Ready to ride the Wave?

What will Google think of next? First Chrome debuts (complete with full comic storyboard detailing the web browser’s origins), and now bits + pieces about the company’s “Wave” project appear in various news sources. Hyped as a new means to communicate and collaborate on the web, Google bills its pending tool as:

“…equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.”

“A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when…”

“…a wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.”

The fine folks at Tech Crunch have demo’d the Wave, and offer this assessment: everyone uses email and instant messaging on the web now; imagine if you could tie those two forms of communication together and add a load of functionality on top of it. At its most fundamental form, that’s essentially what Wave is.

Sounds interesting, right? Well, someone has to pen a dissenting view; Fast Company leads the pack with this “Five Reasons to Be Terrified of Google Wave” story. Do I have an opinion? Not yet, although with Google cutting funding for a number of projects — but keeping its investment in Wave — I’ve already signed up for the beta version. Considering the corporate giant is rarely wrong when it comes to investing in such projects, I believe its just a matter of time before Google’s Wave becomes another go-to product in the search firm’s robust suite of offerings.

(*This entry also ran on DCSpring21 today)

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Farial Shahnaz

I’ve actually got an account on Google Wave (attended the dev conference), and yes, using wave can be a little confusing. You might have several people editing the same wave simultaneously where some are writing FAQs while others are chatting and others are replying to messages left by previous users. It’s really email, chatting, collaborative doc editing (like wikis), blogging, discussion forums all rolled into one. My initial impression is that for things to make sense, I’d first need to decide what sort of wave I want to start (a conversation vs. collaborative document editing), and then add people accordingly to participate in the wave. Perhaps the goal is to use a single framework to do these different tasks and switch mindset/work pattern based on the task.

Being able to integrate all these different communication/collaboration platforms within a single UI is a pretty significant achievement… but it’s still not fully developed. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if Google can change the digital world… again 🙂

Hey anyone out there who attended the conference as well?