Real-time search – all or nothing at all

On the entry of incumbents into the real-time search space

The discovery of topical, fresh and novel information has always been an important aspect of search.
But the perception of what recent is and the appreciation for the real-time aspect has changed dramatically with the popularity of services like Twitter.

As a result a wave of Real-time Search engine startups emerged.

This has been caused and supported by several facts:

  1. People really care about real-time information.
  2. The big players were chary in integrating real-time features.
  3. The free Twitter API provided even small startups with sufficient data from day one.
  4. The limited focus on recent and popular information kept infrastructure cost moderate, temporarily lowering the market entry barrier to search.

But it was obvious from the very beginning that a separated real time search space would exist only for a limited time frame.
Now the incumbents entered the arena, and closing the real-time gap, pushed by the sustained interest of users in real-time search.

This confirms the importance of real-time to search. It also makes real-time an essential part of search and search without that aspect will be considered incomplete.
But the same is true vice-versa. And this poses a huge challenge to real-time search startups.
Only services with an unified and holistic vision of both real-time and general web search will persist in the long run, now that integrated solutions from strong brands exist.

Search is about user experience and scaling. So far scaling has been synonymous to costs. Google envisions 10 Million Servers . What about startups, whose war chest is too small for such brute force approach of copying the Internet to a central system?

A decentralized P2P architecture with its organic scaling characteristics is the adequate answer for a truly web scale approach to search.
People powered search as a smart distributed architecture combined with wisdom of crowds liberates search from the primacy of money. With FAROO there is an App for that 😉