A few months ago Amazon contacted me about our usage of Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), a messaging platform that enables topic-based messaging between applications. At the time we were one of the biggest consumers of SNS, and they were curious about what we were doing with it. I pointed them to http://realtime.active.com and explained our realtime architecture to them. Intrigued, they showed a few of their engineers and later decided to write a whitepaper about Active.com Realtime and SNS.
Active.com was looking for a way to analyze a user’s click-stream in near real-time to deliver pertinent trending information in a timely manner. One of the fundamental ways that Active.com enhances user experience on its website is by understanding and anticipating user needs- surfacing relevant content dynamically to users whenever possible. This is reflected in the “Popular Near You” feature on the homepage, or the “Events Near You” feature on the channel pages, such as active.com/running.
I've gotta give props to Kevin over at Amazon for driving this whole thing. And of course, I've also gotta give props to the two guys who built Realtime, Brian Levine and Rob Cameron!