ISO 3166 is the International Standard for country codes and also includes codes for their subdivisions. Using the official two letter code instead of using each country’s name (which will change depending on the language being used) saves time and avoids errors. The ISO 3166 code is a combination of letters and/or numbers that are understood all over the world, and do not change.
The abbreviation ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization which is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards and today has members from 161 countries. International Standards are of great help because they offer a simple way to provide specifications for products, services and good practice, helping to make industry more efficient and effective.
The ISO Standards are developed through global consensus and they help to break down barriers to international trade. They cover not only country names but also many other subjects. At present, there are over 19,500 International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business.
Only seven years from now it will be 2020, a very intertesting year because it will be the end of the twenty-tens and the start of the twenty-twenties. The big question is how many people will be online at that time?
Eric Schmidt has boldly predicted that everyone in the world will be online by 2020. This has already caused an uproar of neysayers. I agree with Eric Schmidt, in part. He should have added the word nearly, making the frase: nearly everyone will be online in 2020. But maybe Eric Schmidt is right because he is better informed and has reasons we ignore, to back-up his bold statement.
Internet users are growing in Africa and Latin America at a fast pace with support from the local governments. Already in Colombia Internet Penetration in the larger cities (with over 200,000 population) has reached 80%. Internet World Stats data shows 34.3% penetration worldwide for mid-year 2012. For mid-year 2020, we predict Internet world penetration will be in the range of 75-85%. For the majority of developed countries, our forecast is a 90% Internet user penetration rate.
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I take the Internet for granted and consider it as just another form of media, like the radio, the TV, the Press and so forth. It is really amusing to read the thousands of articles where clueless writers try to explain in words what the Internet is all about, to all of us, to you and to me. They also write about the digital divide and it’s perils. Some writers go further and point out that in geographic areas where access to the Internet has become more universal, a new type of digital divide is forming (they call it a second-level digital divide) and label it as a ‘digital inequality’. They forget that we are all living in a technological revolution.
In the beginning of times (by this, I mean before the Internet in 1994), literacy skills were simply reading and writing. Things have changed, and today as I see it, any person (child or adult) to be rightly considered educated and literate should know how to write and read as well as how to use a computer and access the web.
Of course people are free to use the Internet or not to use it, to accept and use new technology or not, and that should be the way to go. I consider this the: “digital choice“. It is the right of choosing that we all have in free countries. The truth of this issue is that, with very few exceptions, every year more and more people become new Internet Users in every country. These millions of persons have made their “digital choice“, which is of course the right choice.
The Internet is simply a consequence of the technological revolution that started in the middle of the last century. Previously we had the industrial revolution. And before that, we had the social revolution, when people populated and formed the urban areas. Today we live in the technological revolution, where technology is changing everything. Here is a three minute video that tries to explain how the Internet has changed our lives: Technology is Now.
Kalena Jordan has published a very interesting post on her blog (Ask Kalena) with tips for finding Internet Stats. She lists several of the best sources, which will save you time and trouble researching for this type of data.
Besides the sources mentioned by Kalena, I would add and recommend the Pew Internet & American Life Project. They do excellent research and publish great studies.
The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has reported 564 million Internet users in mainland China for year-end 2012. This Official Statistic brings our current Internet World Stats up to 2,433,376,688 users and a world penetration rate of 34.7%. New stats are posted here frequently, so visit this blog and the IWS website to keep up to date. Better still, get here a free subscription to the IWS Newsletter.
Internet World Stats has updated to 7,017,846,922 the estimated total world population for mid-year 2012. This is an important number because it is used for all the Internet penetration rate calculations. The following webpage shows the various population estimates for different years, as well as the 10 most populated world countries.
Internet World Stats is now tracking the Social Web. On September 30, 2012 Facebook had 937,407,180 subscribers worldwide. Go visit IWS for the details by each world region. Below is also a video about the Social Media:
Internet World Stats has released new Internet User figures for mid-year 2012. The number of Internet users in all world regions as well as the population and the graphs were updated at the Big Picture page.