Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff, one a prominent editor and the other a prominent columnist, have produced companion arguments that the Web is no longer what we use --- that the Internet is a mere conduit for the apps that dominate our time online.
"It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’t crawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule," Anderson writes. "And it’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to go to the screen)."
That it's also a more optimal environment for monetization only strengthens the situation, he says.
Wolff, meanwhile, examines how the open Web is closing and reestablishing a corporate hierarchy --- the "collectivist utopianism" is disappearing and a top-down theme is reemerging. The alternative to the Web came as some entrepreneurs sought to have the clout of Google, only without the open-source approach.
Wolff's piece is far more critical of the developments --- of the value of advertising, of the value of the audience, because of search engine optimization. He says we flirted briefly with the "transformative effects" of the Web but now are "returning home" to Apple, Facebook, Spotify and Netflix, all systems that are closed and traditional.
Anderson's conclusion: Blame Us. Wolff's: Blame Them.