Earlier today I had a debate about the Realtime Web with author Andrew Keen on a Blogtalk Radio podcast hosted by Supernova’s Howard Greenstein. (It is embedded below if you have an extra hour to spare).
Andrew thinks that real time streams such as Twitter are overwhelming and not very helpful for normal people yet. He pulled out the old canard that real time media will never replace traditional media or trusted Websites. I countered that kind of misses the point. The stream—be it Twiter, Facebook, or what have you—is simply a vehicle for directing attention elsewhere via short links and commenting on what is happening now. Those short links usually take you back to regular Websites or news articles, or even documents from years ago which all of a sudden are relevant once again. In that way, even events that happened long ago can be brought into the real time stream. It is like pulling an experience from deep memory and reliving it.
The argument veered into the philosophical (Keen challenged me to explain the difference between consciousness and memory), but fortunately we didn’t get too far down that path before wiser minds stepped in. Before I knew it investor John Borthwick from betaworks and Kevin Marks (who just joined BT from Google) were on the line schooling both Keen and me.