Clive Thompson wrote this piece on “How the Real-Time Web Is Leaving Google Behind“. There’s a post in Business Insider and from MSNBC with a special guest experience by Steve Berlin Johnson, called “Twitter And The Real-Time Web Are Ambushing Google”.
I’m going to take a stand and call utter BS on the article and all these so-called pundits vaunting the realtime web. Google’s mission was to unlock the world’s information. It’s done a pretty good job at doing that, and has earned the hearts and mindshare of many. It’s come a long way in accomplishing this mission and has a long way to go, but is on the right trajectory.
Most of the realtime tools are a way to surface understanding, determine sentiment (often times, I don’t care all that much about sentiment, I want to judge facts. If I wanted sentiment, I’d pay attention to people talking on the CTA instead of listening to a podcast or something). But they are not the solution to unlocking information. Maybe recent information, but that’s about it. The facts still have to come from somewhere.
Some of these experts claim that this “4th wave” of the internet, the real time web, will slowly encroach and obviate the “incumbent” web. Completely false. Maybe for news, but news isn’t everything. Edo Segal, a “pioneer in realtime search” according to the article, says “Google organized our memory. Real-time search organizes our consciousness.”
Ummh. Okay? For the vast majority of people who either 1) Don’t care to share with the world explicit details about their consciousness or, even more importantly, 2) Don’t care to know the inner details of others’ consciousness, organizing it is vastly complex and of trivial importance.
My favorite comments from the wired article:
“Bye bye, facts. Hello, gossip and misinformation”
“I am a bit bored of reading yet another “google killer”, and “google is so old fashioned they totally don’t get the latest hipness”. Yeah. Once the new hipness is pulling down a few billion a quarter with their model, then they’ll be something to talk about.”
There’s a place for realtime but it isn’t going to nom nom nom the entire web. Maybe I should start a slow information movement that’s focused on deeper reflection, processing, and learning, kind of like what “slow food” was to fast food.