The Information Explosion Updated

September 12, 2009 by Thad McIlroy

One of the most consistently popular sections of my site is the “Influence” article on the Information Explosion. It well-illustrates the division I make between “Industries” and “Influences”. The information explosion is not, per se, an industry, but it certainly has an enormous impact on the future of publishing and the web. That’s why I’ve tried to keep these divisions: let the “influences” inform the “industries.” Then the picture is more clear for each of us.

This revision brings is some updated data on the rate of increase of digital data. (I do make a distinction between “data” and “information.” I think of a comparison to cooking. Flour, sugar, yeast, etc. form the equivalent of data; bread is the information that results.)

I cite numerous new sources. I’m continuing the practice of making the article available as a PDF dowload for those who prefer a more leisurely viewing (or a better-contructed printout).

You’ll see after the pithy quotations at the beginning of the article a fun Flash object caled the Worldwide Information Growth Ticker that purports to illustrate the total number of bytes created since January 1, 2009.

You can also download a small application to calculate your personal digital footprint. Here’s mine:

personal_digital_footprint

The topic fontinues to fascinate me. Enjoy!

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