Again and again and again…did I say again?

Jenna Wortham announced two terms that I have never really thought about. The real time Web and the Replay Web. Fancy, huh? In her (thankfully short!) article, she begins with how she wanted to keep away from social media platforms the night she missed an episode of the Breaking Bad. She logs on to Twitter the next day, and BOOM- she is taken aback with the constant conversations, tweets, and updates- SPOILERS, about the episode. She states the obvious: The internet is always moving and constantly updating with new information, but why do people still linger on yesterday’s episode?

Why do people STILL talk about Miley’s dance at the VMA’s that happened ages ago? Why do people create GIFs and create remixes and funny videos of different events? Now introducing: the concept of the REPLAY web.

The Replay Web “co-exists with the real time Web”. Unlike the Real Time Web, which is constantly updating with the latest news, the Replay web enjoys the past. People comment, make videos, add more information, create funny video responses, etc. on what we deem as ‘older’ news. Internet users make vlogs and blog posts about events that may have happened a while back. We ‘replay’ past news, as if it was just updated onto the web. I believe it’s a great thing because it helps us realize how much has changed or how much is alike from the past! We as a society can grow while looking back at past faults and accomplishments.

Alex Chung, who helped created an upcoming website, described the web as “ripple effects”. It makes sense because some news do not reach the public as quickly as other news. For example: A small group of people find information on the web that is amusing. Then they get tired of it, and it doesn’t reach the mass medium. Then it may one day just get popular and viral. Like THE FOX VIDEO!!! It didn’t take much time to get popular, but it was introduced in the summer and people STILL TALK ABOUT IT. The web works its mysterious ways. For famous TV shows, it is a definite that people want to talk over and over about their favorite characters. People will always linger in the past news until something greater tops it.

(Supposedly there is an app on the iPhone that records videos in slow-mo. It’s kind of strange, but it seems fun to play around with. This app makes me feel as if I want to hold on to the past and never let go!)

Others disagree with the Replay Web. Douglas Rushkoff (ironic how his last name has the word RUSH!), the author of “Present Shock: Everything Happens Now” believes that the general population and social networkers are focused on the Real Time Web. I totally agree with him too. He states how we are constantly refreshing our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platform’s feeds, craving for more information. We constantly want new information about others and constantly search for more juicy news. The internet is filled with so much information…

The web is an interesting place to always be updated with news. Sometimes I enter the Replay Web and constantly update statuses about how hot Steven Yeun looked on an older Walking Dead episode. It’s fun looking up past gossip of celebrities and seeing how much they changed! Sometimes I want to be updated with news about our economy. It is a constant mix of both webs. It isn’t bad at all. I personally believe that people need integration of the past and present to be more knowledgable.

Enjoy the video below!!




  1. hillary601

    I can completely relate with the spoilers problem. I am kind of hot and cold when it comes to spoilers because I love to know what happens in a television show and if I have to wait to watch it or wait the following week for a new episode, I am overwhelmed with anxiety. So I actually tend to go on the internet to check out the spoilers, sometimes. I know that right now, the show that has the biggest tweet record is pretty little liars which I am a big fan of. I personally love tweeting about my reactions or my thoughts when I am watching the show. Everyone is sending out their tweets and in a way it makes me feel connected. So I do like to participate and read the spoilers on line. I also like the concept of replay web because it allows us to get connected about something that happened in the past. I like this to an extent because I can definitely say that the Miley VMAs stunt was a long time ago and I do not wish to rehash that discussion. It is nice however to share old viral videos and remind ourselves why we thought this concept was so funny to begin with. I think that in terms of celebrities, this is what keeps them relevant. I can only imagine for the people who make the viral videos, they just want to stay relevant as well. I know that there are some videos that I will never get tired of watching like the whale ex girlfriend voice mail. I’m not sure if you watched it but I cry from laughter every time. I like you though, agree with both aspects of replay web and present time web. I think that both are necessary and relevant. We need to remember the past news whether it may be serious or funny and concern ourselves with the present.

