Thanks to CircleID: Google Says Its Counting Over 1 Trillion Unique Pages on the Web?
"We've known it for a long time: the web is big. The first Google index in 1998 already had 26 million pages, and by 2000 the Google index reached the one billion mark. Over the last eight years, we've seen a lot of big numbers about how much content is really out there. Recently, even our search engineers stopped in awe about just how big the web is these days—when our systems that process links on the web to find new content hit a milestone: 1 trillion (as in 1,000,000,000,000) unique URLs on the web at once!"
It has been noted however that Google does not index all 1 Trillion web pages (see Michael Arrington)
In this excellent article Hannemyr: The Internet as Hyperbole Gisle Hannemyr argues that the often stated fact that Internet adoption was faster then other technology adoptions (such as radio, TV or telephone) is overstated. Thanks to Miguel.
It is widely believed that the adoption rate of the Interｭnet has exceeded that of earlier mass communication technologies by several magnitudes. This paper reviews the historic data related to some of these technologies, draws on actor-network theory as a framework for interpreting such data, traces the transformations and translation of this data in the public, political, and scientific discourse, and discusses the use of <
> in modern society.
Doc Searls makes an interesting argument about how the metaphors we use for the Internet/Web influence how we think about it. It contains an excellent set of references (e.g. Zittrain, Reed), so I'll be using this as starting point for my students as an aid to understanding the debates around the future of the Internet.