Tag Archives: real time web

What real-time keynotes need (VentureBeat wins Apple keynote race bigtime)

You will read TONS of stuff about Apple’s keynote. I’m watching it right now on several screens.

Why? Because in real time everyone is putting up slightly different stuff.

Venture Beat has a friendfeed room where you can watch in real time like a chat room, or you can view it standard threaded style.

That is very cool. Especially when compared to TechCrunch’s live coverage, which makes you refresh the page manually. So 1994. What, is Arrington trying to increase his page views artificially?

Compare that to Gdgt, which is where the two top guys from Engadget, Peter Rojas and Ryan Block are posting their coverage. They are posting pictures and flowing text in live. Really great stuff, especially when you put them in a window next to the VentureBeat live stream.

The standard place my son goes is MacRumorsLive. They are doing an excellent job too, but gdgt’s photos and VentureBeat’s interactivity are making them look old and tired.

ArsTechnica is posting photos and text live, but they make you refresh your page manually, just like TechCrunch does.

Finally, Engadget is doing their usual excellent job, but their page needs to be refreshed manually too.

What this does point out, though, is that there’s a real-time web, but that they aren’t integrated. Imagine if there was one place you could watch EVERYONE post in real time. Not possible yet, but I bet that by next year friendfeed will get everyone to build live rooms there. VentureBeat is winning this game by a HUGE margin!

Why is VentureBeat winning?

1. Their room refreshes live without having to refresh your browser page.
2. Their room has interactivity so people watching at home can ask questions.
3. Their room has text, photos, and potentially video from Qik cams and such.
4. Their room’s items and threads are all permalinkable. I could link you to something very specific there. For instance, here’s where they posted a photo of iPhoto Books. I can’t do that to the other live rooms.
5. Their feed can be reused and reshared in other places on friendfeed and on Twitter.
6. Ostensibly they could even mix in other feeds from their competitors through RSS searches. I have a CES room where I’m doing that, for instance.

This isn’t even a close race. If you want the best live experience there’s only one place to go right now. VentureBeat FTW!

Well, until I found Chris Pirillo’s Ustream where he’s posting the audio live. But I posted that to the VentureBeat room too. :-)

UPDATE: It got worse for gdgt.com and macrumors live. MacRumors’ site was hacked during the keynote and gdgt.com was unavailable during part of it.

UPDATE2: other people are using friendfeed to report from the keynote, but I can only pay attention to so much! I’ll put the best of those on my “liked” page. :-)

UPDATE3: I missed a few. Gizmodo has a nice live feed. AppleGazette is using CoveritLive. So is GeekBrief.tv.

Whew, that’s a lot of live feeds to watch! I think the smart ones are just going to wait to get the TechMeme
blog storm later. :-)

UPDATE4: Pirillo’s audio stream went down with about 20 minutes to go. Luckily MacTips Podcast had a live audio stream going too.

Got a real-time ego problem? Get a room!

Oh, be honest. You’ve searched for yourself on Google, right?

That’s an ego search. Here’s mine.

But doing ego searches today is far more complex than it was back in 1998 when I did my first Google ego search.

Today you have to look at what people are saying about you on Twitter, I use Twitter Search for that. On blogs (I use Google’s blog search for that). On friendfeed (you can search on stuff there). On Facebook. If you’re in the news you’ll want to track what’s said about you on Google News. And in other places.

What’s the best place to do that? Well, you might try a friendfeed room. Here’s my ego room. You can watch what people around the world are saying about me — in real time.

But, seriously, let’s stop talking about me for a while. My ego is big enough. Let’s talk about what you might do with a room like this that collects RSS and other real-time feeds.

1. You could create a room to track an event, or a tag on Twitter for an event. That’s what I just did with my Consumer Electronic room.
2. Want to get a group of people together who talk about certain topics? Here’s a room that is collecting tweets and blogs from doctors and health care professionals.
3. Got a blogging network and want to have a place to discuss it? Here’s the room for the Read/Write Web team.
4. Are you a company that’s trying to support your users in real time? Here’s Evernote’s room.

