Let us review the magnitude of the resource usage on this wishing well for the new year. From the web site titled World Internet Usage Statistics News and World Population Stats, we see that there were about 1.4B Internet users in a total population of about 6.6B, a 21.9% Internet usage penetration. Now, even if each of these 1.4B Internet users send out 10 "Happy New Year" e-mail messages at about 100 bytes each, we would have a bandwidth usage of 1.4T bytes. In addition to the bandwidth usage, there is also the disk space used up somewhere to store these 1.4T bytes, prior to their deletion. And, there is the potential annoyance factor: When someone gets 100 "Happy New Year" messages, it is unclear how each of these messages would provide the personal viewpoint that the sender would want to convey to each recipient, other than the fact that the particular e-mail message came from a particular individual. Thus, if a personalized message to each recipient is neither necessary nor desirable, a better mechanism to use is web-based communication.
If, instead, people send out merely the phrase "Happy New Year, 2009" in their new year e-mail messages, with a hyperlink to the web-based message, the following will result:
- Greater bandwidth usage will be limited to those who click on the hyperlink.
- Disk space used is probably reduced by an order of magnitude: There is only one copy, on the Internet, of the long e-mail message that corresponds a post like this.
- Annoyance factor is almost completely removed: HTML rendering at the recipient will only present the 20 characters in the phrase "Happy New Year, 2009".
[Aside. Granted these terabytes are but a drop in the bucket in the approaching zettabyte era, but there is always a question of why a resource must be used when it is not so unavoidably required. (1.4T/1Z ≅ 1000 exp -3, or 10 exp -9). End of Aside].
Whatever the justification, this is a new experiment I want to make in this Web 2.0 world, at least for this year. So, if you happen to read this blog post, my message to you is, very simply: Happy New Year, 2009.