Wired magazine published an article in this month’s issue that argues that the “Web” is dead. The “Web” being defined as the “dub dub dub” (www) part of the Internet, which is viewed and interacted with using a web browser.
The Internet is transport method for a variety of protocols and components that make the system work and help people communicate and share information. Email and FTP are still alive, even though they may not be the most popular mechanisms for younger users. Over the years there have been many predictions of things being “dead” that are still very much alive. Check out this great post – The Tragic Death of Practically Everything, by Harry McCracken, to see what I mean.
Its true that the Internet has evolved in many ways over the last 15 years or so. It’s used as a transport mechanism for phone calls, music and an endless supply of information that people access using very specific apps – not always using a web browser. But for many, that traditional “web” presence is still very real. Just about anyone with basic access to a computer and the Internet can set up a free website or blog. Apps might be the current big thing, but the skill set required for setting up a basic website is far less daunting than developing a phone app.
A bigger issue facing the future of “www” is accessing it in the first place. Any device that connects to the Internet needs an address and the current IP addressing system (IPv4) is quickly running short of these valuable addresses. It’s estimated that these addresses will be completely depleted within the next year. IPv6 is the next generation of addressing for Internet connectivity and it has not yet been widely adopted. Its important that those involved with managing networks and providing connectivity to the Internet stay up to date and plan for the conversion to this new addressing scheme.
Cool apps and new tools will always make the Internet a more exciting/useful place to be and there will be a place for the traditional web for a while to come, assuming you can get there.