There is much written about real time web start ups, to highlight the multitude of companies that have entered the space. There has been much talk in regards to the real time web tools that are available to web developers. Here is an overview of the real time web from the user experience perspective.
To search the real time web in its purest form you can head to Twitter. On Twitter’s hompage you can enter whatever you would like, and instantly see the chatter in regards to that topic. The most recent results will be at the top of the page. If you want to see just the links that are being posted on the real time web you can visit Topsy’s link search. Topsy will let you see the most popular link in the past hour, day, week or year.
It is interesting to learn which terms on the real time web are related to a respective term. For example you may be interested to learn the top ten terms being used along with the keyword basketball right now. TweetCloud can do this for you if you go to their site and search the term. You can see the terms most used alongside any given keyword, in large fonts. You may also notice keywords in smaller font, which means that they are used alongside the keyword less often.
One of the greatest things about real time web is to learn what topics are trendy right now. WhatTheTrend is an outstanding resource that not only shows you the big trends, but also give you information as to why the trend is hot. Each trend has a description that has been recently written, by a user, similar to how Wikipedia gets information from users.
Retweets were started and made famous on Twitter, as it is the process of taking someone else’s Twitter update (called a tweet) and posting it to your own Twitter page. DailyRT does a great job of summarizing the most popular retweets on the web. The more you get retweeted the more influence you have. Down the right hand side of DailyRT you can see the real time web stream of tweets posted by the most retweeted users on the web. By looking only at retweets, you are more likely to get quality information.
The real time web is new and hot hot hot. Traditional search engines continue to be useful for many searches, however as the web is moving more real time, with users updating constantly, the tools for real time web will help you utilize the real time web effectively and efficiently.