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Is the Internet Too Big?

Well, to be honest I'm not sure what 'too big' actually means.  I guess firstly, you would need to define what the internet is, define a metric, create a yardstick, compare the two, analyze the outcome, create some reasoning for your argument and so on....but that really isn't that interesting.  My thought was really around how do we, as simple human beings, consume, use and manage all the data thrown at us from the internet?  And really, is there two much data out there?

Is the Internet getting too big?
Think of the wave of truly internet ready sites that have become as common as sliced bread, the car and TV.  I thinking Google, Wikipedia, Facebook and more recently Twitter.  There are probably others that most people could not live without, but most people on the planet are likely to have heard of at least one of those 4, even if they'd never used them or indeed owned a computer.  They have become part of our working and personal lives.  We alter our patterns and habits around them, arrange social events, research topics and get our news from them.  But are sites such as Google and Twitter, once a great catch all for our questions and queries becoming too cumbersome and less focused?

Wikipedia UK has over 3,521,648 entries alone.  Twitter has over 190 million registered users producing 65 million 140 character posts every day.  Google responds to 34,000 searches a second.  The numbers become meaningless after a while.  If a computer is processing the results who cares?  Well, what about us as users of these services?  Simple human beings with small (some smaller than others) brain space unable to sift and filter the data we need.  Being able to search massive amounts of data is great, if you're looking for something specific.  If you're not, you'll just waste time sifting.

The creation of sites such as Stumbleupon are a basic attempt at placing some logic and value-add to the the potentially meaningless data we are sometimes faced with.  "Stumbling" is a way of being presented with random web pages based on some basic search characteristics you're interested in.  It's more of an entertainment tool, but the idea has vast potential for things like contextual driven news and collaboration.  If the first part of the second dot.com boom is social networking, I'd bet at least 2 cents, that the second part (of the second part) is actually taking the vast levels of communications, broadcasting and interaction to a level of context and automatic personal filtering, without the need to even think about what data we require.

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