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Here comes the Real-time Web

Wikipedia defines the Real-time web as “a set of technologies and practices which enable users to receive information as soon as it is published by its authors... most successful examples are Facebook’s newsfeed and Twitter.” Since millions of people are addicted to posting 140-character updates on Twitter multiple times a day and millions more are addicted to following these tweets, information generation and exchange has reached a frenzied pace.

Traditional search engines are adapting fast to this new paradigm and new search engines have popped up (although Google still rules the roost). You may want to take a look at Twitter Search and Collecta.

So what does this mean for restaurants?

Real-time Content
First, if you have ever-changing content like menus, coupons, specials, events, etc., make sure you keep it up-to-date. As the Real-time Web evolves, your customers will expect real-time information all the time. If you are already a moBistro restaurant, you have the tools to manage your content real-time.

Real-time Reviews
Make sure you monitor Yelp, Urbanspoon and other restaurant review engines. Your customers are posting reviews regularly. Encourage your customers to give you positive reviews (especially if they’ve just had a great dining experience). You’ll be surprised how many people use Urbanspoon and Yelp. At the time of this writing, they are ranked number 2 and 3 respectively in the Free>Travel category of the iPhone App Store.

Real-time Media
Make sure you are engaged in social-media tactics. Tweeting often about experiences and happenings at your restaurant is a must. Chances are that your customers are tweeting and blogging about your restaurant already. In the world of real-time information, word about your service, food, ambiance and prices travels faster than you can imagine.

Bing (Microsoft’s re-branded search engine) has launched a Twitter search engine. Only last week, Google unveiled its own version of real-time searches complete with images and the latest news. See this video:

One can only imagine what the explosion of mobile devices will do to the Real-Time Web. Is your website ready to service your mobile customer real-time?

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