Wednesday, May 7, 2008

IUG Opening Session

The key note speaker at this year's Innovative Users' Group was Larry Irving. Mr. Irving coined the phrase "digital divide" but now he thinks the divide will be among the availability of broadband.

He shared a few statistics with us that I found interesting:
  • The United States generates an equivalent amount of online content every fifteen minutes as the entire content of the Library of Congress (gathered from the 1880s to 2007)
  • YouTube generates as much traffic in one day (7-10% of all traffic) as what was generated over the entire web in 2000
  • In 2010, 20 typical American households will consume as much technology as the entire world did in 1998
  • Previously, the digital divide was thought to be limited to race. This new "broadband divide" is now limited by income, age, and location -- race is no longer the primary factor.
With the "broadband divide" affecting over 50% of the US population, Mr. Irving said that libraries will continue to play an important role as bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots. Is our technology up to the challenge?

His closing thought was that the internet revolution is the only revolution that is happening simultaneously around the world.

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