From the late 90s to today, emerging mechanics sprouted a new breed of digital media companies.

For example:

The mechanics of blogging software dicate that the newest items goes at the top of the page. As a result, we changed how we value news and content. New beats high-quality, in-depth, and reliable content. Audiences are wired to get a rush from novelty.

The mechanics of Twitter transformed why we share. Media consumption became a form of self expression, and publishers optimizing for a social network’s news feed won.

The mechanics of Pinterest are transforming our media diet around collecting things. A constant stream of images is more valuable than a million-dollar photoshoot with only a few resulting images.

The lesson of the web wasn’t simply adapt to the Internet, but rather adapt to new mechanics. Throughout the history of the web, mechanics continued to produce new behaviors, and, in-turn, changed what people value about the media that we consume.