Growth5 Blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Google Wave

Have you been following the hype over Google Wave? Google hasn't released Wave yet, but since it was revealed at the Google Developer Conference it's been generating quite a bit of buzz.

What is it?

From the official Google Blog:
A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
How does it work?
In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.
What Google has done here is similar to what Marc Andreessen did with social networks. Instead of trying to create the "best" social networking site, Andreessen created Ning, a platform all social networks can use.

Google is hoping Wave will be the conduit for which all social activity travels - a potential one log-in solution. Right now with most social networks, your content is walled off from the rest of the web unless they join the social network you are using to get full access. With Wave, your information will be available at all times to anyone you give permission to regardless of what network they are using.

Since Wave is open source it will be interesting to see how the tool evolves as developers create different uses for it.

If you don't have time to check out the full 80 minute preview Google has put out here, you can check out short clips here covering the following Wave features:
-Inline Replies
-As-You-Type Live Updates Over the Internet Between Users
-Wave Revision Playback
-Private Replies
-Embed Waves into Web Pages
-Live Collaboration on a Single Wave
-Live Updating Search Results
-Contextual Spellcheck
Related: Fast Company provides five reasons to be terrified of Wave here.

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