  2. moegor94

    I found Jenna Wortham’s perspective very interesting. I had never thought to differentiate between the information being shared on the internet at the same time and categorize them according to the time frame of their topics. I think that both the real time web and the replay web are huge contributing factors to the success of the World Wide Web, but I personally feel that my web use revolves around the real time web way more than the replay web. I am very “hungry” for new information, I’m a constant refresher that gets quite annoyed with repeated chain emails and tweets. I’m so into the real time web that I don’t even avoid spoilers anymore. I’m so used to it happening that now I can enjoy a movie/show knowing or not-knowing the end. That’s not to say that I completely ignore the replay web, because I don’t! I actually often make great use of it. Recent examples I can think of include the notorious Miley Cyrus VMA performance that had people talking for weeks. I had missed the VMAs and had not cared enough to watch it some other time but after weeks of hearing about the performance I finally cracked and watched it on If people stopped talking about things immediately after they happened a lot of people would miss out on the opportunity to experience them because they probably wouldn’t have heard about it.

  3. Megan Murray

    New information really fast is exactly what the internet is good for! It’s the reason why Wikipedia was able to become so popular, and surpass regular encyclopedias. The internet allows users to create and upload information so quickly and so easily – new articles go up and finished in minutes, on an event that happened 3 hours ago! I’ve also seen this in the the pokemon game that came out on the 12th – and the internet is already full of information for the new pokemon base stats, movepools, and the game features etc. It is super helpful to be able to grab this information so soon after something has happened!
    However, just as much as “we constantly crave new information…” I think old information is really important, too. Sites like reddit complain about old information all the time, shouting “repost” every time something comes up more than once. But really, if something is only posted once, not EVERYONE is going to see it! Even when someone called something out as having been posted 7 times within the past 2 years, I still hadn’t seen it, and I was glad it was reposted. Sometimes, there are just classic thing that you miss out on, and the internet is always the answer to finding information. The internet is a huge database, and both new and old information is what makes it so valuable.

  4. wilschiu

    I think it is funny that replay web was described as a phenomenon; like the fact that it existed was strange to the author. Human beings love to think back and reflect on the past, it is not surprising that people on the web still talk about past events. The internet is merely a reflection of people. While it is true that people have an almost obsessive need to know what is happening in the present (refreshing facebook or instagram), it is also true that people love looking back on the past. This is not something that is new to the web, even in the past, people wrote books on events that took place in the past or before their time. If there are separate webs for real time and replay web, they certainly co-exist already. For example on social websites like tumblr, someone might react to something happening recently using gifs or videos from the past to create a response, drawing parallels between the past and the present. I personally love the replay culture of the internet. I think half the fun of watching a show, is watching it with an online community. After each new episode, I will usually search the tags on tumblrs for humorous content or thoughts relating to the episode. However I also love updating my life second by second on social media. It makes awkward and strange situations more bearable when you can laugh about it in real time with people over the internet.

  5. briellebuis

    When shows are on, and I cannot watch them, I HATE going on Twitter or Facebook or even getting a text from my friend that basically ruins the show, it is so annoying. What makes it worse is when you accidentally stumble upon it. Either way, there is a constant refresh of my webpage to see the latest news. If i tweet at someone I will refresh my feed to see if they retweeted me or tweeted me back. in the same way, I have honestly seen people link each other the youtube link to “what does the fox say.” This viral video is STILL trending. Like who cares what the fox says. Leave the fox alone! Either way, the video is still being recycled over the internet and people are still watching it. A direct example of replay web. Meme’s are kind of like a version of replay web as well. People send each other memes and they get constantly sent between people. Both of these ideas are very prevalent on the web. Liked the article, and the post.

  6. evanhuaru

    The replay web can be very useful to provide information to people who aren’t very updated with the news or other interesting topics. I know I don’t go out of my way to watch the news or stay updated on the latest technology, so I rely on the replay web for my information. People on Facebook or Twitter will always talk about latest trending news and that’s how I find out about these things. I also love reading memes of funny trending topics that have recently happened, because it’s just funny. However, the bad part about replay web is the spoilers and the distortion of information. I HATE when I didn’t have the time to catch up on my latest TV shows and people ruin the episode for me on Facebook. It’s not like I wanted to know what was gonna happen… Also the fact that real time web information can get distorted and actually be false because people don’t have all the facts. For example when the old lady sued McDonald’s for 2.7 million dollars because the coffee was too hot. The facts were that she was in the passenger seat and spilled the coffee in her lap and it gave her 3rd degree burns all over her legs. In the replay web people presented the information ridiculing her even though they didn’t have all the facts. People said that she was driving and spilled coffee all over herself just to win money. There facts were totally wrong, and it went all over the replay web haunting her for the rest of her life until she died… Replay web can be both good and bad, but the worst part about it is the distorted information that inevitably occurs.

