The print copy of Wired magazine’s September issue arrived in my mailbox with an eye-catching orange cover proclaiming the death of the Web. The feature article by Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff (http:// www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/) points out with a colorful graphic that while we may be spending a great deal of time sharing information over the Internet, we are increasingly not using the World Wide Web as our primary interface. We are entering a world where devices, applications, and services are our entry point to content on the Internet.
I am probably a typical example of the behavior described by Anderson. Instead of reading the New York Times or Wall Street Journal in a browser, I have dedicated applications for those publications. I stream Netflix either through an application or via my Wii. iTunes, LastFM, and Pandora are my music portals, as well as where I stream many podcasts and radio shows. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Skype, where I carry on a fair amount of my communications, are all applications, not plain vanilla browser interfaces. Most, if not all of these, do have browser-based interfaces that I could use but they lack some of the functionality I have come to expect. Although, Anderson’s article was pilloried in some tech circles for its misleading use of graphics (http://www.boingboing.net/2010/08/17/is-the-web-really-de.html), and overstating known trends (http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/17/wired-web-dead/), his article and post highlighted a growing problem with our interactions online, not just for users, but also for content creators, aggregators, and libraries.
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Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.