The Web Has Flatlined

Chris Anderson is a brilliant man. Here at InfoWorld, we are devotees of his Long Tail theory, which posits that unpopular content is just as valuable as popular content. That just seems to work incredibly well for us. As for his endorsement of all things "free" -- well, are you paying to read this?

Now comes Anderson's revelation that the Web is dead. As with any Chris Anderson pronouncement, it took me a while to wrap my head around such enormous thoughts. When I finally understood, I felt I was party to a great scientific discovery.

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His first lightning bolt of insight: Web video, it turns out, is not Web video. It's video! As such, video is actually hogging a larger chunk of Internet bandwidth than the Web -- which is made up of Craigslist and a few other HTML sites.

Which leads us to his second proclamation: The Web got so tiny because Facebook (which now has more members than the entire population of the world) and sites like it are not the Web, either! You see, Facebook is an application. According to Anderson, if it's intended to do one thing, and it has a lick of JavaScript or PHP, it doesn't matter whether it lives in a browser or in a mobile app store: It's an application, not the Web.

Obviously, Anderson is right again. The Web has flatlined. I'm kicking myself. Oh, snap, how could I have missed it? In fact, why am I bothering even to write this? You're not reading it, because the Web is dead. You're watching a video or messing with your privacy preferences in an application that happens to be connected to the Internet.

For the first time in my life, though, I just had a thought that might go beyond what Chris Anderson has already said. What if the Internet is dead, too? I've got a lot of memory on this machine and a big browser cache. I think I'm surfing the Internet, but maybe I'm just running in place with old cached pages.

My God -- the Cigar Aficionado article I was just reading is from 2009. Has the Internet been dead since then?

Think about it. It makes perfect sense that the Internet is dead. The cell phone network is not part of the Internet, and as we all know, no one surfs the Internet without a smartphone anymore. No one writes emails, either; they text. In the last 10 minutes, the world became 99.999 percent mobile.

On the off chance that any of you are still using the Web and are reading this, I offer a fond farewell. It's been a great run. Just know this: I'm bypassing mobile and going straight for augmented reality. If I ever see you again, you'll have a footnote.

This article, "The Internet is dead!" originally appeared at Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at

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