Here's a challenge - can you explain the phenomenon of the Real-Time Web in simple terms and few words? From Facebook to the New York Times to blogs and geeky tech infrastructure, it seems like everyone's exploring the Real-Time Web paradigm these days. It's not easy to explain, though.
Below we offer our working explanation of what the real-time web is and why it's important, in exactly 100 words. We challenge you to offer a better (short) explanation.
- Google, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Atlassian & Betaworks
- Creators of Pubsubhubbub
- NYT R&D, SuperFeedr, OneRiot, FirstRain and more.
The Real-Time Web is a paradigm based on pushing information to users as soon as it's available - instead of requiring that they or their software check a source periodically for updates. It can be enabled in many different ways and can require a different technical architecture. It's being implemented in social networking, search, news and elsewhere - making those experiences more like Instant Messaging and facilitating unpredictable innovations. Early benefits include increased user engagement ("flow") and decreased server loads, but these are early days. Real-time information delivery will likely become ubiquitous, a requirement for almost any website or service.
What do you think? What did we miss? Any inaccuracies, funky emphasis or unclear parts? Let us know and if you're up for it, let's see what you can do in 100 words or less. As Rajesh Acharya points out in comments below, the sum is larger than the parts.
We hope you'll join us for the ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit on October 15th. There we'll discuss what the real-time web is, how we can swim in the real-time stream and much more.