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Bye bye .com-land

3rd June, 2001

I've been thinking a little about the future of the web. Today, the majority of surfers, domains and traffic comes from North America [I think it's about 40% or so] but Europe is gaining speed. Soon, however, the domination of American cyberspace will be a thing of the past. I'm thinking about the millions of people in particularly Asia but also South America, the Middle East and even the African Continent.

In Western Europe and North America there are about 694 million people combined. On the Asian continent alone there are 1.461 billion! [source: UNDP]. It doesn't take a genius to realize that as more people from these regions get online, they will at some point dominate the web, demographically speaking. I'm not saying this is bad, I don't think it is, but it will change way we look at the web. Think English is the most widely spoken language? It isn't. Mandarin, a Chinese dialect is much bigger. I could imagine that people from other cultures would have a different take on what beauty is, thinking about what webpages will look like. What about the way people communicate? Maybe surfers from India have a different way of sending email than you. And I haven't even written about religion yet. Whichever form the changes will take, there's much to be seen. The web isn't a place only for the Western world for much longer. Welcome.

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