topten-261c397200-pixelsI’m here at TechCrunch’s “Real-Time Stream CrunchUp” event in Redwood City, California. Investors Ron Conway and John Borthwick are on stage, talking effusively about how Twitter — and real-time services in general — will end up being a big industry. The technology for instantly being able to share information back and forth, Conway says, is now where Google was in 1998 — the beginning of a huge rise.

I have to admit that I don’t quite see how that would be the case. But who knows. Conway for his part, just read off a David Letterman-style list of monetization possibilities that at least sound plausible:

10. Lead generation

9. Coupons

8. Analytics

7. Enterprise customer relationship management software (CRM), like CoTweet

6. Payments: “If I was PayPal today I would be studying this sector,” Conway says

5. Commerce

4. User authentication: verifying accounts, like corporate accounts

3. Syndication of new ads

2. Content-sensitive display advertising, another multi-billion dollar

1. Acquiring followers.

“If you add these up,” according to Conway, there’s “probably $5 billion dollars here.”

To be honest, I haven’t heard a ton of new stuff yet. I’ll update with more. In the meantime, here’s TechCrunch’s liveblog of the conference. Also, here’s a clip from Ooyala:


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