Number of hosts on the Internet in December, 1969: 4
Number of hosts on the Internet in August, 1981: 213
Number of hosts on the Internet in October, 1989: 159,000
Number of hosts on the Internet in January, 1992: 727,000
Number of servers on the Web surveyed by Netcraft in September, 1999: 7,370,929
Number of Apache servers on the Web: 4,078,326
Apache's share of all web servers: 55.33%
Apache sales: $0 US
Number of web pages with the term “brand”: 2,302,060
Number of web pages with the term “branding”: 183,510
Number of web pages with the term “brand name”: 114,262
Money spent on advertising worldwide in 1998: $200.3 billion US
Money spent advertising Apache through all of time: $0 US
Number of web pages with the phrase “Apache”: 286,619
Estimated consumer purchases over the Web in 1999: $31 billion US
Estimated business purchases over the Web in 1999: $80.4 billion US
Estimated annual consumer purchases over the Web by 2003: $177.7 billion US
Estimated annual business purchases over the Web by 2003: $1.1 trillion US
1 to 4 from Matrix Information and Directory Services
5 to 7 from Netcraft
9 to 11 and 14 from AltaVista, September 21, 1999
14 excludes pages with the word “native” or “Indian”
12 from McCann-Erickson
15 to 18 from International Data Corporation (IDC)
You almost certainly think of the Internet as an audience of some type—perhaps somewhat captive. If you actually had even the faintest glimmering of what reality on the Net is like, you'd realize that the real unit of currency isn't dollars, data or digicash. It is reputation and respect. Think about how that impacts your corporate strategy. Think about how you'd feel if a guy sat down at your lunch table one afternoon when you were interviewing an applicant for a vice-president's position and tried to sell the two of you a car and wouldn't go away. Believe it or not, what you want to do with the Internet is very similar. Just as you have a reasonable expectation of privacy and respect when you're at a table for two in a public place, so too do the users of the Internet have a reasonable expectation of privacy and respect. When you think of the Internet, don't think of Mack trucks full of widgets destined for distributorships, whizzing by countless billboards. Think of a table for two.
—@Man, from “Attention Fat Corporate Bastards!” www2.ecst.csuchico.edu/~atman/attention-fat-bastards.html
Alan Greenspan has stated that the Internet is the engine “driving” the U.S. economy. This engine has been working hard for a number of years, doubling and redoubling. But what happens when it begins to slow down?
This is not an idle question, as data in Matrix Maps Quarterly 601 (published by MIDS, http://www.mids.org/) demonstrates. The sky may not be falling, but growth is definitely slowing.
Comparing the resulting per-country host data for the period between January and July 1998 and 1999 reveals an interesting feature of the Internet. For nearly a decade, the number of Internet hosts doubled every year. From 1985 to 1997, growth was 2.176. The rate of change is now 1.5. The graph outlines the growth rate for 1969-1999, then extrapolates out to 2002.
In some ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The total number of Internet hosts continues to grow, but at a somewhat slower pace.
RIPE data, published monthly, shows that the European growth rate has been falling off as well.
That this would happen should surprise no one; clearly, as any area begins to become saturated, growth slows.
—Peter H. Salus, email@example.com
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal