The real-time web is a broad and rich phenomenon emerging online. A wide variety of companies are building and using it in really diverse ways. YourVersion offers a real-time discovery engine for finding streams of content about topics you're interested in. Aardvark is using friends of friends networks, profile data built up over time and presence information ("the real-time web of people") to deliver answers to almost any question you can ask it. Kaazing uses HTML5 WebSockets to open secure, persistent connections to push data and allow financial institutions to use web interfaces instead of installed software, often for the first time. Those are just three of the many different companies on the cutting edge of the real-time web.
Because this field is so new and is seeing such breadth of innovation, people have a lot of questions about it. Next month we're hosting a full-day event to engage with those questions together, called the ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit. Below are some of our favorite questions that Early Bird registrants said last week that they want to tackle
These are not the kind of questions you can get answers for by having a media pundit interview the CEO of a company on stage. To get answers to these kinds of questions one needs the exploration and input of people in the trenches of making it all work. We are creating an opportunity for these kinds of questions to get answered at the summit.
What are your big questions about the real-time web?:
How do we SWIM in the real time web stream? Access to the conversation by diving into the "stream" is an amazing, emerging meme - but managing the massive amounts of data, and community touch points that come along with it could drown a person! How do we manage it? Harness the power of the real-time web, not just tread water - hunt and peck - dip in and out? How do we SWIM?
How can we make the web real-time while keeping it distributed? How does the decentralized version work?
How are open standards going to push the real-time web forward?
How does it change our relationships? How does it change the way information moves? How does it change business? How does it change customer support and services?
What's it all mean? How active do I have to be in filtering incoming stuff? Who's making it mobile?
What are the ways that the real-time web will alter user behavior? What are the specific business problems the RTW will help solve?
What kind of infrastructure are people deploying to cope with real-time computing needs (which are much more demanding than static content)?
Does real-time web have an appeal to the larger masses and not just the 100-200k active early adopters?
Will companies segment the market by real time vs. delayed as with stock quote services?
Why did it take so long to get here?
What is the real-time web's applicability to real-world users; how the real-time conversation is inherently limited; how it will be dominated by Twitter in the near term?
How is the real-time web changing the practice of crafting public policy both for those within government and those outside? How can grassroots organizations organize their activists to use the real-time web to enhance popular influence in legislative processes?
Real-time seems like a feature, not an entire product. I want to talk to people about what the entire product looks like, what it should do, and how this new entire product relates to our existing notions of keyword-based search?
I want to hear what other people are going to do with it? A world where everyone is connected 24/7 with very low latency and "high" bandwidth will mess up social conventions.
What are the new user paradigms for aggregating, filtering and sharing real-time streams?
What are the services I can use to enable it for my site? What are things other people are making that I can connect to? What are the potential uses for it that I'm not thinking of?
What is happening with conversation analysis and realtime relational analysis (uses for advertising, marketing) Real-Time Analytics, Collective Intelligence, and Business Intelligent?
Are we building what "real" users want; for mainstream adoption? Where are the use cases demonstrating real-world need? Where's the money? How to deal with user experience, interaction design, issues in new social tools?
Those are some of the questions early registrants say they want to explore. Later this week we'll share a list of some of the topics registrants say they plan on leading discussions or presenting on. We hope you'll register today to discuss these questions with us.