Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How Many Web Sites Are There?

It's a guess, really, but trends and data available say that there is roughly one web site for every three people who use the web, according to this Washington Post report, which features the graphic shown above (via Internet Live Stats).

Meanwhile, the site WorldWideWebSize says there are 2.39 billion web pages as of today, estimated by the numbers of pages indexed by Google, Bing and Yahoo search. The Internet Live Stats estimates there were 1.5 million blog posts today - plus one, this one you are reading right now.

While these stats don't tell us just what is on all the pages (cats? porn? advertising?). 

Every day the visualizations of so many people on the planet are manifest on the Internet. I find it interesting that (according to the above) there are 1.5 billion searches on Google so far today - interesting because that makes it seem that half of the folks in the digital world are seeking something, some information, some photo (some cats, probably).

Email appears to be the most widely used aspect - I sent about 6 today, and likely will send out a dozen more before the day is done.

Capturing the attention of billions is no simple task, especially here on this humble blog, where I noodle about with words and images and ideas. I can usually grab a few hundred views here a day - sometimes more, sometimes less. Big numbers land here mostly when I link to an oddity or a bit of someone else's hostility or such. 

But I do perceive a few things in all these numbers - people have joyfully abandoned publishers and broadcasters to share every kind of thing imaginable. It has been and continues to be liberating - for the cost of obtaining Internet access and some device to access the Internet, anyone can reach global distribution. 

And still, after only 20 some years of such new technology, we are only at the edge of what is going to happen due to this massive shift in human interaction.

I often wonder what might happen if, as in some cheesy story, all that access was suddenly gone, never to return. 

I often wonder if over the next fifty years people will somehow master this wild and wooly digital world, or if such mastery is even possible (mastery meaning that the majority of users add something to this digital conversation that is beyond rude-boy antics and advertising).

I often wonder if the future will steadily erase ideas of borders and countries and race and state and tribe ... what then will follow?

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