There has been much talk about all of the businesses that are sprouting up in regards to the real-time web. But, it can be confusing for the user because there is so much out there. They key for users is to first recognize what they are looking to do on the real time web. Once that is known, it is important to know where to go to get the information that is being looked for. The rewards can be plentiful as the real time web offers outstanding resources once the user becomes experienced with how to use it.
Below, you’ll find the user experience of the real time web based on some set of functions which is easy to understand and convenient to apply as Real-time information delivery is fast emerging as one of the most important elements of our online experience.
For those who don’t know that is real-time web then the term “real-time web” defines as a set of technologies and practices which enable users to receive information as soon as it is published by its authors, rather than requiring that they or their software check a source periodically for updates. It is fundamentally different from real-time computing since there is no knowing when, or if, a response will be received. The information types transmitted this way are often short messages, status updates, news alerts or links to longer documents. The content is often “soft” in that it is based on the social web – people’s opinions, attitudes, thoughts and interests – as opposed to hard news or facts.
The most successful examples are Facebook‘s newsfeed and of Course Twitter which we already mentioned. This approach is being implemented in social networking, search, and news sites, which makes those experiences more like instant messaging. Early benefits include increased user engagement (“flow”) and decreased server loads.
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The best way to understand the value of real-time information delivery may be to experience it yourself. There are many ways to get real time information which you can find in this past article about some real time web startups around. But, to make use this information you need to understand the user experience based on real time web functions. Please share in the comments any other real-time function or trends that you think will be big.
The most basic way to take advantage of the real time web is via the search function. You can use the search function to find out what people are saying right now about any given topic. The results will be listed with the most recent comment being up top. So, as breaking news happens, or public events go on – you can use the search function to get a window into people’s real time thoughts. Twitter offers a very easy to use search engine which shows you both people’s comments and the links they have suggested. Sency has a search engine with a tabbed format so that you can see what people are saying without having external links mixed into the results. New types of searches continue to crop up, recently there was a real time search engine launched which only searches Myspace results
A major thing done by users on the real time web is the posting and recommending of external links. These links will often go to a story, website, picture, or video that could be of interest to people right now. One problem is that there is so much sharing being done on the real time web that it can become difficult to differentiate the legitimate links from the noise. To combat this, Topsy has launched a very useful links search engine which highlights the most popular links on the real time web. So, if you do a search at Topsy, you can see which links have been shared the most and also, Topsy will factor in authority so that a link shared be an influential real time web user will take on more weight. These real time links can help internet users to research or learn about what is going on right now for any given subject matter.
We all know that Twitter is one of the companies whom has grabbed the real time web by storm in terms of daily usage. It is interesting to learn how popular a given user is on Twitter. So, if you see the Twitter user name of a friend, colleague, or someone you are a fan of – you can research how influential and popular the Twitter user is. You can also, of course, see how popular you are as well on the real time web. Twitter Holic is an excellent tool which will show you a Twitter user’s rank both overall and also, in the city that they are located in. You can also use this tool to see the top 100 Twitter users in any city you’d like to. So, if you want to learn more about a specific user or users from a specific area – you can.
It is interesting to research and get stats on a particular link on the real time web. Certain links become hot and popular due to the viral nature of the internet and the real time web can give you information on a respective link. Tweetmeme will show you the hottest stories on the web right now. Next to each story, you will see the number of Tweets the particular story has had which shows you how popular the link is. You also will notice the Tweetmeme button on many stories across other sites on the web. When you see that, you know that it is showing you how many times the article has been shared on Twitter. When you visit Sency’s most popular link pages – you can click the blue mentions box to the left of each link. This will show you the past 20 users that have shared this link on the real time web.
If there is a keyword or topic that is of interest to you, you may want to find our different terms which are related to that term. On the real time web, very often a given topic will have other important words that are associated with it. Tweet Cloud will show you a bunch of keywords that are associated with a given keyword or topic right now. It will also show you which keywords are being used often via showing you the word in large font words, and which keywords are being used alongside a keyword but not as often via smaller font words. This is a tool that can help you learn more about a current trend through seeing what other terms are attached to the particular trend.
Speaking of trends, they are something that can be of huge importance on the real time web. Since millions of people are making comments on the real time web, in real time you can learn about what are the most popular and the most talked about topics. These topics can clue you into breaking news that has yet to be reported by the mainstream media. The best site to learn about trends is probably What The Trend. In addition to showing you want the current trends are – it will show you why it is a recent trend as users are able to edit the site and add in commentary. Another tool worth looking at is The Top 100 – What’s Going on lately. This will show you the top 100 topics that have been mentioned on the real time web over the past few days.
A reTweet happens when someone tweets a message that was already Tweeted. So, a reTweet is one users vote of confidence in what someone else wrote. Daily RT shows you the most popular reTweets on the web. So, this can help to show you what stories are the most interesting. You can use their search box to see results that have been reTweeted for a particular search term.
Another interesting way to navigate the real time web is to see what links at a particular website are the most shared on the real time web. Topsy offers a very interesting tool allowing you to do this. Here are the top links currently being shared on You tube. You can change the site in the URL to any site you’d like, and you can see the top URLs being shared right now. So, this is an excellent tool to see which links from your favorite site are the ones you need to pay attention to right now.
In summary, the real time web continues to grow, and its not going anywhere. By getting to know how to better utilize it – you will become a smarter web user for the future.
While compiling this list, it’s always a possibility that we missed some other great sources. Feel free to share it with us.