Monday, February 15, 2010

Google Buzz and the Not-So-Live Web

The thing Google has realized is that people want everything to happen instantly. This is most true when it comes to communication. However, that is not the area in which Google shines. They have probably done more for means of instant communication than any other company on the Internet. The product that comes to mind that no one really cares about is pubsubhubbub. This is a way that instant communication means can scale in a decentralized method.

What it comes down to is alerting other services when an action is performed. In my case this is most often posting a status message on Twitter. Facebook manages to import this message as me status in only a few seconds. Occasionally it doesn't work, but the delay is typically very small.

Now one of the benefits of Buzz is that you can import feeds from other services. One of the first things I did was import my Tweets into Buzz. Twitter is great because typically the things you say are time sensitive. Right now, messages take many hours to be imported into Buzz. So when I say I'm watching TV at 9 PM on Twitter, it gets sent out to the world on Buzz at 3 AM and my friends thing I'm crazy. You would think at the very least they would use the post time included as part of the Atom feed.

The real problem probably doesn't boil down to technology. The problem is more likely companies and openness. Twitter believes it has value in keeping their data locked down, at least slightly. This is not going to be the case moving into the future. Users are going to be in control of their data, and if we want two services to integrate and they do not, something is going to have to give.

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