The Weird Thing About Today's Internet - The Atlantic


37 bookmarks. First posted by farley13 may 2017.


The Weird Thing About Today's Internet via Instapaper http://theatln.tc/2sHmv3d
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
instapaper 
june 2017 by patrick
It is worth reflecting on the strange fact that the five most valuable companies in the world are headquartered on the Pacific coast between Cupertino and Seattle. Has there ever been a more powerful region in the global economy? Living in the Bay, having spent my teenage years in Washington state, I’ve grown used to this state of affairs, but how strange this must seem from from Rome or Accra or Manila.
ctown  media 
june 2017 by bullfrogfilms
Massive size has become part and parcel to how these companies do business.“Products don't really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about 1 billion people using them,” Mark Zuckerberg said of WhatsApp in 2014. Ten years ago, there were hardly any companies that could count a billion customers. Coke? Pepsi? The entire internet had 1.2 billion users. The biggest tech platform in 2007 was Microsoft Windows and it had not crossed a billion users.

Now, there are a baker’s dozen individuals products with a billion users. Microsoft has Windows and Office. Google has Search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Android, Chrome, and Play. Facebook has the core product, Groups, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

All this to say: These companies are now dominant. And they are dominant in a way that almost no other company has been in another industry. They are the mutant giant creatures created by software eating the world.
june 2017 by tamberg
“O’Reilly’s description of Web 2.0 has become more fascinating over time—it describes a slightly parallel universe.”
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by genmon
“O’Reilly’s description of Web 2.0 has become more fascinating over time—it describes a slightly parallel universe.”
from twitter
may 2017 by lanebecker
RT : "Outside of the open-source server hardware and software worlds, we see centralization."
from twitter
may 2017 by freerange_inc
"O’Reilly’s lengthy description of the principles of Web 2.0 has become more fascinating through time. It seems to be describing a slightly parallel universe. “Hyperlinking is the foundation of the web,” O’Reilly wrote. “As users add new content, and new sites, it is bound into the structure of the web by other users discovering the content and linking to it. Much as synapses form in the brain, with associations becoming stronger through repetition or intensity, the web of connections grows organically as an output of the collective activity of all web users.”

Nowadays, (hyper)linking is an afterthought because most of the action occurs within platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and messaging apps, which all have carved space out of the open web. And the idea of “harnessing collective intelligence” simply feels much more interesting and productive than it does now. The great cathedrals of that time, nearly impossible projects like Wikipedia that worked and worked well, have all stagnated. And the portrait of humanity that most people see filtering through the mechanics of Facebook or Twitter does not exactly inspire confidence in our social co-productions.

Outside of the open-source server hardware and software worlds, we see centralization. And with that centralization, five giant platforms have emerged as the five most valuable companies in the world: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook."



"All this to say: These companies are now dominant. And they are dominant in a way that almost no other company has been in another industry. They are the mutant giant creatures created by software eating the world.

It is worth reflecting on the strange fact that the five most valuable companies in the world are headquartered on the Pacific coast between Cupertino and Seattle. Has there ever been a more powerful region in the global economy? Living in the Bay, having spent my teenage years in Washington state, I’ve grown used to this state of affairs, but how strange this must seem from from Rome or Accra or Manila.

Even for a local, there are things about the current domination of the technology industry that are startling. Take the San Francisco skyline. In 2007, the visual core of the city was north of Market Street, in the chunky buildings of the downtown financial district. The TransAmerica Pyramid was a regional icon and had been the tallest building in the city since construction was completed in 1972. Finance companies were housed there. Traditional industries and power still reigned. Until quite recently, San Francisco had primarily been a cultural reservoir for the technology industries in Silicon Valley to the south."

[See also:

"How the Internet has changed in the past 10 years"
http://kottke.org/17/05/how-the-internet-has-changed-in-the-past-10-years

"What no one saw back then, about a week after the release of the original iPhone, was how apps on smartphones would change everything. In a non-mobile world, these companies and services would still be formidable but if we were all still using laptops and desktops to access information instead of phones and tablets, I bet the open Web would have stood a better chance."

"‘The Internet Is Broken’: @ev Is Trying to Salvage It"
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/technology/evan-williams-medium-twitter-internet.html]

[Related:
"Tech’s Frightful Five: They’ve Got Us"
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/technology/techs-frightful-five-theyve-got-us.html

"Which Tech Giant Would You Drop?: The Big Five tech companies increasingly dominate our lives. Could you ditch them?"
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/10/technology/Ranking-Apple-Amazon-Facebook-Microsoft-Google.html

"Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are not just the largest technology companies in the world. As I’ve argued repeatedly in my column, they are also becoming the most powerful companies of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. But which of the Frightful Five is most unavoidable? I ponder the question in my column this week.

But what about you? If an evil monarch forced you to choose, in what order would you give up these inescapable giants of tech?"]
alexismadrigal  internet  2017  apple  facebook  google  amazon  microsoft  westcoast  bayarea  sanfrancisco  seattle  siliconvalley  twitter  salesforce  instagram  snapchat  timoreilly  2005  web  online  economics  centralization  2007  web2.0  whatsapp  evanwilliams  kottke  farhadmanjoo 
may 2017 by robertogreco
But then in June of 2007, the iPhone came out. Thirteen months later, Apple’s App Store debuted. Suddenly, the most expedient and enjoyable way to do something was often tapping an individual icon on a screen. As smartphones took off, the amount of time that people spent on the truly open web began to dwindle.
internet  technology  history  web 
may 2017 by yhancik
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
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may 2017 by zsoltika
The world’s biggest tech companies might be bigger than you think. Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic. via Pocket
article 
may 2017 by jmegs
“Any Web 2.0 vendor that seeks to lock in its application gains by controlling the platform will, by definition, no longer be playing to the strengths of the platform,” O’Reilly wrote. O’Reilly had just watched Microsoft vanquish its rivals in office productivity software (Word, Excel, etc.) as well as Netscape: “But a single monolithic approach, controlled by a single vendor, is no longer a solution, it's a problem.” And for a while, this was true.
technology  internet  history  economics 
may 2017 by terry
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
from instapaper
may 2017 by mattl
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
from instapaper
may 2017 by elivz
It is worth reflecting on the strange fact that the five most valuable companies in the world are headquartered on the Pacific coast between Cupertino and Seattle. Has there ever been a more powerful region in the global economy?
Technology  techforhistorians 
may 2017 by wtokie
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
from instapaper
may 2017 by nikchia
The world’s biggest tech companies might be bigger than you think. Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket 
may 2017 by archizoo
"O’Reilly’s lengthy description of the principles of Web 2.0 has become more fascinating through time. It seems to be describing a slightly parallel universe. “Hyperlinking is the foundation of the web,” O’Reilly wrote. “As users add new content, and new sites, it is bound into the structure of the web by other users discovering the content and linking to it. Much as synapses form in the brain, with associations becoming stronger through repetition or intensity, the web of connections grows organically as an output of the collective activity of all web users.” Nowadays, (hyper)linking is an afterthought because most of the action occurs within platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and messaging apps, which all have carved space out of the open web. " I miss the open web.
IFTTT  Facebook 
may 2017 by craniac
“They are the mutant giant creatures created by software eating the world.”
from twitter
may 2017 by singlecelled
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
from instapaper
may 2017 by paryshnikov
The world’s biggest tech companies might be bigger than you think.
internet  technology  atlantic 
may 2017 by jorgebarba
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
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may 2017 by richirvine
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
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may 2017 by loganrhyne
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
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may 2017 by drcraig
Together with defending Thiel's "monopolies are best for consumers", saddest tech piece this week
from twitter
may 2017 by ewout
Hello. It’s my first day back covering technology for The Atlantic . It also marks roughly 10 years that I’ve been covering science and technology, so I’ve been…
from instapaper
may 2017 by larsmensel
"As smartphones took off, the amount of time that people spent on the truly open web began to dwindle."
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by verwinv
Amid this week's chaos, it's heartening to see writing about tech for as only he can
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by TracyWMeyer
In my first day back , I looked at the changes in tech since I started writing 10 years ago.
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may 2017 by erikmalinowski
The world's biggest tech companies might be even bigger than you think, says
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may 2017 by mathewi