Two eras of the internet: pull and push


Chris Dixon tries to find patterns in the evolution of the Internet and comes up with a very interesting point of view, pull and push:

Pull is when you are seeking information, usually an answer to a question. You want to know the closing time of a restaurant, the description of a hotel where you are thinking about staying, the details of an historical event you heard about, etc. You go to your computer and pull the information. The killer app for pulling information was Google.

Push is when you are using the internet in a more passive way and content comes to you. The killer app for push is social networks, the most popular being Facebook. Information is pushed from user to user via likes, shares, tweets, etc. People tend to push things they find funny, interesting, moving, outrageous, etc which usually means they push media: articles, videos, lists, gifs, photos, etc.

The article is worthwhile but here’s an issue: it seems like Chris is arguing somehow that Wikipedia or Yelp are not as successful as they were in the 2000s. Surely their growth rate decreased but the overall number of people who use these services definitely increased. So the pull era is definitely not over and I would say it’s still as prevalent as the current push services.