November 5, 2009
If you don’t understand why the Real Time Web is huge, you will soon. Thanks to micro-blogging sites like Twitter, a constant stream of human-posted content has infiltrated the Web. This growing infiltration has created a bottoms up approach to content creation that via the progressive support of rapidly developing applications has and will continue to empower every individual to co-create what is deemed as “important” on the Web. The Real Time Web serves as both the database that informs us of what is happening right “Now” and the human touch to the content that will compete with the traditional algorithms for what is deemed as “valuable” content to us all.
Its challenges lie in the filtration and mass integration of both the content and the act of sharing to the Real Time Web. There remain major aspects of the Web that have not yet integrated “searching” and “sharing” of the Real Time Web, including traditional search. But as filtration and integration progress the Web will take the form of a living breathing database.
Here are 5 reasons why Real Time Search will help the Real Time movement change the Web and your experience forever.
1. The “Now” Factor
We saw it with Michael Jackson’s passing. We saw it with the Iran Protests and we see it more and more everyday — the Real Time web provides us with what is happening right “Now” and with vivid detail from around the globe. “We” is
driving the “Now” factor.
2. We Become Co-Creators
The Real-Time web offers us the ability to become co-creators in not only content but also in what is deemed important. Why? Because we decide what is worth sharing, discussing and having opinions on. This behavior serves as a natural selection of valuable content. Certainly the current web allows for creation of content, but what is deemed as important/valuable is mostly left up to a few individuals, organizations and a bunch of robots. The Real-Time web, once fully integrated, will change that.
3. Humans vs Machines
Have you ever clicked on blue links that lead you to a piece of content dating back to a year ago? Search results lose relevancy each day due to the amount of new content hitting the internet. Spiders, web crawlers and engines decide what content is relevant via algorithms and those results can be manipulated via intelligently structured content (SEO). Real-time search enables users to receive information via conversations and people instead of machines. Take a look at your web results today. Would you rather receive cold content determined by algorithms or what the crowd and people value as good and bad?
4. Facebook Factor
With over 300 million users creating and wrapping themselves around content, once Facebook opens up its search API to the web what do you think will happen? Better yet do you think there is value in being able to search a database of 300 million users’ opinions and experiences? Searching Facebook may be the factor that tips the overall experience of the web into one that is very different than today. Facebook may be the tipping point to where bottoms up (sharing & contributing) will go head to head with tops down (crawling & optimizing).
5. A New Breed of Search Engines
If there existed a search engine that was capable of aggregating and rendering results based on what was shared, peoples opinions and conversations, would you be interested in that search engine? If you knew that there were 6 conversations that provided a fantastic account of a design firm you were considering would that be more valuable to you than the top 3 links on your current search engine results? Would you have more value for SEO based search results or human conversation driven results? How about both? Real-Time search, once developed, will render a new breed of search engines that will capture this new value the New Web has to offer.
At the moment, Real Time Search is only in its infancy, as is the Real Time web. Twitter and the like are simply representations of a big movement that will continue to occur with the creation of more similar services, more adoption of those services and more integration of those services.
What is clear is that our daily use of the Real Time Web’s driving platforms — Twitter, Facebook and the like — is unprecedented. The Internet is no longer simply just a disconnected 3rd party container of tops down aggregation, “We” is now part of its determination. And, search as we know it will soon change to accommodate, thereby delivering a completely different experience of the Web.
Ben Behrouzi has over 12 years in building and managing startups, building management teams, developing core technology infrastructure and leading product design and architecture. http://www.leapfish.com