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.