Live, Flow-Past or Real-Time Web?

Kevin Marks in The Flow Past Web: even better than the RealTime thing:

Much of the supposed ‘Real-Time’ web is enabled by the relaxation of realtime constraints in favour of the ‘eventually consistent’ model of data propagation. Google Wave, for example, enables simultaneous editing by relaxing the ‘one person can edit at a time’ rule in favour of reconciling simultaneous edits smoothly.

He makes some other good points, such as the changes in the flow speeds of various media types and communicating methods:

At the same time, the latency of text has been moving the other way, from newspapers’ and mail’s daily cycles, to hours for webpages, minutes for blogs down to seconds for SMS, Twitter, Facebook and other activity streams. However, as audio and video have added persistence, text hasn’t lost it – we do have the ability to review and catch up with the past of our flows, or to re-point people to older points in time, as well as marking out times in the future.

Meanwhile I still prefer the “live web”. I think that’s more how it feels, how it seems to the user. I’m a voice in the wilderness on that one, but what the hell. I’ll keep trying.

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  1. Richard Bennett’s avatar

    I like “Live Web” too, I’ve been calling it the “Dynamic Web” but this is better. “Flow past” is too linear, this thing is all around us, pulsating like the dancers at a Grateful Dead show.

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Richard. Good metaphor. Some backstory on “Live Web” here and here, among other places.

  3. Adam Fields’s avatar

    It bugs me to no end that Facebook doesn’t have an easily accessible archive of everything I’ve ever done on the site.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Neither Facebook nor Twitter disclose much info about what they archive, or how to find it. My belief is that anything with a static address — a URL — should persist. But I’ve heard that’s not the case with Twitter. Not sure about Facebook.

  5. Kevin Marks’s avatar

    I like “Live Web” too, but it also has the connotations of immediacy being paramount, which is only seeing one end of the change. When I wrote “Live TV is Dead” I was pointing out that persistence is important:

    I think that having a flow of information that you can dip into and out of, that can be Live or Realtime if you want, but that persists and can be responded to asynchronously too is important. Thats what I’m getting at with the Flow Past web.

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