What is ‘Real-Time’ search? And why should I care?

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So you’ve heard of real-time search yet? If you haven’t, you will in the next 30-60 days. Its the newest iteration of search and its actually quite different in that you can compare and contrast the 2  ‘search’ methods like a river and an ocean. RTS (real-time search) is like a blast of information that you first retrieve in real time and then this information gets crawled and categorized on the web for permanent storage and retrieval by you or I. Similar to a financial stock trade, RTS happens in realtime, without the information being stored, processed or archived or categorized. Then once the information gets handed off to traders who need it ASAP, it gets archived for retrieval later. So, the same set of data is retrieved in RT as can be found later archived on the web – river and the ocean ( a great metaphor – Thanks to Gerry Campbell, CEO of Collecta).

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So Google amasses data, stores it, catagorizes the information for future retrival and serves it up upon your request. RTS happens before this – it happens the instant its published on the web. So retriving, storing and ranking data is not part of RTS. That’s traditional search as we know it. So the value to this new search algoythym is that there is no lag time for the latest information. Its just there and it DOES give us a great deal of value. Using the plane that went down in the Hudson River a bit ago as an example. The very 1st report and photo came froma twitter feed, not a website that spouts news, i.e. CNN, etc. The final few moments of the Lakers playoff games and score where captured in RT on twitter. The final score reported on the cover of Yahoo a mere 15 minutes after the games end. American Idol winner?   So this information is helpful (but not essential) to know ASAP. So, being able to search social media ‘chatter’ (I call it) becomes something very ‘now’ and ‘immediate’. It brings together the traditional web and a users social graph so to speak. Every month, something like 200 million users log-in and chat on Facebook, 46 million users tweet, and many more IM each other or text about something. This ‘something’ is now getting captured and offered up to us in RT. The combo of the two systems is really where it comes all together. RT search is not social search either. You don’t just get RT search because you ‘crawl’ facebook, friendfeed and twitter chatter.  RT search is NOT replacing traditional search – its an add on component that will allow us to further monetize the phenomenon known to all of us as the internet. The list below will only grow exponentially in the coming months. The race is on to master RTS.

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http://collecta.com/ – the one to beat for right now – collects all feeds below and then some
http://www.oneriot.com/ – searches Twitter, Digg and other social sharing services
http://tweetmeme.com/ – searches twitter and re-tweets popular tweets on twitter
http://search.twitter.com/ – searches twitter directly
http://www.scoopler.com/  – searches Twitter, Flickr, Digg, Delicious
http://blogsearch.google.com/ – search the web and only blogs
http://friendfeed.com/ – filters search results by who my frineds are and what they are saying on twitter, friendfeed

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