digital litter

I first heard the term “digital litter” at the CDAC Annual Public Forum 2020. The term was used to describe “links and websites that no one uses and no one clicks on”, and aptly used to describe digitally-based projects that have no project audience.

The more I learned about the term, the more I discovered its variants: “digital trash” & “digital waste” being some of them. While the terms are more closely associated with e-waste, the numbers behind the phenomena are pretty astounding! This was taken from Gerry McGovern’s blog (GMG was an early adopter of the internet in Ireland).

Digital is mainly garbage. Ninety percent of data is never accessed again 90 days after it is first stored. Eighty percent of downloaded apps are never used again after 90 days. Ninety percent of data has been created in the last two years. Over the years, we found that we had to delete 90% of a typical website to make it useful. Even the information that is used is usually full of garbage. I’ve rarely come across 1,000 words that can’t be edited down to 200 and made more effective.

Will have to expand on these ideas, but learning about the eco-language around these ideas reminds me of link rot. Will have to explore this more.

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