Status updates, blog postings, and comments on sites - these are all components of a slow and apparent change that has been occurring all over the Internet in recent years. The incorporation of all things "real time" has been one of the greater changes we have seen throughout the Internet and its effects on the people that use it today.
At first, the Internet was just another way for people to communicate with each other. Yes, it took two minutes for one page to load, but with the introduction of email and faster Internet speeds, things have evolved into a giant ecosystem of rampant online activity.
Today, the goal is different. First, it was Twitter that introduced the question of "Whats Happening?" followed by Facebook's status updates and so on. Each of these sites and services have been popping up here and there to incorporate a proclamation of what people are doing at any given moment, anywhere on the planet. These types of sites were all very interesting and fun when they first started, but now we are seeing extreme changes in the way that people are designing and rolling out their services that are all based on one game changer.
Mobile phones have morphed the way that these sites are now functioning on a day to day basis. Most people today are now walking around with a small computer in their pockets, enabling them to be constantly in touch with the pulse of the Internet and their online communities. On top of that, most of these smart phones are equipped with GPS and can pinpoint exactly where a person is standing. Think of all the possibilities! Many of those possibilities are starting to come true through services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Google Buzz. So what's the most interesting part? It's just the beginning! These services are just in their infant stages and could provide a different realm of possibilities for growth.
My last and final point of this short but sweet post includes the incorporation of Google. Not only are they indexing and incorporating results like Facebook and Twitter into their searches, they are working to get their indexing and crawling engine to "real time" standards as well. We are no longer going to be searching an index of pages that are being intermittently updated and saved on a server somewhere. Instead, we will be searching through a live, dynamically changing, and real time Internet organism, where news and information finds you instead.
Since we have already started to see this beginning, all of these components make for an exciting online environment and provide many possibilities for other new applications. One I might mention is this little thing called advertising. But that's gonna have to be another blog post....