Trying to keep up-to-date with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. is not a new problem. There are entire desktop applications dedicated to aggregating this content for your consumption. Still I find myself drowned by the noise. It would be optimistic to say that a quarter of this social stream directly interests me. Additionally this content is decoupled from other forms of communication (i.e. SMS / e-mail). These are some of the reasons why I am excited about the prospects of Google Wave.
Last week Google announced what can best be described as a communications platform. It mixes traditional e-mail with a slew of modern features. Real-time collaborative editing, event planning, and a game of chess are just a few of the tasks you can carry out from within the platform. — Anyone used SubEthaEdit? — The engineers developed Wave by asking themselves what e-mail would look like if it were invented today. The result is e-mail on steroids.
Where Facebook presents a view of the conversations from your hundreds of contacts, Wave focuses on conversations that you are directly involved with. You will even be able to branch new (private) conversations with whomever you wish. Conversations can be played back so late-comers can see how they evolved. How many times have you received a forward with broken fragments of conversation and you are supposed to understand all the context around it? No more my friends!
Much of Wave will be embeddable as well. An example was shown of blog authoring from Wave. Edits are published in real-time. Comments on the blog are also pushed back to the wave interface in real-time. A blog author could immediately start up a conversation with a complete stranger who posts a comment on their article if they both happen to be online at the same time.
Another interesting note is that Google Wave is indeed a platform. An entire protocol is being developed so anyone can host their own Wave Server. Entire conversation can be held without leaving your intranet. Information only leaves your Wave host when outsiders are brought into the conversation. Still, parts of the wave that occur internally will stay internal. This platform also means we won’t be forced to consume ads down the road and we truly own the content.
If you have 80 minutes and a tolerance for poor presentation style, feel free to watch the announcement from Google I/O.
Filed under: Technology