What's The Big Deal About Real Time?


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

Real time has been all the rage. Twitter opened up the Pandora's box. Now everyone wants to do everything real time. The fact that something is real time seems to be more valuable than the content thus delivered. I think this whole thrust for real time is the web wanting to reach its promise. If some event took place 10,000 miles away, I should know about it in real time. That just makes sense. So, no, my attempt is not to belittle real time.

I have tried to content from another angle. What if there were a search engine that would take minutes to find exactly what I am looking for, or even days, months? What if I am doing cutting edge research and there are unanswered questions. I don't know where the answer will come from, but once it does, I want to be able to know, in real time. But can I put my query in now, and have my search query result delivered to me when it is finally available? The result should come to me no matter where it pops up on the web. That is real time, but then it is not. That would be a really smart search engine that knows exactly what I am looking for, and that keeps searching, and that is still searching when the right result is not available yet. But once it is, the engine delivers me the result. In real time.

I want to be talking to people I don't personally know, I want to be talking to dead people, I want to be talking to people not yet born. With real time, sometimes you can get caught among people you already know. That is not a bad thing, but that is such an incomplete circle.

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