  7. Miss Bombshell

    I never really thought about this concept of replay web, or maybe I have and just never knew there actually was a name for it. I am one of those people who love so many shows especially reality shows and never get to see all of them due to the fact sometimes I have to choose which show is most important if they come on at the same time. But I always know that I can get a recap of what happened by simply going on Instagram and seeing meems or going on twitter and seeing people tweets about the ironic moments in the show. I firmly believe that people live in the present but, I also strongly believe that people love to live in the past to remember those moments and get a sense of comfort. People feel a need to relive the past moments because it gives them the chance to reflect and reminisce. And I am one of those people who love to tweet out funny facts about popular shows in the early 90’s or popular styles that our parents thought were cool because it gives me the chance to reach people who share the same interest as me and lets me relive those moments that people refer to as “the good old days”.

  8. mlew210

    I kind of see the replay web as music: it’s timeless. When I go on my playlist, there are songs I always play. It doesn’t matter if the song is 2, 3, maybe even 30 years old. If it’s sounds good, then I’m going to listen to it. The replay web kind of works the same way. Sure, there are viral videos that blow up overnight and become a part of the new “real time web”, but good videos stick around. I have probably watched SNSD’s Gee dance music videos more times than I am willing to admit, but I watch the video because it’s timeless. Sure, the content might get warped and changed over time by users who want to make it creative, but the original meaning will always be there. Think of Spongebob; almost everyone I know from my generation can still quote Spongebob episodes like they only watched it yesterday (some of them still watch it. I know I do). Is it fair to give Spongebob gifs and moments the term replay web, like it’s just a fake of the original? In general, I think the terms mentioned in the article are total B.S. It states what we already know, but gives it a silly name. Of course new information will become old overtime, and people will go back to visit this information when needed. The internet may allow us to do this at ease, but humans have been doing it forever. Would you call looking at old newspapers replay news? I don’t think we need to name how things work on the internet. Looking back to the past is nothing new. It’s just a part of life.

  9. mjdenis38

    Replay vs. Real Time seems to me to be the central struggle between social media mini-blogs and regular blogs. While real time blogging occurs during a live event, a replay blog just reviews an event with more creative means. Like you mentioned in your article, the VMA performance from Miley has been rehashed in so many different forms. Replay blogging tends to get a little redundant. The terms Wortham mentioned are really just common knowledge, all information posted gets old over time and people can find it anytime they want and read it. However, I think replay blogging tends to be like a game of telephone–we go over so many different interpretations of one event that we distort the reality of what actually happened. But, there is something inherently nostalgic in replaying something over again. Everyone has a movie or tv show that is older that they can quote like it was just on the other day. I go back in forth between both, but I’m generally interested in real time web because to simply put it: it’s current. The information applies at a present moment to your current emotions, and is a better indicator of what people are searching for on the web. Plus you can connect with more people on the web about real time information than you can with replay information, depending on what the topic is.

  10. hg163

    I hate spoilers. Why do they exist? If something could be a spoiler, say “SPOILER ALERT”!! Anyway, I never really thought of the web as being “real time” or “replay”. Well, I always kind of figured it is “real time” because everything is always being constantly updated, and you won’t find much information about something that happened five years ago unless you actively search for it. But I never really thought about the “replay” part. It’s kind of like real life in that people usually talk about current events, but there are times when some people want to reflect and talk about something that happened years ago. It’s just played out quicker online thanks in part to social media. I think people like to talk about events that happened “ages” ago (in Internet time) because they are fun to talk about. Miley Cyrus’s performance in the VMA’s, The Fox video, and Gangnam Style (last year) were fun, lighthearted stories.
    I think I use the “real time” and “replay” webs roughly even. I definitely keep up with current events in sports and politics and whatnot, but there are also quite a few times where I look up something that happened like a decade ago. For example, I listen to a lot of songs that are maybe five years old and older, and there are also times where I would watch some big sporting event that happened years ago, just for nostalgia purposes. I really believe that there are definitely uses for both real time and replay and we all use the replay web more than we realize.

