Streaming The Real-Time Web

The MIT/Stanford Venture Lab hosted a fun session this week on Lifestreaming: The Real-Time Web. MC’d by Kara Swisher, who acknowledged to a somewhat flustered Jeff Clavier that she specializes in cheap shots, the session included Bret Taylor, a Friendfeed co-founder, and Loic Le Meur, Seesmic’s CEO.

The key question for me around the shift to the real-time web is how sites cater to different user tastes — some folks like drinking from the fire hydrant, getting a constant flow of information and responding to the trends, while others like to have the information archived (think of the way posts are represented on a blog) and they access it at their convenience.

I expect we will see a lot of innovation at this coal face to allow for the spectrum of usage.

Kara covers the event and includes some video – here.

Google Search 2.0 = Digg Plus Friendfeed

The following video sourced from TechCrunch outlines a possible next iteration of Google Search. It’s very interesting to note the inclusion of Digg-like vote up/down features as well as on-search comments and profiling a la Friendfeed.

Should Google go ahead and implement this new feature set it will make search an order of magnitude more social.

Info Feeds And Filters: Bumping Up The Noise

Following on from my post about Silicon Valley being like living in your RSS reader, in which I argued that the noise can become deafening without the right filters, Marshall Kirkpatrick has countered with a great post on Why Online Noise Is Good For You.

He points to FriendFeed‘s recent addition of a “best of” filter, which allows a user to view only the items their friends find most popular. He also raises some excellent reasoning why noise is good. The term that resonates most with me is serendipity, or as Sanda Erdelez terms it “bumping into information”.

I am glad Marshall has raised the argument that noise is good. I totally agree with him. I could not operate without a high level of noise as it allows me to put my pattern recognition skills to work and create my own flow charts and trend analysis.

My filtering does not take the form of an online service backed up by a smart algorithm or two. Instead I like to immerse myself in the information flow, swimming with it and bumping up relevant noise for a closer look.

[Picture courtesy of maxf]

A Call For Worldwide Solidarity: Global Mourning Period In Support Of China’s Earthquake Victims

The Chinese government has called for a 3-day mourning period to honor the passing of thousands of civilians killed in the recent Sichuan Wenchang earthquake.

As part of this call, they have issued an edict that entertainment-based websites and programming shut down over this period.

A bitchmeme sprung up around this on Friendfeed with some high profile bloggers jumping into the fray and causing tempers to rise amongst Chinese bloggers.

I can understand the tug between total freedom (as perceived¬† by many of us westerners) and the authoritarian approach of the Chinese government. However, looked at in context this is a significant inflection point. Paul Denlinger explains that in terms of China’s track record of not openly recognizing calamities, calling for this 3-day mourning period is a significant step forward.

Looked at in the broader 2008 context of the upcoming Olympic Games and the growing level of angst and misunderstanding between the peoples of China and the West, I believe we should come together and embrace this mourning period globally.¬† In the spirt of unity that the Olympics signify let us unite around Paul’s simple rule:

If you reach out and treat people like friends, they tend to act like friends…

Remember, earthquakes are a global phenomenon and can happed anywhere, anytime — how would you like to have the world react to such a disaster happening near you. As I was writing this a small earthquake was recorded in Central California measuring 2.6.

[Picture courtesy of yelingyang]