Wired Figures Out How To Lie With Statistics, Or PODCASTING KILLED THE WEB!!!!

Aug 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Apple iPad, Podcasting Statistics

Wired today declared that the Web is dead, backing it up with this chart that shows the history of the proportion of total Internet bandwidth taken up by various types of traffic.

According to Wired’s Chris Anderson – the proportion of Internet traffic taken up by Web requests is getting smaller – so “the Web is dead”.

It seems that Wired, in its quest to come up with outrageous linkbait, decided that the percentage of traffic carried over the Internet is the determiner of the viability of the Web and other forms of Internet traffic.

Did Podcasting Kill The Web?

By Wired’s way of thinking, you could argue that podcasting killed the Web. Audio and video podcasts are several orders of magnitude larger than a typical Web page.

What Wired ignores, though, is that the volume of Web traffic continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

Boing Boing counters Wired’s ludicrous argument with this chart, which more accurately shows that the Web is growing at an amazing rate, but media file traffic is growing faster – because media are a lot bigger:

Unfortunately, Wired’s need to come up with a new meme may keep people from considering a real trend – that devices like the iPad are forking the Web.

Just when it looked like the Web was going to kill off all other media – the iPad is demonstrating the benefits of dedicated Internet-enabled applications.

Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach of the computer Web browser, Apple is creating a platform of dedicated apps that do one thing really well.

This means:

  • The BBC News app is a wonderful mashup of newspaper, Web and radio on the iPad;
  • Google Maps on the iPad is tactile, interactive, more map-like and gorgeous;
  • Reading USA Today on the iPad combines many of the best features of both print and the Web;
  • Watching YouTube on the iPad is faster and more immersive, because the dedicated app adapts to the context of your actions; and
  • iBooks combines the readability of books with the instant gratification of the Web.

Wired’s article can be dismissed as linkbait – but don’t dismiss the real trend towards an alternaweb of elegant dedicated Internet apps.


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