Thanks to Nicola for spotting this great new site that aims to map and count the internet’s users. The theory they’re working on is that if each person spreads the word to three friends and that the spreading process takes 1 day a time, they will have reached the internet’s entire population in under a month. They put up a brilliant bit of hokum science in their introductory video:
As they explain, the “viral” maths is pretty straight-forward. This is a geometic series. So the user count is (3n+1-1)/2 where n is the number of days or iterations. 331/2 is more than 3.1 x 1014, that’s 310,000 billion or 3 with 14 zeros. The world’s population is estimated as under 7 billion (7 with 9 zeros). Of course the flaw in the plan is that the viral effect is not 100% efficient and not all invitee will be unique but it will be fascinating to see where they get to. 7 days in they’re at 5,000. They should be at 3,200 so they’re ahead of target.
What would be really great is if this could be combined with Twitter Vision (I know that’s already a mash up), and even better than that would be a blog sentiment overlay like www.wefeelfine.org! Presumably only a matter of time.