Reasonable Words: Mobile Web or just plain “Internet”?

The Web is only 25 years old, and now we’re worried about writing its obit. Mobile device use for Internet access (of the kind we once could only do on desktops) is building. And a staggering 90% of adult Americans have a cell phone (although smart phone penetration isn’t at that level yet).  So is this a bad thing for the plain ole web? A recent commentator is seeing this as a zero sum, if mobile, in specific, apps, win, the web loses.

Mosaic, we hardly knew ye. They might have avoided the “tombstone” design for this historical marker at UI, although I suppose it is apt.

Jon Gruber at Daring Fireball has (as usual) an interesting take. It is, after all, all the Internet, and an open-ish ecology where there are a lot of channels, and the tool matches the task is a positive one.

Here is the beginning of Gruber’s post (which quotes Chris Dixon).

Chris Dixon, in a piece titled “The Decline of the Mobile Web”, citing stats from ComScore and Flurry:

People are spending more time on mobile vs desktop. And more of their mobile time using apps, not the web.

This is a worrisome trend for the web. Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.

I think Dixon has it all wrong. We shouldn’t think of the “web” as only what renders inside a web browser. The web is HTTP, and the open Internet. What exactly are people doing with these mobile apps? Largely, using the same services, which, on the desktop, they use in a web browser.

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