The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe
The digital universe will be 10 times bigger in five years. What are we going to do about this? As a society, our experience with the digital universe will unfold somewhat like a science-fiction novel. Within five years, there will be 2 billion people on the Internet and 3 billion mobile phone users. All will be interconnected; all will be creating and consuming content at an alarming rate. We can see fragments of the future today in the worlds of Second Life and Club Penguin, the stream of SMS messages to Twitter.com, the clinics in Beijing for exhausted Web addicts, traffic control in Singapore, and sneakers that talk to officials of the New York Marathon. For the custodians of the digital universe, however, the digital universe had better not unfold like a science-fiction novel. It needs to unfold like a dull, boring engineering text.