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Are humans capable to manage the current speed of content generation?

Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; in his research, he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every 100 years. However, by the end of second World War, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, we have many different types of knowledge with different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. This means that all the information generated in history up until now, will be replicated in amount in 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours. In fact, Thomas Mestl, Olga Cerrato, Jon Ølnes, Per Myrseth, Inger-Mette Gustavsen from DNV, Research & Innovation created the following chart to explain this.

We might not be able to appreciate the explosion of books after Gutenberg because the chart is exponential. However, only taking books, today we have 129,864,880 distinct titles printed in history. To take this into context, if I read one book per day for the rest of my life I will be reading about 16,500 books. There are 50,000 different titles printed every year. Therefore I would have to live 355,800 years to read the different titles printed in history and not considering the new books from this moment forward.

We started with books and from year 1450 that triggered the fist exponential content generation. However, the internet is one moment in time that triggered a content generation impact. Today Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide, all these searches linking to the currently estimated 1.12 billion active websites as seen in the chart. Each one with new content every day.

In terms of social media, which accounts for another big impact in content and most social media started in 2006-2007. Considering the main brands we have a massive amount of information generated every minute, for example YouTube users upload 48hrs of content video every minute and every day. That would be 25.2 million hours of content every year about 70 years of video in a single year. Facebook users upload about 30 billion pieces of content every month, from pictures, comments, videos and anything else they might want to share. Instagram shares 95 million photos and videos per day. Moreover, the number of tweets per day in 2016. Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year. Assuming that the 140 characters would take you 9 seconds to read, the average speed. You will be able to read between 6 and 7 tweets per minute vs the 350,000 being produced in that time frame. WhatsApp alone on new years 2018 registered 75 billion messages sent. The app has 1.3 billion users, that is an amazing 57 messages sent by user in just a few minutes. Today there are 55 billion messages sent every day. Facebook messenger share 17billion pictures every month, 30,000 chatbots and more that 350 million stickers are shared everyday.

Last year the number of news published by mayor US companies everyday from the article of ¨The Atlantic.

Just Buzzfeed alone confirmed in the article the following growth:

¨In April of 2016, we published 6,365 posts on and uploaded 319 videos.

In April of 2015 (one year ago), we published 5,271 posts and uploaded 205 videos.

In April of 2012 (four years ago), we published 914 posts and uploaded 10 videos.¨

All the information shared so far above, is for people consumption on information that might interest them. If we take into account the workplace and information for business decisions, and take email as the main tool, there are nearly 300 billion emails sent everyday. Now there is now info on health, internet of things, retail, finance, amongst others that we are not considering here and if you start projecting the amount of information we will able to consume every microsecond and the amount of storage require for it.

Take a look at the following infographic developed by vcloudnews that gives additional value and reference about information generation to start creating a dimension of the amount and capacity to manage all these for humans.

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