You can see all the rooms I’m following by visiting my friendfeed account and clicking on my rooms on the bottom right side of the page.

Anyway, sign in, and you can get your own ego-feeding real-time room. :-)

Let us know what you’re doing with your room, leave the URL in the comments here.

RSS shows its age in real-time web (SUP and XMPP to the rescue?)

The real time web is coming at us very quickly, but it exposes major problems in our RSS/Atom infrastructure.

What is the real-time web?

You can get a small taste of that by watching the 5,300+ people I’m watching in Real Time on friendfeed.

The first time I saw the real-time web, I saw it when my tweets showed up on Twitter search and friendfeed within minutes. Sometimes within seconds. Now, imagine a world where everything worked like that. That’s the real-time web.

The problem is that our blogs don’t participate in the real-time web. They publish via RSS. RSS is not real time. RSS only publishes when a service like Google Reader asks for it. It has no way to wave its hand and tell your reader “hey, there’s something new here for you to get.” So, most RSS aggregators just visit on a regular basis, looking every few minutes to see whether something new has shown up.

For blogs that’s just fine. After all, most blogs take a few minutes to a few hours to write and it won’t kill you if you don’t read my words here for 20 minutes or longer.

But there’s a new expectation that we’re having thanks to Twitter. We want everything now in real time. I want to see everything that was published now and respond to it now and I want to have conversations about all that in real time.

This works on Twitter and friendfeed, which were built on real-time principles (er, messaging principles) rather than Web principles.

But when you try to hook the real-time web up to the old creaky RSS web, well, you see that the two aren’t very compatible.

Today I tried to setup an ego feed where I could track stuff that uses my name from around the web in real time. It doesn’t work very well. It’s slow. And, worse, friendfeed can’t tell where the original item came from so it gives it a generic RSS icon. So, it’s not only not real time but it’s ugly as well. I talked more about that with a bunch of people on friendfeed today.

So, what’s the answer?

Well, the geeks are exploring two technologies.

The first is XMPP. This is protocol developed for instant messaging applications but Twitter and friendfeed and others have adopted it. This is why when you Tweet the message shows up in friendfeed so fast.

The second is SUP. This was designed by friendfeed to be more efficient, like RSS. But with the added benefit that the feed provider can raise its hand and say “I have something new for  you.” This makes real-time feeding possible, as developer Jeff Smith demonstrates when he built a system that shoved data into friendfeed in just a microsecond.

The third is GNIP, which is trying to build a service that stands between all sorts of services that are supporting the real-time web.

The problem? Very few services that could help the real-time web evolve are using either of these two protocols.

In fact, I was shown a real-time news service that’ll come out in March that didn’t use either of these protocols. Why? They didn’t even know that a real-time web was evolving on Twitter and FriendFeed and that there are dozens of tools like Twhirl and TweetDeck that are built on top of those too. Which is why I’m writing this post.

If you’re a developer, are you thinking about how to make your feeds real time? Why not?

One reason I can see is that it increases the bandwidth needed, especially if you’re pushing out a lot of data. So, in this harsh economic times developers might be unwilling to spend more resources. But there are some things, like searches, that need real-time results. I’d love to hear what developers are thinking here about balancing the need for low-cost systems with real-time publishing.

More info on SUP and the real-time web:

Paul Bucheit, co-founder of friendfeed, started a whole discussion about it.
OurDoings, a photosharing service, was one of the first services that supported the real-time web on friendfeed and they wrote about their experiences with SUP here.
The friendfeed blog has more info on the release of SUP.
Derek van Vilet made a WordPress plugin for SUP and explains that here.

UPDATE: Mike Taylor says I should have mentioned some XMPP resources in this friendfeed conversation. Here’s the ones he recommended: http://xmpp.org



Jonathan Jesse, in same friendfeed thread, added: “Robert: on Leo Laporte’s FLOSS Weekly they covered XMPP with one of the developers and the guy who writes the documentation for Jabber is a great overview of XMPP and more info: http://twit.tv/floss49 ”