Google Wave Goodbye to Traditional Online Communication
by Editor, Web Wise Business (18 June 2009)
At the end of May, Google announced that it is nearing the launch of it's latest product that will revolutionise the way we use the web - Google Wave.
Developed by the pair behind Google Maps, Jens and Lars Rasmussen, Google Wave aims to transform the way we communicate with others online by removing the divides between the types of communication we use - email, chat, blogging, instant messaging and documents.
By creating a single communications model that amalgamates the aforementioned communications types, Google are attempting to create a system that takes advantage of computers' current abilities, rather than imitating non-electronic communications in an online format.
So what is a Google Wave and how does it work? According to the developers behind the project, "a "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more."
Google Wave works by allowing you to create a "wave" and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can then use richly formatted text, photographs, videos, applications and even feeds from other sources on the web to communicate with everyone else involved in the particular wave. Users will be able to insert replies in conversations or edit the wave directly. Through "concurrent rich text editing", users will be able to see, almost instantly, what your fellow collaborators are typing in your waves. Therefore, Google Wave is equally as useful as both a quick messaging system with other friends/colleagues that are online at the same time, or as persistent content and contact due to the fact that, similar to email and forum communication, users can check in whenever they like and contribute at any point in the wave to re-establish communication on a given topic etc. Using the "playback" function, users can rewind the wave to see how it evolved.
As with Android, Google's mobile platform, and Google Chrome, the search giant's internet browser, Google plan to make the code for Wave open-source as a means to encourage involvement from the developer community in a similar fashion to Apple's iPhone app's which are on of the products key selling points, yet have cost Apple almost nothing to develop.
By inviting developers to add a variety of "cool stuff" before public launch, Google will effectively increase the desire to use the system for a far wider audience. Some will want to use it for communicating with friends in their personal life as an almost instant Facebook type stream, allowing them to post holiday photo's, maps of where they were when they were taken etc. Others will be inclined to use the system for business uses, utilising functionality such as collaborative document editing etc.
One thing is for sure though, however people choose to use Google Wave, the system is almost certainly set to alter and revolutionise online communication between both social and professional networks.
Expected for public launch later this year, this is certainly one worth keeping an eye on.
If you want to know more about Google Wave, and have 80 minutes to spare, check out the video above.