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Embracing the 'Real-Time Web'

Gofalcongo As I mentioned here last week, it struck me on the day of Balloon Boy Falcon Heene's (non)flight that the most up-to-date, comprehensive coverage of the episode I could find that afternoon was delivered through a simple "hashtag" on Twitter ("#boyinballoon"). By staying tuned to that search on Twitter, I received real-time reports from around the world on what was occurring.

In a recent post on his BlawgIT blog, patent attorney Brett Trout discusses this growing phenomenon and shows how you can integrate it right into your own computer's browser. Trout poses the following question:

In the past, when you wanted to find out more about a topic you would search Google, go to an informational Web site like Wikipedia, or read a blog on the subject. But what if you wanted more information about something that just happened, or about something that is constantly changing?

The answer, Trout says, is the "Real Time Web," which he describes as a combination of search engines and instant messaging. The real-time Web combines tools such as Twitter and other systems together to provide nearly instantaneous access to information.

Trout says that one simple way to use the real-time Web is to supplement your existing Internet browser with tools that will integrate real-time Web information. In an e-mail, Trout told me today that he has done so on his own computer by installing the Greasemonkey plug-in and the AutoPagerize script in Firefox. As a result, when he searches with Google, it also automatically pulls up the five most recent "tweets" that contain the search terms.

For more detailed information on Trout's view of the real-time Web, you can follow Trout's upcoming presentation on the subject at next week's "140 character conference" in Los Angeles. Follow the #140conf hashtag on Twitter for updates.

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 20, 2009 at 01:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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