The power (or at least the omnipresence) of the internet

I came across the following video the other day:

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo.

This is a fascinating look at the amount of data seen, generated, and shared over the internet.

Two things jumped out at me from this video. The first is just how powerful the internet is becoming as a way to reach and connect with people. It’s an important reminder that we need to re-evaluate the stereotypical view of the internet as a social barrier and instead consider it a social enabler. It’s not something that people use because they don’t want to form meaningful relationships with people – its a tool that people are increasingly using to connect with like-minded individuals around the world.

The second is how bombarded we are with information – the number of tweets, emails and spam that we are exposed to is growing at an ever-increasing rate. And this means that companies and individuals who are trying to harness the capacity of the internet to connect with people are facing an increasingly difficult task. This has two implications. Firstly, there’s going to be a huge market for software developers to design tools that help users to cut through the increasingly baffling array of choices out there. Some of the more forward-thinking developers are already doing this. Apple’s Genius tool, for instance, is helping individuals sort through their increasingly gargantuan iTunes libraries to choose playlists that users will like. Cyndicate (the fantastic RSS reader by Cynical Peak Software) allows users to rate their favourite blog posts, and then sorts all new blog posts according to what it believes you will find most interesting. A huge asset given that I get hundreds of new blogs daily from the number of sites that I subscribe to. Secondly, anyone who’s trying to use the internet to disseminate information is going to have to provide increasingly valuable offerings if they want people to take the time and energy to read their material.

But don’t let these considerations get you down. The most important take home from the video is just how exciting life on the internet is going to become.

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