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Web technology and social media change radically from month to month, so it's difficult to make predictions about what The Next Big Thing is, but you can be confident that the real-time web will get bigger and more essential in 2010. It came to a head in 2009, though, and this year's applications can give you some idea of what to expect after the New Year. Twitter's influence and prominence in the growth of the real-time web goes without saying, but even if it's the flagship, there's a fleet of other new services and ventures that are bringing real-time to millions of netizens. Here's a roundup of the five most exciting general applications of the concept, and examples of each. But if you know of a great one that should be here, fill us in. 1.