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The Web Is Dead! or Editorial Visualization

by on August 17, 2010

Wired, and others, has picked up on a chart in a recent Cisco report that shows various data uses from 1995 to 2010 as  a proportion of total traffic.  Then they notice the shrinking red area (Web usage), and proudly proclaim that the Web is Dying in the growth of “Apps” like on the iPhone.

You wake up and check your email on your bedside iPad — that’s one app. During breakfast you browse Facebook, Twitter, and The New York Times — three more apps. On the way to the office, you listen to a podcast on your smartphone. Another app. At work, you scroll through RSS feeds in a reader and have Skype and IM conversations. More apps. At the end of the day, you come home, make dinner while listening to Pandora, play some games on Xbox Live, and watch a movie on Netflix’s streaming service.

You’ve spent the day on the Internet — but not on the Web. And you are not alone.

As soon as I saw the graph I thought it suspect.  Primarily because of the massive “51%” is Video area.  Sure, video uses a lot of data due to it’s continuous streaming nature, but most of that video is YouTube, Vimeo, and Hulu, some decidedly Web-centric properties.  In addition, showing the chart as a proportion of total bandwidth is a bit of a misnomer, since bandwidth has grown exponentially since 1995.  BoingBoing thought so too, and took Cisco’s same report and adjusted the graph for the increase in bandwidth, and lo and behold:

The Web is Dead, my ass.  Maybe port-80 or HTML is on it’s way out, but you know what makes all those little “Apps” work?  XML from WebServers.

Update 8:08pm – Minor grammatical fixes.

Is the web really dead? – Boing Boing.