Empowering the end user and those considering a career in digital media

How real is ‘real time’?

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When Twitter revolutionised the digital world with its launch in 2006, claims of real time communication became one of its core USPs. The ability to watch a stream of incoming thoughts, opinions and interactions from across the world was impressive.

My problem is the inferior technology that surrounds me. Our aging desktop at home is only slightly more advanced than our toaster and the clunky server at work offers no escape. This creates a good five second delay when monitoring the flow from Twitterville.

The refresh button has become my nemesis and I expect I’m not the only one.

Should a telephone conversation be held in this way, we would be attacking out handsets with the nearest blunt implement – any kind of delay means it’s not in real time.

Google Wave and Twingly Channels – which I wrote about last week – seem to be a little more accurate with their claims. You can actually see updates as users type, like a real conversation, in real time.

It’s undoubtedly impressive and sure to transform the way we use social media. Let’s hope the average user’s decaying hunk of buttons and ram are fit enough to ride the wave.


Written by sociauxanswers

October 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

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