Realtime: why it won’t work for me (and for you)

Above is a picture of the numbers of feeds that I receive in my Google Reader (labeled with tems posted) and the numbers of items I read (labeled with items read). Not an interesting graph at all, since it won’t tell you much about what I am reading, the only thing it will tell you is that I often don’t read the items right after I received them.

The relaunch of RSScloud

Last week RSScloud was (re)launched. Which enables something like a  real-time rss platform. Which is very nice, especially for the geeks (me) and nerds (not me) who thinks that this is the feature they really need to have right now. However as the above graph shows, I will not use real-time at all. The reason for my current reading pattern is that I read whenever I completed some tasks, or when I am bored, or whenever I think I need to. If things are urgent they will come to me either way in a rather short notice (via people, phone, twitter, social media, etc etc). You don’t have the time either to be real time, unless your daily business is gazing at a screen waiting till you got triggered by the real time events on your laptop / iphone / other device. Most people have other daily business so they won’t be able to act real time, or will be somewhere during the day at places that they cannot handle the real time items (doing 100km/h isn’t the best time to read your feeds, especially not on a crowded high way, neither is waking up during the night for every new item that is posted).

Real-time? Yes it is nice, but not useful as I already wrote here. On demand is more likely since you want to consume at the times you decide, not at the times that somebody else decides for you. If you go real time your information consumption can end up be like drinking from the fire hose: it will get you instant water, but can you handle it? A firehouse doesn’t stop, unless the source from where the water is coming will dry up.