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What is the value of the Web?


What is the value of the Web?

What is the value of the Web?

What is the value of the Web?

In the previous article we reflected on what the development of a website can cost the planet . We saw ideas to alleviate this problem, and we also saw that climate change must be one of the concerns of web developers, since as Gerry McGovern says , the “digital world is physical”.

Today, and in the coming days, we will continue to take advantage of Gerry McGovern's reflections in his book " World Wide Waste " to comment a little more on the implications of an unfinished Web on planet Earth , of each of our daily decisions, or annually as web developers or as users. In life, we care about things that have value and that things have value. So what is the value of the Web?

Value : 

"Quality or set of qualities for which a person or thing is appreciated or well considered."

That the Web has an economic value we have no doubts, since new businesses were developed and born thanks to it. Some of us make a living from it. However, having a Web that cares about the Earth experience, beyond the user experience, is what will determine its true value and dictate that the Web is appreciated by future generations.

We don't want the web to be responsible for destroying ecosystems and the environment, right? What can you do?

Pay for what has value

One of the problems related to digital waste has to do with what we value and are willing to pay for it. For example, if we value the content of a website, but the authors of this website decide that from today you have to pay to access it, what can happen if I decide not to pay? The people who have created these websites will fill them with advertising .

This is a reality for so many websites with interesting information - or at least entertaining - that it is often difficult to read the information for which we have accessed the website, due to the number of advertisements. By the way, if “you don't react to the ads, you help reduce waste. "

Therefore, paying for what has value means “helping others to live thanks to their work, and to improve service and support for what you value.” Also, if you buy “buy things that last” and if you sell, "Sell things that last", and remember that if it's free "it's because your personal data is the product ."

Keep it local

Are you sure that all the data you want to save should be saved in the Cloud , immediately? Just like in the physical world, we all know that "the less distance a thing has to travel, the less the impact on the environment." Keep your unimportant files on your local drive.

Delete them

Also, if they are nothing important, delete them. How many photos have you taken of your pet to select just one for your Instagram ? Delete the others and create a process of " removing the weed, reviewing and deleting photos every day ".

Reuse and share

The amount of content created on the Web is enormous. If you are a content creator , web designer , or web programmer, you will understand what I am saying. This also forces us many times to want to change (update) software almost daily, not to mention hardware or devices.

New “more interesting” frameworks are born , or even we are inspired to create our own framework , our own CMS , our own design system . Why not reuse "third party content, designs and code"?

Also, if it's yours, why don't you share it with others so that they don't have to reinvent the wheel, and generate more waste that makes the Web lose value?

Avoid the big brands

This can be a bit controversial, but living in a society in which the big brands decide what you buy, or consume, does not allow you to "always pay for what has value" and much less "keep it local", since talking about multinationals is to speak of great distances, and of the "globalization of influence" (positive or negative) with its own consequences. If your usual hosting works for you, why " lift" more machines in one of the giants of the Cloud ?

Keep an eye on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

If the future is artificially intelligent, then "the value of our world" will also be dictated by artificial intelligence - do you agree? Wouldn't it then be important to ensure a website whose artificial intelligence is respectful with the environment now, in the present?

Optimize it

One way to make digital help the planet is by optimizing. Doing so reduces the "digital weight", your customers appreciate it and the planet too. The key is to keep everything light. Here are some recommendations from McGovern:

Start with the lightest option. Start withtext, but remember that less text is better, and use images only if they convey important information. Optimize images. Use videos only when it is “clearly” the best option and is as short as possible. Note person: Do not use embedded videos in the initial banner of your main page.

Make the "digital weight" visible. Talking about the weight of digital, doing it creatively, is a way of getting other people to see it.

About Me n IMOS. Stop collecting and tracking data unless absolutely necessary. Talk to the Marketing department so that the data to be tracked is meaningful.

Minimum power. Choose and use the minimum power and specification required for your digital products.

Get up and walk over to the person instead of sending them an email or WhatsApp . It will be one less digital message.


To conclude, for the web to have a positive value, and continue to be “appreciated or well considered”, I agree with McGovern when he says that it is necessary to know how to wait.

I know this is going against the grain because the (digital) market demands speed, but this increase in speed has energy costs and inhibits the green approach. The solution is to "resist digital impulses, wait, slow down, and think."


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