A consumable is something that has an end of life point, gets used up and is nondurable. That's right, we consume food and water, we use pens and paper, ink cartridges run empty and dry.
Technology and the ease at which the public have access to technology and specifically the internet has changed how people gather information and make decisions. This sounds all good and well but has an inherent few drawbacks that are now coming home to roost.
In order to understand how websites fit into it we have to take a trip back into the past, fortunately most of this would be in your lifetime.
It is safe to assume that most of the information gathering processes were due to trial and error and by recommendations based on first-hand experience. Information was shared by word of mouth from one generation to the next. There was little or no form of record keeping, writing it down, due to the fact that the majority of people where illiterate plus there were no such things as pens and paper. Trust and memory was at the order of the day.
Thanks to Johannes Gutenberg in 1439; a revolution in the information technology industry happened with the invention on the mechanical movable printing press. Suddenly more information was available in the form of books and so there was an increase in the literacy among people.
With limited access to libraries, due to the class system; the use of the encyclopaedia became bigger and wider and suddenly more and more people had access to a very broad range of information. We all used them from time to time for school and varsity projects and even sat and paged through them just looking at pictures and discovering an odd fact or two.
From its conception in the 1950s by Professor Leonard Kleinrock it was never imagined that it would become the global information super highway that it would be so aptly named towards the end of the 20th century. Websites became more and more accessible and so the demand for information went through the roof. Suddenly you had more data on millions of topics, places and people at your fingertips and businesses soon realised that this was a perfect means to an end, the end being capable of reaching many consumers and vice versa.
People had a need for more and more information.
Sounds like a 1950's B grade horror movie starring Vincent Price and Boris Karloff but actually it's a recent day colloquial term for Cloud Computing; popularised by marketers to promote their and your products to the entire world. The internet has matured into a teenager full of energy and with an insatiable hunger.