A source that I often cite for statistics about information overload is the How Much Information? survey which was completed two years ago at the School of Information Management and Systems at Berkeley. If you’re looking for proof that we’re headed for a Borgesian end, look no further than these scary stats.
Perusing the executive summary today, I noticed a number that hadn’t caught my eye before: in 2000, about 11,285 terabytes of email were created. That’s 500 times the amount of static HTML pages that were generated in the same time period.
Of all digital media that we are manufacturing, email consumes most of our time. Yet the tools that I use to write and consume email haven’t changed much since I came onto the internet in 1994. There are a number of research projects that I have seen, each addressing the email task from various perspectives and disciplines, but industry doesn’t seem to be listening. When will someone come out with a revolutionary email client? I don’t think it would be hard to compete, considering every client I have used tends to crash on the order of 10 times per day.. just a reliable client would be enough to capture my business.