In September (2010) WIRED has published a controversial cover with the headline “The Web is dead“, referring to statistics provided by Cisco on the share of Internet traffic by the Web and other applications. The article, several pages long, claims that “Two decades after its inception, the World Wide Web has been eclipsed by skype, Netflix, peer-to-peer, and a quarter million other apps” (pg. 119).
It’s a remarable trand worth nothing, and the graph above certainly helps the reader to understand the point, however..
It depends on the perspective. Certainly the share of the Web is shrinking, but how about absolute numbers? Secondly, the graph is based on “traffic”, meaning quantity of information and bits exchanged, and clearly video and p2p application requires an exponentially higher volume of data than the Web for the same amount of time spent on the application.
Don’t take me wrong, i like the graph and the article, I just thought the presentation of information can be biased toward the message they want to convey (as we have discussed in our paper “The risks of visualization”, see publication session). and I’m not alone in these thoughts. Bloggers have picked up WIRED graph and produced an alternative version: