First came the browser, now it’s the realtime moment

Internet didn’t take off until the browser. The infrastructure was in place for some time already, but when the browser appeared, the TV generation sat up and took notice.

Now we’re at the threshold of the realtime moment, and history seems to be repeating itself. For some of us, the advent of a reasonably realtime message bus over public networks has changed something about the existing infrastructure in ways that are not yet important to a broad section of Internet dwellers. The numbers are adding up — 175 million Facebook users, tens of thousands of instant Twitter followers, constant texting and video chats among the teenage crowd — a semi-secret economy of interactive media that is sucking the chewy chocolate center out of the one-way broadcast sector.

What makes the realtime moment different from just web browsing is that it is both immediate and genuinely interactive. When breaking news hits Twitter, everyone jumps in with links, related news, on the spot coverage, analysis, photos, and more. There’s no need to wait for mainstream media.

Sometimes Twitter becomes the news, like when that US Airways flight landed in the Hudson River. A passenger on the rescue ferry took a photo of the jet with his cell phone, uploaded it to Flickr, then linked to it from Twitter. This was the first photo of the crash and it went planetwide in minutes.

That is the realtime moment. That is where the Net is going.


  1. Just a sideline: I’ve never been a fan of big blogrolls and have hence kept mine pretty much limited to stuff I’ve been actively involved in, leaving the unwieldy blogrolls to The A-Listers. But there are some folks I spend nano-time with, some have even blogrolled me:

    Locally Grumpy Forester, whom I years ago met through a blog in, of all places, NYC (I know, git a rope) joins The Source Weekly – technically not a blog but it’ll do – Bend Blogs, a damned good local aggregator, and Bend Community Radio. Lining up with Jeffersonian Rogue Pundit, Oregonians Nothstine, your go-to for Saturday morning cartoons and a regular at Loaded Orygun, Interesting Times, Preemptive Karma and, showing signs of having learned that everything East of the Cascades is not Idaho, Blue Oregon.

    Not much for the wider world, but of note: West-coaster Politics in Zeros is an honest investor (I know, oximoron) with a finger on the hottest clean-tech market technologies, Global Guerrillas offers insight into changes we face as the world grows ever smaller, and while I have no idea who or where J. Doolittle is, I like his Bad Attitudes. Wrapping things up: couple of sites to make you wonder about things… What Really Happened and the White Rose Society.

    And while you’re scrolling, do check out Cascadia, and Get Back On The Bus.

    O’Owlish Amenheh
    (Ten Bears)

  2. It does play into our sedentary nature, but I’m not sure it’s what’s next.

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