Wow. Just over a month ago, I thought we were more or less on the curve when it came to the move toward real-time communications on the web. But that’s the thing about this new, wacky world we’re in — even a month can bring changes and discoveries that make you revisit what you were thinking before. Here are some of those recent observations, shedding even more light on the real-time future ahead of us on the web.
Services like Qik empower mobile phone users (or at least, those with supported models) to not only shoot video on their phones, but stream it live, posting links via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or a number of other social outlets. There are other accessible live streaming video services out there, like Ustream, but live mobile streaming video is an incredibly intriguing — and potentially powerful — innovation.
Streaming video is becoming increasingly accessible and expected, and it is also being democratized thanks to services like Qik. Michael Jackson’s memorial ceremony on Tuesday was expected to bring down the (virtual) house via the high number of people watching it streamed online, and while the internet did not buckle, it did bend. Speaking of Facebook, their rollout of the Live Stream Box to the general user base is exciting given the awesome potential of combining social interaction on the web and live video.
Catch the Wave
Almost lost in the shuffle of more recent announcements about Google Apps, Google Chrome OS and Google finally dropping the beta off ubiquitous services like Gmail was the May announcement about Google Wave, the real-time communication platform currently in development. Google Wave is expected to bring information sharing and online collaboration to the next level. And why not? The minds behind Google Wave also spawned Google Maps.
Twitter currently rules the real-time search and status world, but Facebook is making moves toward snatching that crowd. By adding the option (and strongly encouraging users) to make status updates public, in addition to rolling out a real-time search engine, Facebook is seizing on the notion that real-time is ready for prime-time.
The concept of lifestreaming is not new, but it’s been getting a lot of attention lately. Wordspy defines lifestreaming as “an online record of a person’s daily activities, either via direct video feed or via aggregating the person’s online content such as blog posts, social network updates, and online photos.” One of the most obvious examples is Friend Feed. Not everyone appreciates the idea of lifestreaming, but it’s gotten some big boosters — namely top web thinker Steve Rubel, who made a big to-do of his shift to the lifestreaming platform Posterous and subsequently got a lot of folks chattering about lifestreaming. The lifestreaming movement reflects a desire by some to weave together the disparate threads of the social web into a single fabric, an unbroken narrative. What do you think?