"The first wave of the internet revolution changed expectations about the availability of information a great deal. Information that was stored in libraries, locked in government vaults or available only to subscribers suddenly became accessible to anyone with an internet connection. A second wave has changed expectations about who creates information online. Tens of millions of people are contributing content to the modern internet, publishing photos, videos, and blog posts to a global audience.

The globalization of the internet has brought connectivity to almost 1.6 billion people. The internet that results from globalization and user-authorship is profoundly polyglot. Wikipedia is now available in more than 210 languages, which implies that there are communities capable of authoring content in those tongues. Weblog search engine Technorati sees at least as many blog posts in Japanese as in English, and some scholars speculate that there may be as much Chinese content created on sites like Sina and QQ as on all English-language blogs combined. A user who joins the internet today is far more likely to encounter content in her own language than had she joined ten years ago. But each internet user is able to participate in a smaller percentage of the total interactions and conversations than an English-speaking internet user could have in 1997, when English was the dominant language of the Net.

There's a danger of linguistic isolation in today's internet. In an earlier, English-dominated internet, users were often forced to cross linguistic barriers and interact in a common language to share ideas with a wider audience. In today's internet, there's more opportunity for Portuguese, Chinese, or Arabic speakers to interact with one another, and perhaps less incentive to interact with speakers of other languages. This in turn may fulfill some of the predictions put forth by those who see the internet acting as an echo chamber ..."

Via Stefano KaliFire