The REAL real time search

Blog search is mighty thin in Wikipedia. Technorati’s entry is stale. IceRocket and BlogPulse are stubs. BlogScope is minimal.

It’s really wierd. While “real time” is heating up as a topic, real time search seems to have fallen off the radar of everybody other than itself.

Take this piece by Marshall Kirkpatrick in ReadWriteWeb. It begins, Web search, real-time search and social search. That’s a pretty compelling combination and it’s what both Google and Facebook put on the table today in a head-to-head competiton. Then it compares Google, Facebook and Bing at all three, in a chart.

Hey, why not the search engines that have been looking at real time for the duration? Here’s IceRocket on real time search as a string. You get blogs, Twitter, video, news and images. Fast, simple, uncomplicated, straightforward. Like a search engine ought to be.

Here’s the IceRocket trend line for “real time search”. And here’s the BlogScope trend line for “blogging”.

Earth to buzz: You’re obsessing on the wrong thing. “Real time search” isn’t just Twitter and Facebook. It’s blog search too. Always was.

Syndication and real time will matter long after “social” goes passé. (And “social” will matter long after the next buzzthing goes passé.)

For whatever reasons, Google and Bing don’t get it. There are better tools out there for Live Web search. Check ‘em out.

Bonus graph.

7 comments

  1. Marshall Kirkpatrick’s avatar

    Doc, point taken. For what it’s worth we just held an unconference on real time web and we’re working on a research report on the topic and for that I’ve interviewed 45 companies *other than* Twitter and Facebook in the real time market. But yesterday’s news was about Twitter and Facebook.

  2. G. Chomic’s avatar

    Thinking about this Doc – extend it a bit. Real time search, the term or perhaps just the buzz associated with it, seems to exclude historical events on the real time web. (The term ‘real time web’ does as well.) While real time searches are by their nature a search into (recent) history, there’s something to be said for having the ability to blend the best of now with the best of news/articles/papers of the latter day.

    It’s not just about what’s been tweeted, posted, and blogged about. Or it shouldn’t be, at least.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Marshall. I didn’t mean to harsh on you personally, or out of context. You’ve got a high profile, so when I went looking for a single source of vendor sports coverage that missed the Live Web, your piece came up first. I do enjoy your work and I’m glad you’re out there doing a good job covering as much of Everything as you can.

    My point was primarily about the relative invisibility of Live Web search, and secondarily about how the big boys either aren’t part of it, or don’t do the best job of it.

    Do you think you’ll cover this category more, or shall I remain a voice in the wilderness on it? :-)

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    G, I couldn’t agree more. One of the questions I’m afraid to ask is what happened to Technorati’s massive archive of all blog posts since it went into business in 2003. Dave Sifry made a point of keeping those. Google doesn’t. I doubt that even it’s zillion-server data centers can keep old copies of everything. But Technorati did that, and it could have been an amazing resource. It’s odd that Google and Twitter Search and Bing are looking at What’s There Now, they have little history. Thank goodness Google added a way to seach through various depths of the recent past (under “options…”), but Technorati was created from the start to archive it all, so later something could be done with it. One could search it deeply. For example, for what was being written about during a given period of time. (Not just “last 90 days” or “last week”.)

    I visited that subject when I wrote The World Live Web, back when Technorati was still its old self.

    But it’s a new self now, and I’m guessing that the archive is gone. But… I dunno. Hope not.

  5. Dave Winer’s avatar

    I’ve got another clue for Marshall — don’t just look at companies. You’ll miss that a lot of the work in this area is being done by people.

  6. Dave Winer’s avatar

    Also, as I’m sure you remember Doc, it’s always been this way. A market develops, a bunch of people get it started, then someone at a big company discovers it, changes its name (sometimes they don’t even do that) and relaunches it as if it were something wholly new. The press, many of whom were aware of the earlier efforts, goes for it. Their reasoning is that “everyone knows” that it only matters when a big company does it. However, if you look at history that’s often not true, it’s often the small guy who ends up defining the market, despite what the press thinks.

    A classic case is P2P. There were all kinds of early efforts, some remarkably popular (thinking of Napster) and the industry launched a huge hype balloon, led by your friend and mine, Tim O. Conferences, white papers, press tours, books, VC, startups, etc etc. Billions of dollars thrown at it. What ends up taking the prize? BitTorrent! An open source project launched by a bunch of nerds led by a guy with Asbergers who couldn’t charm a press person if his life depended on it. I don’t know if it was the best technology, but it certainly was good enough. It wasn’t glitzy or even particularly easy to to use. It worked, and most important, you could get the movies and TV shows you wanted.

    I’ve learned this first-hand myself many times. My projects have never gotten the support of guys like Marshall, yet some of them (by no means all) went on to be market leaders. For the last decade and a half I’ve had the means to take side-bets on these euphoria through my blog and various open source projects I participate in. I’d be willing to bet (as I have) that in five years we look back on this and most of the companies Marshall interviewed will be forgotten and something like BitTorrent will rule this space, gently of course. :-)

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