ReadWrite Web’s Real-Time Web Summit

Last week on October 15 I attended The ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit (try saying that three times fast), along with Tom Hughes-Croucher, and several other Yahoos from the Updates, Messenger and Search teams.

Ironically, considering the subject matter of the summit, this was also the day Balloon Boy didn't take off into the air, and this 'real time' news story, breaking in front of our eyes on CNN, Yahoo!, and Twitter was a perfect illustration of both our need for immediate information and our annoyance with current delivery and discovery methods.

Tom's session was about coming up with the concept of “Comet Tornado Reverse HTTP Proxy,” which provides a way to use Tornado to add real-time stuff to existing architecture. When Tom got back from his session, the Github guys were also talking about an implementation of his idea in NginX.

The session that most interested me was one on Gender and the Real Time Web. As with most tech conferences, there were only a handful of women, and most of them were in that session. We discovered that, of those in attendance, the women were less likely to share location details in real time, but otherwise, their real-time web habits didn't differ dramatically from the men.

Real-time information is obviously already upon us, but we struggle with how to best digest it. Do we need filters? Will important information bubble up out of the stream? How much time is someone willing to spend customizing their experience so that important information won't be missed? How does all of this affect how and what we build and design? I'm not sure much got firmly decided at the summit, but the conversations that took place will give us all some great places to start figuring out the answers.

Robyn Tippins
Community Manager, YDN