Real Time Conversations: The Next Big Big Thing

May 3, 2009

Short honk: real time conversation is the next big thing. You will want to read Marshall Kirkpatrick’s “The Man Who Made Gmail Says Real Time Conversation Is What’s Next” here. The source is the person who coded up Gmail in one day and then knocked off AdSense. (My hunch is that he had help from other Googlers.) Now Paul Buchheit is a Xoogler, working at FriendFeed. For me, the most interesting comment in the article was:

The father of the best web email program on the planet believes that a real-time streaming interface for simplified aggregation of conversation and content from all around the web is going to join the handful of tools we use regularly, like email, IM and blogging.

After reading the article, I had three questions. First, why hasn’t Google been more aggressive in this market space? Maybe Mr. Buchheit was a voice unheard? Second, will services such as FriendFeed leapfrog Google the way Google hopped over Yahoo a decade ago?  Finally, maybe Google knows something about the fragility of real time conversation systems that elude lesser minds?

Stephen Arnold, May 3, 2009


One Response to “Real Time Conversations: The Next Big Big Thing”

  1. Jim Peake on May 3rd, 2009 1:16 pm

    Stephen here are my two cents on this real time conversations thing. And just for the record I have interviewed Bret Taylor of friendfeed and Biz Stone of Twitter for an upcoming book.

    Answers to your questions from my experience:

    #1) Google is waiting for the market of technologies to generate cash
    #2) Friendfeed has to make a UI that is user friendly, too cryptic for many
    #3) Doubt it. now that tools like Twitter are “celebrity mainstream” a la Oprah this conversation is only going to grow. Biz Stone agreed with me that Twitter is “the killer application” for mobile because they are the glue that keep people connected

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