The Decline of Web 1.0

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Decline of Web 2.0
  3. Example #1: The Internet Forum
  4. Example #2: The Personal Webpage
  5. Conclusion

Otherwise known as, I date myself.


I am part of a generation of people that grew up with the internet.

Not "grew up with the internet" in the sense that I've always had it literally at my fingertips everywhere I went, as is the case in this age of smartphones.

No, I mean I grew up alongside the internet, watching it evolve into what it is today.

The Decline of Web 2.0

I know the title of this page says "1.0", but we could also make the case for the decline of Web 2.0 as I originally saw it as well.

For instance, Facebook's overly complicated, slow, and ultimately unnecessary web interface. When's the last time somebody pointed a browser at "facebook.com", other than when they were at work, or some other situation where they were forced to sit at a computer?

I won't lie, I use things like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. But they're not websites, they're little buttons on my phone, which open an app to handle the whole process.

While these services certainly use the same infrastructure as the websites which they mirror, they certainly aren't "typical" in the sense that they provide people with some generated HTML and get out of their way.

Example #1: The Internet Forum

I've seen these progress from discussion lists, through threaded displays like Network54's forums, to shiny phpBB installations, to slick bbPress forums.

You can make whatever point you want: Reddit is bigger than ever, there's still thousands of goons lurking the SA forums, there's literally millions mashing F5 on a *chan somewhere... the point is, the typical hobbyist or general discussion forum is certainly a thing of the past.

However, the concept is not gone. Blog posts have comment sections which are essentially a fully implemented thread. Imgur provides people a platform to make posts and get votes, etc.

However, the bloated PHP/Perl script churning out HTML tables full of user generated content is certainly on the decline, for better or worse. Who's going to take the time to set up the scripts, lock down a database, keep up with updates, etc., when they can just make a Facebook page to stroke their e-ego?

Example #2: The Personal Webpage

Anybody making a personal website these days just doesn't sit down with a gVim or Notepad window and hack out some html.

We go to blog services like blogspot (now blogger), tumblr, and others, to churn out a slick, polished set of content, with additional features like comments, social media integration, and more, without requiring any knowledge of these API's ourselves.

Take this site for instance. I certainly started off making table-based websites in Notepad to get my content up on GeoCities or AOL Hometown... However, as expectations evolved, I had to change (at least a little). I now use Jekyll to ease the process of management, and polish up the visuals with Bootstrap CSS (lol no). It certainly appears like this website should have full-fledged comment section below each article, with the option to follow on Facebook, having Instagram posts syndicated here... the list goes on.

For better or worse, the content we want to publish is now typed into a WYSIWYG editor, syndicated on social media summarily along with an Atom feed, and open for literally millions to comment on.


There's no real point or "end-game" to this article. Merely a few observations.

As the need to publish content is always there, we must observe every method for getting it out there. If we're stuck at Web 1.0 to 2.0, as this site certainly is, we'll merely get left behind.