This week at the Google I/O developer conference, they announced what they describe as a whole new communications platform. It incoporates email, IM and integrates other communication mediums like Twitter, and it is called Google Wave.
Google Wave takes the various communication and collaboration streams that you currently use and ties them all together in “waves.” It's similar to the threaded conversations in Gmail, but incorporates IM, Twitter posts and using the Wave API, anything you want to build.
Wave was created by brothers Lars and Jen Rasussen and Stephanie Hannon in Google's Syndey, Australia offices. Lars explains, “Wave is what email would look like if it were invented today.”
MG Siegler at TechCrunch is at Google I/O and has written great review with his initial perceptions. Note that Siegler's comments are based on a demonstration, not a hands-on review. His thoughts? Simply put, Lars may be right.
Google Wave shows a lot of promise. You will be able to use Wave as a “product” built on HTML 5, but you can also embed “waves” on your blog or website to allow direct interaction. And you could even host waves on your own servers, making it an intriguing choice for collaboration behind the firewall.
What's interesting is that Wave incorporates some of the real-time features that have made their way into the limelight via Twitter, FriendFeed and (most recently) Facebook. Updates to a wave show up in realtime without a page refresh, and search also updates realtime.
Google plans to make Wave open source. You can read more about the Wave protocol at http://www.waveprotocol.org/
What do you think? Could Wave be the future of online collaboration?