Reading Response 2: The Web We Lost

I know very little about the things that we missed about web over the years. My first memory of getting access to Internet or website is visiting internet café and waiting in lines and when you finally get a computer, you print out your email. Because back then we had to pay per minute to use Internet. And a slow system and slow Internet meant, you end up paying more. Fast forward today, we have Internet access and thousands of websites and blogs to explore round the clock.

But then yearning for yesteryears is only a wishful thinking. Change is inevitable. With all the drawbacks or the lost of “core values” or the “civic mindedness” of those times, web of today has come a long way. As one of the ads I frequently see on public avenues says it all: in the past just having a website is a smart thing and today it’s about how smart your website is.”

So reading Anil Dash’s web article invoked a mixed reaction in me. Today with increasing users, the web demand has multiplied and with it the demands for more web sophistication and the amount of labor that is needed to make a smart website with multiple functionality. Today owning a blog and website is so much more accessible, ten years ago it was possible for a small community of web savvy people.

This, however, doesn’t discard all the civic mindedness or the core values of the web that the writer Anil Dash is calling for or at least remind us to be mindful of. All is still not lost. And the good part is it is still evolving – and we don’t know what future holds for it.

Reading Response 1: Long Live Web

This is probably the first time I’m looking closely into web development and what it takes behind in making simple to sophisticated looking websites. It’s interesting to realize that I have been taking web as a tool for granted and simply being on the consuming end. But this reading in a subtle way reminds the web users to make efforts to safeguard the principle of egalitarianism on which it was built.

Reading this article allowed me to understand the larger issues facing web. Internet and web design being two separate thing, and the idea of keeping the two separate wand how monopolization of web by big social networking sites actually limits innovation, are something I learned from this article.

In one of my journalism ethics class, the professor alerted everyone to be careful about what we put out there on the web, specially on social networking sites. But that was primarily in terms of journalistic ethics. But I never thought carefully about infringing the rights and, specially in terms of human rights issue when it comes to web. For sure web and mobile apps have played big roles in Arab Spring and many countries, despite strict censorship and monitoring of web, so it is interesting learn from this article on how web users have roles in keeping the free web alive!

This article also introduced me to the differences between applications and mobile sites, and the changes that are taking place.