How the Web has Changed–As witnessed through the Webby Awards

BrowsersDesignEntertainmentMicrosoftTech

Earlier today, the Webby Awards and Internet Explorer teams announced a joint project to showcase the Webby Award winners since the awards were handed out in 1997. This new website is built on Web standards which are truly emphasized in Internet Explorer 10. I’ll have a post in the future to highlight Web standards and the modern Web. However, if you’re too anxious to wait, feel free to check it out on the IE team’s Modern.IE website. In fact, the IE team seems to be so pumped up about the Webby Awards that they released an updated version of the Modern.IE website along with some cool offers such as a special offer for Mac developers.

You can check out this new Webby Awards at http://winners.webbyawards.com/.

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It’s great to see how the Web has changed over the years. These days, gamers spend a lot of time playing games such as Halo or Call of Duty, yet back in the day, many of us played You Don’t Know Jack (1997 Games winner):

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While a lot has changed, some things haven’t. Most of us still use Amazon for purchasing products online. Unlike social media companies such as Facebook or Twitter, Amazon has been around for quite some time. In fact, they won a Webby award in 1999:

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Also, we didn’t need to hear Mitt Romney’s opinion of Sesame Street being cancelled. In fact, that idea was probably derived from this Webby award winner in 1998 (though I have no facts to back this up):

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But, enough about the 1799 Webby award winners since 1997. The Web has changed drastically in this time. Let’s take a look at a few charts based on the data the Webby award site has collected.

First, the world is growing. In a period of 15 years, we added nearly 20% more people in the world. In contrast, the number of Internet users in the world has also grown, but at an increased pace. In fact, it’s estimated that in 1997, only 1% of the world were considered Internet users. However, in 2012, nearly 34% of the world surfed the World Wide Web.

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Another interesting bit of information to consider is the number of web pages in existence. Back in 1997, only 1.6 million pages existed. In 2012, it was estimated to be 633 million pages. That’s an increase of nearly 400 times! What’s quite astonishing is the fact that although the “.com boom” helped bring many companies online, the upswing in websites really didn’t occur until 2005 and have more than doubled between 2010 and 2012. The “.com bust” in the early 2000’s halted growth for a year or so, but overall had little effect on where we’re at today.

To help put this into perspective, I wanted to examine the number of Internet users per web page. In 1997, there were 41 Internet users per web page. Just last year, this dropped to 3.8 users per page. Blowing this out to a more grand scale, In 1997, there were 3483 people worldwide per page. Again, this dropped to just over 11 people per page worldwide.

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Seeing these numbers is crazy. It makes me wonder if we’ll ever see more web pages than people. At the current trends, this should happen by 2015.

Apr 2 2013 11:31 AM