There was always a distinction between the web and the internet. Now we should emphasize it. And take a stance as web veterans and professionals.
In the beginning the web was almost indistinguishable from the internet. We had websites and email. Now we have apps, feeds, notifications, updates, permissions, coins, headsets, and soon all physical objects connected to the internet.
The web gets smaller and the rest, the internet gets larger. Both of them are less user friendly and more intrusive, and all of them built on advertising instead of serving us, those who make it all happen.
Since Samuel Butler we know
Advertising is the way we grant power to the machine.
Or we should know but it seems we’ve become completely unaware of it.
Yet the whole XXth century was built upon, and now all this century goes to be built upon advertising. If we won’t stop it all input we can get from any channel—tv, movie, web, social networks, newspapers, new realities—will be advertising driven thus serving the machine instead of us, humans.
Since the New York Times epic fiasco to predict the outcome of the 2016 US elections we see a war between the classic and the modern media outlets, a.k.a the fake news phenomena. The oldies feeding us with advertising driven fake news for a century are now fighting the new kids feeding us with advertising driven fake news today.
The only good thing we can observe in this chaos is the web’s role turning gradually to be positive. Old media had learn that the subscription based business model (no ads) married with free distribution (no app stores) works; The web is a suitable platform for the business (of publishing).
And they are fighting against all walled gardens driven by advertising and monopoly on distribution. Such a twist! I would never imagine the old media will help the web, which napstered it, to survive.
In the climate depicted above we can see a pattern which transforms web to be an underdog, a platform for normality, a tool for consensus, a distraction-free media channel—nothing the mainstream needs or wants.
What they want is your infinite attention; more control hidden behind catchy buzzwords; more stuff—apps, networks, devices, glasses, vehicles—which are not web-based thus not open thus serving their own interests only.
Web pioneers we’ve all admired years ago became punks in this context working against tech giants. Web works combining solitary reflection with conversation are not considered a subject to hear and learn about, to be newsworthy, or to be an advancement for our collective knowledge everybody should know about.
However web people are not so keen to forget the good old days. And we can clearly see the tools left for us are those not being eaten by that software which eats—we know, we’ve been told—the world.
Go indie, go punk, call it web, notice the good support, and offer an alternative to the old-school, advertising-based, closed internet.