There was more data produced in 2009 that in all the years before it.

At least, that’s the scuttlebutt coming out of South by Southwest this year. Scuttlebutt I’m not disinclined to believe, either. Social media is in full swing, and users are generating petabytes of data about themselves every day.

I wouldn’t think this trend is going to cease any time soon. Technology is getting cheaper, people are finding new ways to track each other, and new markets are joining the swarm.

But there’s another side to this. The hardware side of it.

If more computer data was produced this year than ever before, that means there was more storage space produced in this year than all previous years combined. Beyond that, since there isn’t a scarcity of hard drives, it means that we produced more storage space than was used.

I can’t prove it, but I’d also put money on there being more information transmitted this year than in all previous years combined. If the world is producing more data and at the same time shifting toward more wireless, web and cloud-based applications, then more data will need to be tossed around to support those things.

More of everything, year after year.