What you need to know to understand Alexey Navalny, one of Vladimir Putin’s loudest critics
How some North Dakota farmers and two former Cheesecake Factory execs are reinventing casual dining
Campaigns to raise the minimum wage are finally coming to fruition
The Salesforce.com CEO is pushing his fellow tech billionaires into giving back to the city
From the U.S. jobless rate to the ruble to pollution in Beijing, here are 10 key indicators that you'll want to keep an eye on
Irate parents find an "extruding tool" for decorating cakes unsavory
Reward points suffer from inflation, too. Here are three strategies for getting the most out of the points you have, before their value falls
"No place to rage quite like the Kasper Multipurpose Room," one student gripes
The Zappos CEO is spending $350 million to build a startup paradise in downtown Las Vegas. It hasn't been all unicorns and butterflies
By Robert D. Hof
As Web advertising hits the doldrums and even a once high-flying sector such as search ads slows, entrepreneurs and investors are looking for the next big thing on the Internet. Many of them think they've found it: the real-time Web. That's the term they're using to describe the many new kinds of live social activities occurring online, from tweets on Twitter and status updates on Facebook to sharing of news, videos, and Web links on many other sites.
Some of them, such as Facebook, are social networks, of course. Indeed, the "real-time Web" is a somewhat misleading moniker. These companies' main value lies in the social connections they enable as much as the immediacy of the services. When entrepreneurs and investors get excited about what they're calling the real-time Web, they're talking about services that combine immediacy and social connections in a way that makes them easy and even addictive.
Real-time Web startups are providing everything from basic utilities and business applications to search and e-commerce. Here's a look at this new generation: