In ‘The Web We Lost‘, Anil Dash does a fantastic job of describing the cycle that the web is going through. Though you should ignore this post for the most part and go directly to the source, I’ll highlight my favorite of the points:
Ten years ago, you could allow people to post links on your site, or to show a list of links which were driving inbound traffic to your site. Because Google hadn’t yet broadly introduced AdWords and AdSense, links weren’t about generating revenue, they were just a tool for expression or editorializing. The web was an interesting and different place before links got monetized, but by 2007 it was clear that Google had changed the web forever, and for the worse, by corrupting links.
And he’s correct in saying that the web is a cycle. It is up to us to make use of it for good as it comes back around.
The technology industry, like all industries, follows cycles, and the pendulum is swinging back to the broad, empowering philosophies that underpinned the early social web.
The Web We Lost – Anil Dash