Earlier this week, the networking geniuses at Cisco released a white paper report that predicts global internet traffic will grow four times larger by 2013. That means IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40%. To put that in perspective, that new traffic level equals ten billion DVD’s crossing the internet each month. Said more colloquially, that is a damned crapload of data and content. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of that content is predicted to be video. By 2013, anyone interested in watching all the online video crossing the network in one day would need roughly twenty thousand years. That’s a lot of keyboard cat...
And a whole lot of everything else. Which quickly becomes a problem. When you have that large an audience generating that much content, useful information gets lost in sheer volume. We know this from experience. Think of Twitter. If you’re like us (@Element79), you compulsively follow everyone who follows you. The problem with that philosophy is that some of your followers are officially spammers while others tweet so relentlessly they make themselves defacto spammers. The net result is too much garbage in and a far less useful experience. Easy access to high volumes of raw, unfettered data frequently leads to ‘analysis paralysis’ where whomever gathers the thinking becomes overwhelmed with the feeling that they are never done, that they never have all the best sources. Unless you turn data into information, it’s simply noise.
That’s why programmers should be obsessed with developing software that discriminates, filters, and discerns. Too much information doesn’t inspire, it overwhelms. Even worse, too much poor quality information actively turns people away. As the volume of collective-thinking continues it’s exponential expansion rate, we will need more tools to strip away the extraneous and the irrelevant.
Growth can be incredibly awkward–and I have the teenage photos to prove that–but a little bit of advance planning can smooth the transition. What’s needed now are the right brains on tools to intelligently judge worthy information and winnow away the chaff. What’s needed soon is the grand promises of Web 3.0.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79