Sunday, October 22, 2006

Is the internet losing its diversity?

When the internet was first conceived there was millions of small websites all adding their bit. Now there are a select few. Search is covered by Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask. blogging is covered by blogger and wordpress, videos are covered with youtube, flash with newgrounds and so on. In the past if I wanted a driver for a piece of hardware I would have searched several small websites, now there are just a few databases. Virtually every subject has been covered by a few major sites.

I used to like hearing the views from lots of different people running their own sites. Search engines however are often dismissive of small sites (fewer people link to them) and we are amidst the age of the web portal. Of course, in many instances this has improved the web and reduced duplication, but several small sites have gone in recently times. However there is one force increasing diversity: social networking and blogs. Loads of small sites created by the people but hosted by larger companies. Maybe this is where the future lies?

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