  11. karencronin

    I think it is kind of funny how things, especially spoilers, get rehashed on the web. It would be OK if one source online discussed a show that aired the night before. You could probably avoid looking at that source until you got to see the show. But once you get a couple people reading that one source, they rehash it on another source, and it keeps going from there. When people get hooked on a show, they become involved in everything about the show, the characters, the running plot, what’s going to happen next week, etc. By talking about it in different venues online, people are able to keep the show alive in their mind until the following week. While many current shows get rehashed, old shows that are no longer running, except for maybe reruns, also get rehashed. For instance, “Seinfeld”, a TV show that aired from 1989-1998, is still discussed today, some 15 years later. Almost anything that happens on a daily basis could remind someone of an episode of “Seinfeld”. The “Seinfeld” show was such a funny and witty comedy about everyday nonsense. I suppose that is why people can still relate to it. “Seinfeld” is a part of Wortham’s “Replay Web” because there will always be reruns on a channel somewhere, and there are always people talking about it, online and in person, somewhere.

  12. ktomiak25

    OMG SPOILERS. I follow blogs on tumblr related to my interests, including TV shows. When I miss an episode at 8pm due to work, and get home and check my tumblr at 10pm, there are already not only text posts but gifs of the show! How do people do it so fast? I think the mix between new and old content is great because if you miss out the first time, you can get clued in quickly enough. If you’re plugged into social media enough, you can even pretend to know what your friends are talking about, and they’ll believe you’ve seen it, because things are so widespread. The only downside I see to this is that sometimes things get replayed too much…. like the “numa numa” video we’re all familiar with. If that came up on your newsfeed you’d just roll your eyes since you’ve already seen it 90324838 times. I agree with what Matthew said about how it is like classic music. Sometimes that one hit pop song from the 90s comes on and we all can’t help but sing along. Sometimes oldies but goodies show up online and its entertaining again to discuss.

  13. Brian

    To me Replay Web is something that I both love and despise. It is really useful since I don’t actively spend my time browsing the internet looking for things that will become the next viral hit. In terms of the What Did Fox Say video, I did not actually hear about it until a week or two after it became really popular. If the Internet was purely real time Web, then nothing would truly become popular since it would not have the adequate time to mature, grow, and spread. Another few things about the Replay Web that I really enjoy are the memes, Gifs, and remixes that arise from them. I think everyone can agree that, when used in the right places or altered slightly, these things can be hilarious and a huge part of the internet culture. One example is the Captain Picard WTF meme. The actual show ended years ago and the only difference is that there is a WTF caption. However, I have been seeing this meme for years and it still makes me laugh. With that being said, I believe that there also a point where the Replay Web gets to be annoying. Sometimes the Internet will squeeze the life out of a joke or reference until you give an exasperated sigh every time you see it. Nowadays whenever I see any picture of a fox from whatever there is almost always a comment that goes: “But what does it say?” There are some positives and negatives from Replay Web; however, it must be accepted as that is how the Internet works.

  14. tedrihn

    I totally hate the internet for the very reason of spoilers. I can’t stand going on my tumblr and as I’m scrolling through my dashboard the new episode of the latest Arrow has been reviewed or spoiled for me. Like come on guys, silence. I don’t want to know about that yet, I haven’t watched that episode.The whole internet is chock full of random news whether its brand new or just becoming popular after its been on the web for years. As I’m writing this post I’m listening to a song on youtube that was posted in 2006 but I had only heard it this year. So news and other sorts of interesting tid bits of fun are speculating around the interwebz just waiting to be viewed. I definitely agree that the internet has a ripple effect on every aspect and every piece on it. Whether that ripple takes 6 minutes or 6 years to reach the internet browser(aka you) entirely depends on how people react to it. Do you think that you would hear of something so terribly bland from your internet friends? No because something so bland is unimportant, and most people would forget about it almost immediately after viewing it. I say most because there are a few that can view it and spread the news. This is what causes that ripple effect to take so long.

