Changes to the Earth that used to take 10,000 years now take three years. This has led to a very strong interest in “real-time science.” At the same time, as the information society matures, we are seeing demands for government information (paid for by the taxpayer) to be made available in real-time. Census results that used to take ten years to process now take two years, and that is major progress. It is also 20 years behind the art of the possible and some would say, the art of the necessary. With Rapid SMS where it is today in Africa, there is no reason why census data–and all other forms of data funded by the taxpayer–cannot be made available as collected, as processed, as analyzed–three different levels of value, none now constrained by time and materials, only by old mind-sets unfamiliar with the state of best practices outside the wire.
Similarly, real-time marketing and real-time needs definition and satisfaction are emergent.
Stephen E. Arnold, for over a decade the “virtual CTO” to the multinational multifunctional information-sharing and sense-making community that gathered annually from 1992 to 2006, is at the forefront of this specific emerging convergence of human needs and information communication technologies (ICT). Below are snippets from three of his recent pieces, and contact information.
Snippet #1: Insstant Mobile Videos: Infomercials in Three Minutes
Why is this real-time digital video worth doing?
There are three reasons, and you will undoubtedly identify more once you explore this marketing and communications technique. First, short videos are popular and entering the mainstream as a potent marketing technique. Your firm may only have a handful of customers. When you inform those customers that a short 30 to 60 second video is available, a click on that link displays the video. You are able to deliver a believable, brief reminder about the value of your company’s products or services. Second, once you own a device like the iPhone, the other components of distributing and alerting are free. Yes, free. Compare that value to the cost of producing a 60 second spot for a local cable challenge. Third, you can generate these videos in real time. When something important happens, you can blast out the information. Compared to a news release or a traditional Web log post, you are chopping hours, maybe days or even weeks, out of the message time line.
Snippet #2: The Boom in Real-Time Search
Most business professionals profess to want information that is fresh. Sadly few people realize that the online services may update their indexes once an hour, once a week, and some less frequently.
The reasons for the slow index updates are technical and financial, but when a City financial dealer looks for online information, specialist systems that cost thousands of pounds a month provide data. The free stock quotes are too stale to be of much value.
Time, therefore, is money.
A trend is building within free Web search. An increasing number of companies are touting their systems as delivering “real time search”. What is real time?
The answer is, “It depends.”
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