According to this article from Edutopia, the one billionth user connected to the World Wide Web sometime last year. I have no idea how anyone arrives at these sorts of statistics, but it probably doesn’t really matter. The point is that it’s a big number, and there are lots and lots of people from all over the world who are becoming part of this phenomenon we call the Internet.
But in the age of Web 2.0 – the read/write web – I found this paragraph particularly poignant…
“The striking thing to me about that milestone is not the enormity of the number, however. More interesting, perhaps, is that the one billionth person to jump onto the Web could just as easily been an eight-year-old kid from Sweden or the South Bronx (or, for that matter, an eighty-year-old from South Africa) who sat down at a computer, opened a browser, and for the first time started connecting to the sum of human knowledge we are collectively building online. Furthermore, that eight-year-old had just as much ability to start contributing what she might know about horses or her hometown or whatever her passions might be, becoming an author in her own right, teaching the rest of us what she knows.”
It’s the whole Wisdom of Crowds thing… the idea that we are collectively smarter than any of us could be as individuals. I think that’s really food for thought.