CrunchUp Live The Main Event: Real Time Round Table

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img_01802Here it is. The final panel discussion of our Real-Time CrunchUp conference. Judging from the participants, it should be a good one. Here’s the roster:

Iain Dodsworth, TweetDeck
Nick Halstead, Tweetmeme
David Hornik, August Capital
Bret Taylor, Friendfeed
George Zachary, Charles River Ventures
Loic LeMeur, Seesmic
Dan’l Lewin, Microsoft
Craig Walker, Google
Andreas Weigend, people & data, and Stanford University
Kevin Marks, former Google
Erick Schonfeld, TechCrunch
Steve Gillmor, TechCrunchIT (Moderator)

Find my live notes below (paraphrased): Or you can follow the live stream.

SG: Where is this going, what is this all about, this real-time?

ID: I started TweetDeck just me, cause I couldn’t deal with the data coming at me on Twitter. This is a massively big deal, I’m not going to webpages anymore. I’m consuming real-time data

DL: Real-time in life. And all of this will wrap around our lives.

GV: This is namespace for people versus namespace for websites. It’s very exciting and fundamental as anything we’ve been doing in 15 years.

DH: I think this is a part of the evolution. It’s the same thing that happened with RSS, we had the data, then we couldn’t sort it. Now it’s with this real-time data.

SG: Has Google fallen behind in speed?

CW: I don’t think so. Google Wave was as impressive as it gets in real time.

ES: So how does this tie into Google Chrome OS?

CW: Chrome OS is about web apps are the future. A lot of info isn’t out there, so I’m not going to say much.

DL: I’m looking forward to learning about it. And I’ll be waiting a long time (laughs).

BT: Real-time is an important feature of every site. But this is all changing user expectations. Email, social network, real-time. Now you seem to need all of them. We’re still struggling with some user interface elements. It’s simplicity of chronological information versus the need for filtering. You need to come up with an interface that mixes those. We’re thinking a lot about that. You want to load up FriendFeed and it’s all good stuff, but you don’t lose anything. I think it will be a mix.

KM: The real-time stuff distracts us a bit. Real-time is only a part of what we’re going to want. What used to real-time television and radio are now stored, but there are new real-time elements.

ES: And do you have an announcement to make?

KM: Yes, I’m joining British Telecom to work in this area.

AW: The amount of data generated by people is so huge now. Data is grow so fast, and real-time incentivizes people for it to grow faster.

NH: Real-time to me is about collecting news in real-time. Google FeedBurner is too slow, so we went with Tweetmeme on Twitter cause it’s instant. And then you press a button and then it goes back to Twitter. FriendFeed impresses me too, you retweet something and seconds later its on FriendFeed. This is real-time. To me it’s all about real-time filtering, getting data in front of the people who want it.

SG: PubSubHub is fixing the FeedBurner speed right?

NH: Yeah.

SG: So where are we going to draw value from this stream?

NH: It’s a lot of thing, the story their talking about, who mentions it, and who else is talking about it. Dynamic filtering doesn’t work for us cause the data is too live.

ES: There seem to be two main platforms: Twitter and Facebook coming on strong. How many stream platforms can there be?

LL: You have a great tie (laughs). We are pushing about 4,000,000 API calls to Facebook a day, but we don’t have it to Twitter.

ID: (laughs) We don’t have that information.

KM: You’ve got the Highlander disease again, where there can be only one. We don’t all see the same web, we see a different subset on the web.

ES: Okay if MySpace or Yahoo tried to recreate Twitter would anyone care.

KM: Yes they will, they have millions of users.

LL: I bet MySpace and Yahoo will come up with something very soon. Twitter and Facebook is just the first.

BT: I think it’s wrong to think that real-time systems will always be like AOL and Compuserve, that you can only talk to others on that network. I think it will be more like Yahoo Mail or Gmail, where you can talk to other networks. There is a lot of work on that. Federation will be big, users will demand it. Users demands for openness will win out, and the system with operate openly. So with that Yahoo could make what they wanted, and it would just work.

ES: That sounds great but Twitter can’t afford to give its firehose to Google. That’s its power.

CW: I have no idea if Twitter is not giving us accees. But IM open operation has never happened. There’s a incentive for the leader not to give away the goods.

KM: We’re talking about different things.

GZ: I think it’s going to be a return of the IM horse. We’ve reinvented IMs with this, I don’t think the name spaces will cooperate with each other.

SG: But it happens in the business world, why not the consumer world?

BT: There is no RSS of every IM you send, so it’s a bit different. We didn’t sign deals with a bunch of companies, we used feeds and APIs. That means a lot.

ES: But developers are building on top of Twitter and Facebook. How do Microsoft and Google get those guys on board?

DL: There’s infrastructure. It’s kind of like the cloud conversation, all this data is somewhere. You have to adhere to the core standards. There’s a lot of cost when you get up to hundred of millions of users. This is a similar movie to the movie has played before, but now it’s based on standards.

SG: How will this play in Twitter exits?

DH: Venture exits? Is that a joke? (Laughs) This is like anything else, the amount of data being spread is meaningful, and platforms will exists. Platforms are the big winners. The most interesting, the most useful for porn, etc. (laughs) Can we really be done 7 months into the excitement on the web? I don’t think so. We will fund the new things that come out.

SG: So what are you interested in?

DH: I honestly think this question of managing this information is what is really interesting. That’s why I invested in Aardvark. Everyone sitting here is trying to build the next interesting things. Maybe FriendFeed wins. Maybe TweetDeck wins. We’ll see.

AW: Sometimes it’s worth thinking about what’s constant. People have to be clear about the tradeoff what they’re willing to give up, things like privacy.

—-Okay, well a WiFi failure ate the final two minutes but here’s a summary: There is huge opportunity here, and it’s only going to get bigger. The number of requests to get into this conference alone says this is far from over.

Interoperability of all this data remains a big question marks. Some are sure it will come, others are sure it won’t. Some think it has to for this idea of real-time to really thrive. Some think if this happens, it will dampen the big platforms. Obviously, there is a lot of debate.

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