All About Content

Quote of the Week: the Centripetal Web

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, October 20, 2008 at 8:04 pm

This week Nicholas Carr (author of Is Google Making Us Stupid, a piece from The Atlantic I pointed out previously) waxes philosophic about the centripetal forces of the Web, how Google offers the course of least resistance, and how the rich get richer when it comes to the attention economy on the Internet:

…the “long tail” remains an elegant and instructive theory, but it already feels dated, a description of the web as we once imagined it to be rather than as it is. The long tail is still there, of course, but far from wagging the web-dog, it’s taken on the look of a vestigial organ. Chop it off, and most people would hardly notice the difference. On the web as off it, things gravitate toward large objects. The center holds.

The whole paragraph about how Wikipedia “first sucks in content from other sites, then it sucks in links, then it sucks in search results, then it sucks in readers” is worth quoting extensively as well, but rather than cutting and pasting all that is quote-worthy from that article into this post, I’m going to encourage you to spin off in a different direction and read the piece in its entirety.

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