Web Summit 2.0 provides unique Internet forum
Nov. 22, 2010
by Mark Ollig

The seventh annual Web Summit 2.0 conference in San Francisco last week brought online business leaders together to communicate their expertise regarding commerce over the Internet.

Some shared their thoughts about ways to utilize “content consumers information” on the Web – more or less to “open up our virtual wallets” and purchase the services and products they are selling.

Yours truly was able to watch some of the event’s content via the live streaming video feed.

Last Tuesday, while watching the live video, I noted the number of online viewers hit 2,504.

John Hayes, a global marketing officer for American Express, told the audience in attendance how the competition for business needs to “worry about the people in a garage starting an online business and then reaching 2 billion people faster than any existing business situated in a brick and mortar building.”

Another speaker, Mary Meeker, is a managing director and serves as leader of Morgan Stanley’s global technology research team.

Meeker’s presentation started off with a list of the current top Internet markets.

The number one market is China, with 384 million users; followed by the US with 240 million. Brazil is third, with 76 million users. India comes in fourth, with 61 million; and Russia rounds out the top five with its 60 million users.

A change in how the majority of us are accessing the Internet is also going through a revolution of sorts.

The number of personal mobile devices like iPhones, Blackberrys, iPods, Droids and iPads accessing the Web is increasing dramatically.

“A mobile device connected to the cloud [Internet] is how people want to interact with media,” said Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, during his presentation.

Meeker pointed out that the US leads the world in the top mobile Internet market statistics, with 136.6 million mobile devices, which includes 3G.

Japan is second at 106.3 million, while China is ranked 12th with 13.3 million mobile device users.

Three hundred million mobile devices were being used world-wide in 2004.

By 2012, global shipments of mobile smartphone devices will surpass notebook personal computers.

Desktop computers were surpassed in total global shipments by notebook personal computers in 2009.

Meeker’s research information comes from the World Cellular Information Service (WCIS).

Facebook is thought to be the largest online social network, with 620 million users world-wide, however, it is not.

Tencent, founded in 1998, is the name of the largest online social network in China, and it is reported to have 637 million active users.

Facebook is, however, the largest online social network in English-speaking countries.

Speaking of exploding online-user social networks, YouTube’s servers are now being downloaded with an average of 35 hours worth of user video content per minute.

Meeker’s power point presentation chart showed the total number of global Internet users in 1995 was around 6 million.

At the end of 2009, there were an estimated 1.2 billion users.

In 1995, the online ad revenues per user was approximately $9, and the total global online Internet ad revenue generated was $55 million dollars.

By 2009, these numbers jumped dramatically with $46 worth of ad revenue being generated per user and an incredible $54 billion being generated globally via Internet e-commerce.

In the very near future, “contactless” payment technology will become the new method used for making quick payments.

Imagine shopping at your favorite store and paying for your purchases simply by waving or swiping your iPhone in front of a wireless payment terminal reader on your way out the door.

No need for the plastic credit card, writing a check or fumbling with cash.

Our mobile devices handsets will soon be equipped with technology enabling them to be used for making “contactless payments.”

Nokia has confirmed a new software upgrade will take place early next year which will activate what is called the “near-field communication” (NFC) chip.

NFC is a short range wireless system which allows data to be transferred between devices.

Google announced that NFC software will be included in their next update of Google’s smartphone operating system, Android 2.3.

Visa and DeviceFidelity, will also launch a mobile contactless payment technology for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS devices.

Web Summit 2.0 provided some mind-blowing numbers.

In 2004, there were 300 million devices connected to the Internet.

By 2020, it is estimated 1 trillion (yes, trillion) consumer-electronic devices will be connected to the Internet’s social and media networks.

A speaker from Cisco Systems stated, by 2013 they forecast the yearly global IP (Internet Protocol) traffic will reach 667 exabytes and all Internet video content will generate 18 exabytes per month.

An exabyte is about one quintillion bytes, or around one billion gigabytes.

The next number above an exabyte is called a zettabyte, which is about 1,000 exabytes.

Okay, I need to take a couple Advil tablets for my headache now.

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