Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Internet Grows Faster than a Speeding Bullet

Using this blog to share my thoughts with all of cyberspace I can't help but occasionally reflect on what an amazing thing the Internet really is. Visitors have a lot of content to choose from and I really appreciate that you've selected one of my blogs to spend some of your valuable time at. Please check out http://3Joes.us as well.

On the Internet there are 234 million web sites and 126 million blogs. About 1 in every 46 inhabitants of developed countries on our planet has a blog. I'd estimate that 80% of blogs have very limited readership, perhaps just the owner. That leaves about 25 million blogs actually competing for your readership. Still a very large number. Without search engines like Google most of that information would unapproachable. If every web site was a physical book it would take perhaps 4,000 miles of bookshelves to hold them. Just for comparison there are 129,864,880 different books in the world. Google estimates there are 5 million terabytes of data on the Internet, 19 places is one huge number. From a PC perspective one terabyte is the largest capacity disk drive available from most manufacturers. We're talking about 5 million of those drives.

247 billion emails are sent every day, 81% are SPAM which still leaves 47 billion emails worthy of our attention. Personally I use Google's Gmail, because it filters out that junk so I don't need to deal with it or waste my bandwidth downloading it. These days my favored communication vehicle remains email.

The social network Facebook has more than 500 million active users who do more than 6 million page views per minute. Avid users are enthralled with it. From my perspective, Facebook is a time waster with very little intrinsic value. Clearly there are millions of users that disagree with me. It's filled with insidious applications like Farmville that generate lots of traffic but serve no real purpose past keeping users occupied and on-line. There is very limited content of general interest. Each to their own. Deleting my Facebook account was an overly complex process, perhaps intended to make you give in and stay a member.

Twitter has 105 million registered users of which 22 million are active and send 50 million tweets every day. Tweets are 140 characters long and have been referred to as micro-blogging. It can be very difficult to express a complete thought in 140 characters. Some users seem to use the short message length as an excuse to communicate without actually saying anything useful. Serious bloggers, myself included, use Twitter to inform their followers of new posts and provide URL links. Twitter is well suited for that purpose but the community is encouraged not to use Twitter to pass links. No doubt the proprietors prefer traffic that generates more traffic.

Who's to know what tomorrow will bring in terms of new applications. Some like Twitter catch on with a viral intensity and others like Google Wave fissile away never building a loyal following. One thing for sure, the Internet adapts with new applications and is here to stay. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

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