Real Time Web. What and who is it good for?

I followed along online to TechCrunch’s CrunchUp earlier today. Two thoughts popped into my mind during the parts I was able to follow. First is regarding real time web and its importance. Second is how much thought and energy is put on how real time web will be abused my malicious netizens (which I’ll cover in the post following this).

Ok. Real time web’s importance. First, what information needs to be broadcast and received in real time? Second, who needs it?

I really have a tough time finding any vital uses for real time web. Today, information goes out, gets filtered, and gets consumed. Pretty quickly. How long does it take a breaking news event to reach the media? Not long. Faster the better, right? Perhaps on the surface, but is it better? If there is an earthquake in San Francisco, what good does it do me (in NY) to find about it in real time vs. 15-30 minutes for it to reach the major news sites? My life is unaltered by finding out about events, news, opinions, or anything else in real time.

So then, who really needs it? And what does it do to serve the greater good? Traffic? Weather? hmmm.