What’s your digital footprint?

You generate much more information than the files and messages you create


EMC now has a digital footprint calculator on their website.  It estimates how much information is being created, stored and replicated by one’s daily life.  This is an eye-opening exercise that points out all the myriad ways we each generate digital information, far beyond the obvious powerpoints, emails and digital movies.

Similarities to Carbon Footprint 

It has similarities with the Carbon Footprint concept, and of course is directly related due to the power needed to store the kept info I caused to exist in the world.  Another similarity: much of the information created on my behalf was not at my bidding.

I highly recommend the related IDC-EMC forecast of worldwide information growth through 2011.

According to EMC, I’m generating about 8 GB a day – over half a TB so far in 2008.  Beth Pariseau’s and Chuck Hollis’s footprints are here.

What’s your digital footprint?  Comment back and we’ll compare notes.


6 responses to “What’s your digital footprint?

  1. Hmm … according to the questionaire, my digital footprint is 61,688 megabytes per day.

    Maybe I shouldn’t spend so much time in the subway or online….

  2. Well, compared to Jason, I am a veritable digital miser at just over 3MB/day. As a storage company employee, I clearly need to work on that!
    On a more serious note, how much does a digital footprint really matter? Am I “greener” or a more responsible global citizen if I generate fewer bytes? One could argue that since all that digital content needs to be stored someplace, it’s best to conserve since storage takes up power and other resources; I’d argue that many more bytes would be saved by addressing the storage and restorage of unused or outdated files (see previous posts on Stubborn Data and Deduplication in this blog). That’s not to say it’s useless to conserve bytes; rather, make every byte count to you in some way and get rid of the ones that don’t matter any more.

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