(image courtesy of Next2Friends.com)
Mashable recently wondered if “Real-Time Is The Future Of The Web”. I definitely think so as the rise of Twitter is basically a result of real-time information. Do you really care if someone is having a coffee at that moment? Probably not but being notified that someone is drinking a Starbucks coffee (your potential brand) at that moment is another situation altogether. As a brand, you are now able to engage with that person on the fly.
So if real-time information is the future of the web, how will that affect the online video world? There are already a few video community sites positioned for the real-time web like UStream and Justin.TV. Why go to YouTube and wait to upload your video when you can just as easily stream it in real-time? This is a clear advantage real-time video communities like UStream have over sites like YouTube. Yes, YouTube has dipped it’s toes into the real-time video arena with recent efforts like President Obama’s First 100 Days In Office live video event and there will always be a need for standard video community sites where your past videos can be archived. But, is YouTube positioned to be a real-time video community like UStream? Not if their agenda is to favor premium content over the foundation their community built.
Where video-based community sites that feature live streaming have a clear advantage is with the ability to incorporate real-time contextual search into the live broadcast itself. YouTube is already doing this with the contextual search ads that appear when you’re watching certain videos. However, imagine you’re watching TV and you hear or see a predefined buzz word or tag that notifies you to change the channel to watch that tagged content. That’s the advantage any real-time streaming video based community will have if people are able to tag specific keywords to find that live and real-time video content. Some technologies like EveryZing already currently allow this for standard uploaded video. Now think of doing a mobile real-time interactive video broadcast that also incorporates contextual search and you have the ability to tag your broadcast with keywords so you can generate a live audience on the fly.
Though this is a potential nightmare waiting to happen for something such as live events (it makes it even easier for someone to broadcast a live feed of a game from the stadium), can you imagine how huge this will be if you’re able to tag the Dallas Cowboys and be directed in real-time to the relevant online video broadcast covering that term? Very, very cool stuff unless you’re a Redskins fan.