When Michael Jackson died on June 25, millions of people flooded onto Google News to find the latest information about what had happened. The spike in traffic was so massive that Google suspected a malware attack and began blocking anyone searching for “Michael Jackson.” —Clive Thompson on How the Real-Time Web Is Leaving Google Behind
The world, seemingly, moves faster every day. I can’t verify that the world is moving faster, but anecdotes like that, above, certainly show that people want news that moves faster. More and more, the first stop for people to find out about what’s happening is the Internet. People won’t wait for the “old” Internet any more; that typically means links that show up as relevant in Google. Google cannot possibly index everything on the Web as it’s happening in real time. People who want to know what’s happening as it’s happening know to look at trending topics on Twitter, or what their friends are linking to on Facebook.
Some new tools have popped up to help people interface more effectively with the real-time web. Some of these include Tweetmeme, and OneRiot. Both take very different approaches, but typically are pulling from the same data (Twitter). Tweetmeme shows what’s hot on Twitter at any given moment, and is more of a browsing experience. OneRiot provides an almost Google-like search bar for searching the real-time web.
What does this mean to me, Laura?
- Constant real-time news will likely create a culture where we are more conscious at a moment-to-moment level of what’s going on in the world (and our collective reactions to it).
- Users will increasingly be more engaged with information as it is available, especially with the exploding use of smartphones and mobile browsing.
- “Real-time information delivery will likely become ubiquitous, a requirement for almost any website or service.” (source)
- It’s time to think about what it means to your library when the information it puts out online is only being updated infrequently. Where is your library’s place in the evolving real-time web?