Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

The Web Sure Has Grown Exponentially!

WIREDThis sure is a neat graph in Wired, to accompany the new theory that "the web is dead" and that the future is apps. The graph explains that, since 1990, usage of the "web" has peaked (at about 50% of Internet use, in 2000) and has since declined, to about 23% of Internet use. There's another graph that might be of interest when looking at this!

Growth of Internet Users

Between 2000 and 2010, Americans with Internet access went from 124 million to 230 million.

(The world at large, by the way, went from 393 million Internet users to 1.5 billion, but let's keep the focus on America, right Wired? Because we're so much more interesting and also we buy iPads.)

Rob Beschizza made a related point extremely well. He notes: "According to Cisco, the same source Wired used for its projections, total internet traffic rose then from about 1 exabyte to 7 exabytes between 2005 and 2010."

So, just in terms of basic Internet-using population in any event, as the "web use" "declined" by half over the last ten years as a percentage of use accorded to Wired, the real world activity presumably, at the same time, "stayed constant due to the doubling of the Internet-user" in the U.S.

Except use of the web blew up far more than that.

There's a number of other questions I have about these numbers, which are almost the only numbers in the piece, apart from a claim by Morgan Stanley that in five years, more people will use the Internet over mobile devices than PCs.

For instance: doesn't this chart measure data usage as traffic? Would that perhaps be why the "video" section is so swollen?

19 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#1,720)

This is the most asinine graph I've ever seen. GUESS WHY VIDEO WAS A NEGLIGIBLE PERCENTAGE OF INTERNET USAGE IN 1990.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

…..because we had to wait an entire day for a 2-minute sex scene from Twin Cheeks to download?

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I don't mind a graph like this, so long as you have another for context that shows overall growth. More troubling to me is that the article referred to a "doubling" of web traffic, suggesting that even the writer didn't bother to get a handle on the context. "Stop disturbing my precious narrative with your idiotic 'facts,'" etc.

Between this and the rush to suck any Apple-branded cock they can find, Wired is really losing credibility on the tech-news front. On the plus side, they still have a pretty strong niche as the geek's Reader's Digest or National Geographic.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Oh! And:

This is definitely data usage. As a router manufacturer, Cisco would be unlikely to measure traffic any other way. Measuring something like users' time spent on content would be more difficult and a lot less precise. You're right that this is another point that should have been brought up in the article: the web is lean by today's standards.

So, yes, shitty handling of data. I blame the editors more than the author: it isn't exactly a revolutionary insight that journalists are prone to fuck up number-crunching.

deepomega (#1,720)

True facts, Dr D. Not to mention that discussion apps like this when so many of them are front ends for, you know "the web", is very very dumb.

Or that the video is accessed via "the web" (in so many cases)

But see, I'm using an app on my phone to post this comment. I'm not on Wi-fi or DSL or cable or FIOS, right? Where does the Internet come in??

Math! It's hard!

Logic! It's harder!

iplaudius (#1,066)

I agree with Choire. This is the kind of B.S. analysis you show to investors when you want them to invest in your little mobile app project.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Or, if you're Cisco, to invest in fancy new routers that are EXTRA DOUBLE GOOD AT VIDEO.

Derek Jenkins (#5,638)

I think maybe the folks who put together these numbers went to the New Harvard.

zidaane (#373)

You have two basic types of traffic:
TCP (mail, ftp, http) and UDP (peer-to-peer and video in the diagram).
All the peer to peer and video is UDP traffic of either
multicast (one to many i.e. video) or unicast (one to one like file sharing).

KarenUhOh (#19)

I bought the app that explains Wired's article for $.99.

narnio (#38)

I enjoyed this so much, I clicked the "Like" button. Then things happened! Magical things!

HiredGoons (#603)

Video killed the Suicide Girls.

KenWheaton (#401)

This would have been a good "And that's when I hit close tab." Because that's what I did when I saw the byline on that piece.

stevespillman (#3,199)

"Telnet is dead!" -Wired

stevespillman (#3,199)

"Email is dead!" -Wired, according to its graph

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