Wired's recent cover story proclaiming the death of the web has stirred up a tempest in the blogosphere, with many taking issue with co-author Chris Anderson's evidence and conclusions. BNET's Ben Popper laid out a strong case for the continued survival of the web, but is there a more general lesson to be learned from Andersen's rush to proclaim the decline of a popular technology?
Harry McCracken thinks so. On his blog Technologizer he explains this is far from the first time that reports of the demise of some technology (or company) have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, "once-vibrant technologies, products, and companies have been dropping like teenagers in a Freddy Krueger movie," according to McCraken, who offers plenty of examples:
- Internet Explorer, as you'll recall, died in 2004.
- In 2005, the Macintosh suffered a trauma which inevitably led to its death earlier this year.
- Linux absolutely, positively died in 2006.
- The venerable technology known as TV died in 2006. too.
- By 2007, Microsoft Office had bit the big one.
- Microsoft itself also passed away in 2007.
- Email had a good long life, but it too went to its reward in 2007.
- I hope this doesn't come as a shock, but Facebook died in 2008.
- Firefox may have passed away last year, but it's hard to tell.
- The desktop may or may not have died last year, but boy, it didn't look good.
- The iPod definitely died last year.
- We also mourned the loss of RSS.
- And there were horrible rumors that Twitter had been--murdered.
(Image of forlorn grave by h.koppdelaney, CC 2.0)