With the emergence and spread of a variety of real-time communications protocols and channels – from IM clients to RSS and enterprise applications – the useful half-life of information has shrunk significantly, in many cases to mere seconds.PubSubHubbub, RSSCloud, ping servers, and a dozen of other technologies are also transforming RSS into a near real-time medium. However, content and information are not one and the same. Looking at our overflowing inboxes, it is clear that instant delivery is but one of many applicable filters. Having dozens or hundreds of stories delivered to you in real-time is not terribly useful if the context is wrong or irrelevant. Which raises a great question:how do we filter the real-time web?
Information vs. Attention Scarcity
Delivering highly personalized, context aware and timely information should be the goal of any publisher and application. There is simply so much information online that it’s impossible to be competitive without those deliverables. The push towards real-time technologies addresses the factor of time, but also places an even higher value oncontext andrelevance. If the breaking story requires immediate attention, should the application interrupt your current task or pull you out of a meeting?Herbert Simon identified this problem decades ago:
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