1 billion web sites in 2013

Netcraft has been tracking the number of web sites on the internet for many years. Every month, they publish their latest numbers. As of May 2012, their chart shows close to 700 million sites (the blue line is the number of unique domains, the red one is sites with unique HTML which excludes placeholder templates like landing pages for newly purchased domains):

As you can see, the growth is impressive and unimpeded. Also:

  • The total number of web sites seems to follow Moore’s Law and double every 18-24 months.
  • At the current rate, we will hit 1 billion sites in 2013 and 2 billion sites in 2015.
  • Over the years, the number of web sites seems to be roughly equal to the number of people on the internet.
  • If WordPress continues on its current trajectory, there will be 300-500 million WordPress sites by 2015.


After reading a couple of excellent posts about online identity/privacy by Om Malik and John Battelle, I decided to sign up for Rapleaf to see just what they know and track about me. My reactions:
– Their data about my location, jobs, age, etc is accurate
– Seeing that someone collects that data about me isn’t as creepy as I expected (since it’s all public data I’ve shared elsewhere)
– The interest data they have about me is pretty generic: Music, TV, photo sharing, auctions, online shopping, blogging, business networking, web personalization, social networks (these “interests” fit millions of people, they’re too broad to feel engaging or interesting to me)
– Their influencer score made me want to become more influential 🙂

Future of publishing

Great post by Clay Shirky about what’s happening to newspapers and publishing as we transition to an increasingly digital world.

Some choice quotes:

With the old economics destroyed, organizational forms perfected for industrial production have to be replaced with structures optimized for digital data.

During the wrenching transition to print, experiments were only revealed in retrospect to be turning points. Aldus Manutius, the Venetian printer and publisher, invented the smaller octavo volume along with italic type. What seemed like a minor change — take a book and shrink it — was in retrospect a key innovation in the democratization of the printed word, as books became cheaper, more portable, and therefore more desirable, expanding the market for all publishers, which heightened the value of literacy still further.

When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to.

Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.