Kim Haynes, the HR Manager at Bulldog Solutions, forwarded a pretty interesting post by Lorri Randle about Web 2.0 usage last week. It’s an intriguing post. For one thing, she quotes some interesting statistics: 1.2 million Internet users in the world today, 500,000 users of Twitter as of October 2007, almost 10 million users of Second Life (although that probably includes a lot of people like me who set up an account, got in once, and haven’t ever been back), and so on.
The point that Randle is making, though, is that, in many ways, these numbers are misleading. They’re large numbers in absolute terms, but what does an absolute number tell you? While there are 1.2 million Internet users, there are over 6.5 million people. So…less than 20% of people on Planet Earth are Internet users. Randle goes on to look at the numbers for podcasting, blogging (both writing and reading), and other social media. Her point: for those of us who participate in these sorts of things, we sometimes get caught up in the growth of adoption, as well as the raw numbers. We tend to assume near-ubiquity, or at least impending near-ubiquity, when that is not accurate.
I like the post — not just because of the interesting statistics, but because of the point that all numbers are relative, and context is important!