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What’s your digital footprint?

The other day I blogged about an update to the “Digital Universe” report EMC sponsored with IDC, which amended estimates of the size of said digital universe upward.

Today while surfing around I saw EMC blogger Chuck Hollis’s post on the report, which contained an intriguing tidbit:

By the way, there’s some new bling for your PC.  Last year, as part of the study, EMC offered up a “digital clock” that attempted to measure all information produced in aggregate. 

This year, there’s a “personal digital clock” that (after answering a few questions) will estimate just how much digital footprint you’re creating: both directly and indirectly.  It’s a bit humbling.

As an example, the personal clock estimates that I’ve created well over a terabyte of “digital shadow” this year so far.  And that’s not even counting these blog posts!

Just doing my part for the storage industry, I guess…

I was definitely interested in finding out the exact dimensions of my digital shadow (proven fact: self-absorption is a key driver of Internet traffic), so I downloaded the mini-application they’ve put together with IDC to calculate one’s digital footprint.

It asked a series of questions about surfing habits, the amount of minutes you spend on the phone per week, the amount of TV you record on your TiVo, that sort of thing. I was actually a little embarrassed at some of the numbers I put in–some of them were high indeed, especially the ‘hours per week you are actively on the Internet’ one.

Once I’d answered the questionnaire, the applicaton calculated that I generate 6.18 GB of personal digital information per day, meaning that this year I will generate 2.25 TB of digital shadow.

Hollis, meanwhile, writes that he’s already generated over 1 TB this year. Today, March 13, is the 72nd day of 2008, putting him at about 13 GB per day, if my calculations are accurate. Given I spend virtually all of my working hours actively on the internet and estimated around five or so hours per day on the phone if you combine cell and land line usage, plus a hard drive partition bulging with over 8,000 digital photos … I have to wonder just what Hollis is doing to generate such a shadow.

You too can find out how much you’re contributing daily to the storage industry via the mini-app, which is posted for download here.

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Beth, based on this calculator I've generated about 12TB for the year so far. I think I'm going to get more stock in storage companies.