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Wired Declares ‘The Web is Dead'; the Web Responds

Chris Anderson accomplishes his goal: to get tech people talking

The Web is Dead,” Wired’s September issue proclaims.

That’s odd, coming from Wired, which has translated its print brand online better than most.

Ryan Tate and ValleyWag — which reported Wired editor Chris Anderson was working on a “Web is Dead” feature last month — nailed it with its headline:

Wired Says 'The Web is Dead' — On Its Increasingly Profitable Website

According to Quantcast estimates, Wired's unique monthly visitors in the U.S. has gone from about 1.5 million last June to 2.3 million this year, though that's down from the 3.5 million it attracted during June 2008.

What’s more confusing — albeit pretty — is its lead chart:

Is online video (above, right) not part of the Web?

The argument Anderson offers is that targeted applications — like iPhone and iPad apps, Kindle books, on-demand movies from Netflix — are overtaking the Web in terms of usefulness and utility. And they're part of the Internet, not the Web:

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.

Again, are RSS feeds at work — where you spend a third of your day or more — not part of the Web?

No matter, this is all part of Anderson’s plan to shake up the tech world’s pundits during the dull dog days of August.

To that end, Anderson hit a Bobby Thomson-like walk-off home run.