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The Real-Time Web and You
Posted By Vijay Chittoor On October 1, 2009 @ 12:00 am In E-Commerce | No Comments
One of the biggest technology trends in 2009 has been the emergence of the “Real-Time Web.” The real-time Web is a made up of technologies and practices that can inform users as soon as information is published, instead of requiring users to check for updates. The real-time Web discards the traditional notion of the more static “webpages,” and instead adopts the notion of dynamic “streams ” of information. The real-time Web is also very conversational because it makes it possible to get instant responses across very large networks of people.
Action in the real-time Web started with companies like Twitter  and Friendfeed , which built their own infrastructure for large scale delivery of real-time messages. By providing Web service application programming interfaces (APIs), these companies enabled many other developers to create applications based on the real-time Web. However, Anil Dash, a prominent blogger, points out that real time services need not be built on the back of Twitter and Facebook anymore. Due to emerging technologies, the pieces are falling together for creating a free, open and decentralized “pushbutton platform ,” which makes it easy for websites to add real-time messaging services. With these developments, we can expect many more websites to jump onto the real-time bandwagon.
Growing importance to business
The real-time Web is becoming increasingly important to businesses in multiple ways. Firstly, as many webmasters and Web analytics companies have pointed out, the real-time Web is starting to rival search engines like Google as a source of website traffic. For example, Mark Cuban talked a few months ago about how his blog receives more visits from Twitter and Facebook  than from Google. Secondly, the real-time Web opens up communication opportunities that the traditional Web could not have provided. For instance, if an airline wants to sell off its last minute tickets, the real-time Web provides a great outlet for advertising this very time-sensitive deal. Thirdly, by making information instantaneously accessible, the real-time Web can create, or erase, instances of information arbitrage. As an example, take a look at Skygrid , a service that provides high quality financial news in real time, giving its users an edge, but at the same time leveling the playing field between professional investors and amateurs in terms of the speed of access to reliable information. Finally, because the real-time Web is very conversational, it becomes a repository of people’s sentiment, and mining this sentiment can be very useful to marketers and others.
Taking advantage of real-time Web
Beyond creating an account on Twitter, how can you take advantage of the real-time Web? Here are some thoughts to get you started:
Vijay Chittoor is the director of product management at Kosmix , an exploration engine that offers a 360 degree view of any topic on the Web. A former McKinsey consultant, Chittoor is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He shares his thoughts on technology at his blog. 
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URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2009/10/01/the-real-time-web-and-you/
URLs in this post:
 streams: http://techcrunch.com/2009-05/17/jump-into-the-stream/
 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/
 Friendfeed: http://www.friendfeed.com/
 pushbutton platform: http://dashes.com/anil/2009/07/the-pushbutton-web-realtime-becomes-real.html
 his blog receives more visits from Twitter and Facebook: http://blogmaverick.com/2009/05/15/how-twitter-and-facebook-now-compete-with%20google/
 Skygrid: http://www.skygrid.com/
 exclusive Twitter promotions: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/aug/04/business/chi-talk-twitter-airline-dealsaug04
 Dell blog post from June: http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2009/06/11/delloutlet-surpasses-2-million-on-twitter.aspx
 Twitterhawk: http://www.twitterhawk.com/
 Firstrain: http://firstrain.com/
 real time search engines: http://www.venturebeat.com/2009/06/20/who-rules-real-time-search-a-look-at-9-contenders/
 recent article in mashable: http://mashable.com/2009/08/30/analyze-twitter-content/
 one of my previous articles: http://technology.inc.com/internet/articles/200909/chitoor.html
 real-time data integration is no longer a luxury: http://esj.com/Articles/2009/04/29/Data-Integration-No-Longer-a-Luxury.aspx
 Kosmix: https://mail.mvpub.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.kosmix.com/
 his blog.: http://clickr.typepad.com/
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