Let’s take a step back and make a gross simplification about what the web is when you get right down to it. The web is a hypertext. The web has content producers and content consumers. All content has a specific audience. Everything else is ornamentation. Please take a moment to let that sink in. When orbiting on board the international space station the earth is a blue and white ball with bits of brown and green. We need to get in that same frame of mind as we orbit this thing we call the web.
The web is a hypertext – according to wikipedia’s article “Hypertext is text displayed on a computer or other electronic device with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access, usually by a mouse click or keypress sequence.” The web’s “texts” are enriched with pictures, video, audio and some degree of interactivity. The text, audio, video and pictures are just …content. If you can see them you are part of the audience. They were produced by a content producer. The interactivity you encounter serves one of two purposes 1) to assist you in consuming content (e.g. searching, filtering, navigating) or 2) to assist you in producing content.
Hypertext – producers – consumers – audiences. That’s it.