August 18th, 2010

Everything is dead

Did you hear the one about when a magazine that makes a living talking about technology and the Web told us all that the Web was dead?

The Web. It’s dead.

Let’s review.

Chivalry is dead. The Queen is dead. Microsoft Kin is dead. Duke Nukem Forever is dead. Michael Jackson is dead. Bill Cosby is dead.

Print is dead. The 30-second spot is dead. Blogs are dead. The record industry is dead (though, surprisingly, analog and vinyl are not). Sitcoms are dead.

Paul is dead.

God is dead.

And now the Web.

We’ll look beyond the argument that, while stand-alone apps and smartphones are rising in popularity, the simple fact is that most apps still depend on Web content and a not-so-small degree of Web promotion to become successful. We’ll also look past the example, which positions a tech-savvy media consumer lucky enough to own an iPad as some kind of technological standard, as if a vast majority of people are suddenly rising to the upper income brackets, running around and buying Apple products and downloading apps as if their status depended upon it.

Instead, we’ll just bask in the cheap journalistic practice of stating [SOMETHING] IS DEAD!, a surefire way to deliver easy traffic, draw considerable ire, and make baseless predictions using flawed data and a minor timeframe.

Because, in the eyes of the claimants, who are we to question?

These headlines are cheap. And so are the stories. The only solace we have is that, five years from now, we’ll be able to look back at this article and laugh at its misguided bluster. That is, if we even remember it – the hidden strength behind these boisterous obituaries is that, five years from now, no one will ever remember.

Listen, Wired may have a point.

But a point isn’t enough to lay claim to predicting a medium’s demise. (One they’ve admittedly already made, 13 years earlier.)

It is, however, enough to throw a hail mary article into the abyss of the magazine industry’s dwindling readers – of which I’m one – in a desperate attempt to regain a little relevancy.

Journalism is dead. Long live journalism.


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