appeal, especially for those who’ve been playing for a while…. Video has exploded, bringing our tv mentalities to the web.  So we pull up video on Hulu and watch for a 1/2 hour or hour and then we feel like we’re done.  And then there’s our phones and other devices, like the iPad and the Kindle, which offer other kinds of activities, most of which are disconnected.

I realize there are some people out there just now discovering all the wonders of the Internet, but for me, it’s starting to lose its luster.

It does seem like we are starting to see a shift in general these days away from active engagement with what’s online, back toward a more passive almost TV mentality — evidenced by the rise of Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora. And this is being reinforced by devices that get things from the internet, but don’t necessarily let you use engage in a back-and-forth fashion with the stuff you get: Roku, the iPad, the Kindle, even gaming systems like XBox and Playstation. I enjoy many of these new technologies myself, but I also can’t help wondering about this moment of transition. Are we losing something.

Wired Magazine recently announced the “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet.” (http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/all/1). Many proclaimed that as too extreme… but maybe they have a good point.

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