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The Real Time Web: Impact on Searchers

As we ended 2009 we saw the clear emergence of the real time web as a distinct trend. I just wish the first big tests of it weren’t celebrity deaths like Michael Jackson, Ted Kennedy and Brittany Murphy.
Anyway, it seems that time expectations will compress even more through the next decade. I recall my first real experience with this issue of time expectation compression in the 1980’s that was also driven by a newer technology – T3 Fax. I was negotiating a research request with a client and doing a thorough reference interview. At the the end of the interview the client asked if I could fax that answer over ‘NOW’. I was a little flummoxed and he seemed quite shocked that I would have to do the actual research effort first to get his answers. It was my first time seeing how technology and its magic sets quite different delivery time expectations. And this was before 30 minutes or free pizza delivery too! I guess with pizza they can have it pre-made most of the time but we need to assemble, read the recipe and cook our answers first.
Anyway, I predict that the real time web will be another plateau shift higher and a sea change in user expectations. We will be forced to adapt.
Mashable has summarized five big examples of real time web apps that we should be paying attention to.
5 Big Real-Time Web Trends of 2009
1. Google Real-Time Results
2. Aggregating News As It Happens: PubSubHubbub
3. Real-Time Social: Facebook + FriendFeed
4. Real-Time on the Go: Cuil and BNO News
5. Collaboration Without Delay: Google Wave()
This quote made me think:
“Wave makes web e-mail real-time; it’s so real-time, in fact, that you can see the people you’re conversing with typing each word.” Wow – that sounds like a real conversation!
Now we’re seeing what a post-RSS world might look like. We’re also seeing how Twitter is just a seed and it’s undershorts are showing. It has always been just a feature/function and needs to evolve into an environment. Unlimited mobile apps and better G3 / G4 coverage means all of this becomes very, very personal and timely. I remember the original ‘push’ applications and how overwhelming they were and how they drowned the user and clogged the network. We will need to be ready to move beyond word and simple metadata filters, move beyond algorithms and combine it all into managing our own and others’ behavioural data as well as time-focused feeds. The temporal search facet will be an interesting one to shape. Maybe Einstein and Hawking will have more to do with search as we carry it on light and time!
2010 will give us a peek at some of the answers and future.
Attention must be paid. Are we ready?

Posted on: December 28, 2009, 12:56 pm Category: Uncategorized

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