The Web We Have to Save
Hossein Derakhshan
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Photo via Lars V

Do We Have to Save the Web

Some months after reading, translating to Spanish and answering — this piece for the first time, it’s time to give it a second thought.

I basically agree with Hossein Derakhshan: the web has changed a lot over the last eight years. But, as I am not new to the web, I know it has changed even more so since its creation. I’ve lived throughout its evolution.

We’ve talked about it many times. It all started in the 90s with chatters, forums, and personal web pages full of gifs and glitter, and has become more and more interactive, and at the same time more and more popular. I even think the word popular doesn’t come close to what the internet is.

It’s not a parallel world. It’s the world itself replicated online,

With both the good and the evil.

Eight years ago, we were younger and inexperienced. The internet was ours to create and to recreate as we wanted it to be. We were discovering. We were what today is called early adopters.

Blogs were the new forums in which we used to discuss our ideas, enriching or rejecting them. Everybody was playing the same game.

Today, there are more blogs than ever. There’s another blog boom. There are themed blogs for almost any topic you can imagine. And yes, they still have hyperlinks everywhere. There are bloggers out there who are as famous as rock stars. Any media outlet has its own list of bloggers. Not only have blogs not disappeared, they are stronger than ever!

But, what has changed is the audience. Now the internet is more diverse. It’s composed of people of all origins, and they are all creating content online. The difference is that a social network is easy to use, takes one second to update or like a friend’s update, and it’s for everybody, not just those who wanted to change the world. It was never meant to be anything other than what it is, or to make the internet disappear. It just wanted to make the internet more inclusive.

The problem is that blogs are not for everybody, in the same way books are not for everybody. Not all people are willing to write thoughtful essays about their concerns; not all people are willing to read about other’s concerns, or to comment on these.

It depends on what you write about, on who your community is (in other words, who are you trying to touch with your writing.) Creating a community from zero is a tough job; it takes time, you need to promote your things….

It used to take time 8 years ago too. Starting a blog from scratch was as easy then as it is now, but then you needed to comment on others’ posts to make yourself visible. This visibility is now given freely by social media if you have built a nice community around you. This visibility is now also given by search engines, if you incorporate SEO on your site properly. Another way of getting this visibility is paying for it (everybody is trying to make a profit out of their businesses).

We’re little fishes in a very wide ocean that’s still growing.

The web itself hasn’t changed that much. We have.

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