December 7, 2009

Free report: ‘Real-Time Search and Discovery of the Social Web’

Google, Microsoft scramble to incorporate real-time search into their results

David SparkCall it good or bad timing, but I just happened to finish a report on real-time search on the day that Google announced its rollout of its integrated real-time search results within its general search results. After some last-minute edits, the report is now done and I’m making it available to everyone for free. It’s titled, “Real-Time Search and Discovery of the Social Web.” You can download the PDF, or view it as a slide show on Scribd.

Given that I’m makiing the report available free, I ask just one thing in return: feedback. Positive, negative, it’s all welcomed — just please make it constructive. I’m eagerly learning as much as I can about this subject. This is an area that I think is going to grow like crazy, and we’re only looking at a thumbnail’s worth of what is yet to come.

Here are some highlights from the report.

  • Real-time search could steal away as much as $40 billion from traditional search. Google and Microsoft’s announcement to incorporate real-time search results is a good first step to prevent losses.
  • The definition of real-time search is far more varied than the definition of traditional search. You’ll see more variations in what is considered a real-time search engine.
  • Continue reading

October 23, 2009

Web 2.0 Summit: Content & search get social

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

Social networks becoming more relevant to offline lives

JD LasicaI have been to every Web 2.0 Summit since its launch except for one (when I had a speaking commitment in Toronto), so it was good to be back at the venerable technology conference in San Francisco this week. This year’s event was not a somber affair, but it was considerably smaller in attendance: probably 50-60 percent off its high of a couple of years ago (that’s my estimate, not official). Just look at the Flickr stream: probably one-tenth the size of a couple of years ago.

Here’s my Flickr photo gallery of the summit — that’s Aneesh Chopra, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, above. I briefly got to meet him backstage. (Disclosure: I was admitted with a press pass.) His deputy, Andrew McLaughlin, dissected dumber-than-dumb U.S. regulations — in effect preventing Government 2.0 from taking place — at the Web 2.0 Expo last spring. I asked Chopra about this from the floor and he talked animatedly about the progress his office is making in cutting the red tape to ribbons.

If there was a theme this year, it was this: Content is getting increasingly social. We see that through the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter), through news organizations that are struggling to find a business model (the social journalism-friendly Huffington Post is expanding its staff), and through a panpoly of new “social search” and “real-time search” results rolled out by the major search engines.

The tech press has already covered the newsworthy items coming out of the Summit (a sister event, Web 2.0 Expo, is held each spring in SF and will be held Nov. 16-19 in New York). Chief among them: announcements that Microsoft’s Bing search engine will now offer results from the real-time Web via Twitter updates (at and, soon, public updates on Facebook (no money was exchanged), and Google will now offer a deeper set of Twitter updates, including something called a social circle (social search), due to debut early next year.

So here are some snippets of the scene at this year’s Web 2.0 Summit: Continue reading