  15. yadyayala105

    I actually really like spoilers because it gets me excited about the show! It is weird because most people hate it, but I don’t. When some of my friends haven’t caught up with episodes to the show they just don’t go on any form of social media because they if they do they will find out what happened in the episode they missed. I also think this idea of the “Replay Web” is necessary. The reason it is necessary is because it helps information spread and expand. If we didn’t spend months talking about miley’s performance (or whatever she does in general) then not everyone would have received this information. The Internet is fast but I don’t think it is fast enough to reach everyone so Replay Web is defiantly necessary. The idea that Replay Web allows us to look back at what we did to help us look forward is really important as well. We learn from are success and mistakes; having this ability to look back gives up a chance to grow and change as a community. Not only do we learn from it but also it lets the fans relive their experience. An example of this would be like old tv shows. I love watching Friends; it makes me happy. I get to watch the old episodes online whenever I want. We weren’t able to do this before. We wont have the same reaction as we did when we first watched the shoes but it lets us reminisce on the things we loved.

  16. dmhgs

    I’ve never heard of these terms before but it’s really nice to know them now. I think I always knew of the distinction between the two but now that they have actual names its much easier to distinguish. I don’t really have a problem with spoilers on social media sites, because most of my friends don’t post spoilers. I do however get to see a status about how exciting the last Game Of Thrones episode was and it makes me want to watch it more but because I don’t have HBO I have to wait a day for the episode to become available on the web.

    And this is actually a question I had because I’m not sure if that would be considered the real time web or the replay web. If an episode just becomes available on the web is it considered replay because it’s already been on the air? Or can it be considered real time because of all those people waiting to watch it who haven’t seen it yet? I’m not sure what answer is correct. Maybe they both are… because who real decides the line of what is realtime and what is replay? I feel like a lot of it is relational.

    For another example I’ll use the Fox video. So it came out in early September and it wasn’t very popular then. That was real time. But what about when it started to become popular? Isn’t that real time too? It’s the real time of when it became a popular video and then anyone who’s seen it and goes back to it would be experiencing the replay.

  17. gisellehernandez412

    I feel as though the “Replay” Web is important to those who want to discuss common interests with a majority. Trending topics, for example, allow people to interact with a mass of people that will understand them–I think it comes down to the fact that people like to feel included and the Replay Web encompasses this. The fact that past popular topics are constantly being brought back to our attention is a way in which people can communicate shared knowledge. For example, everyone knows about Miley at the VMAs and I would absolutely consider it old news. However, when it’s brought up there will always be people who can equally engage in the conversation. In terms of spoilers on social networks such as Twitter, I’m just as aggravated as anyone else who wasn’t ready to know the outcome of something yet (like a television show). I can admit, however, that I have engaged in this activity myself. It’s exciting to post about a topic that people will interact with–there’s a sense of membership in a group. That being said, although it can be annoying, I feel as those the concept of the “Replay” Web is almost inevitable.

  18. dmhgs

    I just wanted to say that I feel like, yes, the internet has both a real time web and a replay web but also that each individual has their own real time and replay web as well. While the internet is working at it’s own fast pace each individual has their own so when everyone is posting and tweeting about the latest episode of whatever series it may not have hit your real time web yet. I know at least for me I normally watch episodes of shows once they are available to view online because I don’t have all the good networks on tv. My real time web is slower than that of the internet and from all those people who already saw that episode.

    With regards to replay web I believe that sometimes the replay web can become someone’s real time web. Maybe the person never experience what is being replayed on the internet before and is experiencing whatever it is much after it first became viral. This would then be their real time web.

    Another thing I wanted to mention was in rebuttal to Douglass Rushkoff. Sure I agree that we are constantly refreshing our news feeds for the latest from our friends but every once in a while you go back to what has already happened. I for one definitely go back and use old profile pictures. That picture then gets put back into the newsfeed and becomes replayed. Also when you want to go back and reminisce on good times or if you just met someone and want to find out more about them (stalk them) you go back through their timelines or twitter feeds. It might be a real time experience for you when looking at a new friends posts but it would still be replaying them in terms of the internets replay web.

    BOOM! I feel good about ruining his argument.

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