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August 2, 2008

What’s the Size of Your Digital Footprint?

by deirdrewalsh

Overview

Currently, research company IDC estimates that the digital universe is 281 billion GB in size and continuing to grow beyond the current storage capacity due to the advancements in things like RFID, sensor networks, and Internet in emerging countries. To put this into perspective, CNN reported in this video that there is enough digital information to fill more than 17 billion iPhones.

Related to this data is the idea of your digital footprint, or online data trail. This includes everything from the number of emails you send, to the videos you post on YouTube and the photos you showcase on Flickr.  One thing that I don’t think is being addressed enough is the idea of digital footprint as “reputation.”  It’s important to evaluate your cred in this digital arena as well as the amount of content that you creating. For example, it’s not only the number of times you post a message on the micro-blogging service Twitter but also the number of followers you have.

As the LabVIEW Community Manager at National Instruments, I put together a few simple resources for LabVIEW developers to calculate their digital footprint and “rep” in the online community.  The first one leverages the digital footprint calculator created by EMC while the second one is adapted from the Social Technographics Ladder in the book Groundswell, written by two Forrester analysts.  I’m going to use it as a call to action after my NIWeek 2008 presentation on the Top 10 Web Geek Trends.   I would love to get feedback from other community managers on this approach.

Resource 1: Determine the size of your digital footprint

Download the digital footprint calculator created by information management company EMC to determine how fast your area in the digital space is growing based on the amount of content you create and share online.

digitalfootprintcalculator.png

Resource 2: Determine your level on the LabVIEW Community Ladder

Now, take the next Steps to get active in the digital universe

Increase your digital footprint size by testing out one of the items above. Share your experience with the rest of the LabVIEW Community by commenting on this document.

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