What is Google Wave? It’s a plethora of superb features and on the surface, Google wave looks like a great product.
Google’s anticipated real-time communication software launches today. How ever you must be invited to Google Wave in order to use it.
The difference with this product is that it is open source. Google want help completing the development of Google Wave as it’s currently in beta and on the Google sand box platform.
Google wave is seen as a communication and collaboration tool that basically hosts objects that contain conversations between many people. Unlike email it is real time and dynamic in the way that it stores and sends messages. A wave is 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. It can has a real time spell check, play back facility so you can play back previous conversations. You can embed waves onto your web pages using the Google Wave APi, which based on the previous Google Math API. A wave can also be embedded into a blog using the API’s, which includes all the UI and messages. You can follow a conversation from many sources and theres no need to go to each of our sites – it can all be viewed in the wave client. It looks genius!
The embed API can also intereact with other social media sites. The Google demo uses Orchid where you can embed and create a new wave on Orchid. You can also use your social media contacts in Orchid aswell as yoru wave contacts. You can also embed a search panel so you can search for contacts and conversations. Wave is of course mobile where you can interact with your waves remotely using your mobile phone.
There is only one copy of the wave at any one time. So editing the wave is easy; you can edit say image captions which also then propogates the changes on blogs etc. Other people can also edit your waves which can be usefull for say collaboration on meeting notes between a number of people. Changes to text and messages are marked up in a different colour so you can see each others edits. By default everyone can edit the wave, but when something is changed the author is notified and everyone can see who changed what.
This makes for a very powerfull collaboration tool. How can this be applied to a document? Well waves can be cleverly used in the editing and production of a document and this also has playback where you will be able to manipulate the entire history of the wave. Once a document is completed, you can hide and show discussions. More features are promised in the final cut of the wave product for document collaboration with the ability to merge waves and documents.
A clever thing is how wave allows multiple people to transmit messages, edit documents at the same time in real time. This is really concurrent editing.
So, Google wave! Will it catch on and be a big hit amongst the online masses or just a specialised tool for the few? Let’s wait and see – I’ll let you know after a few weeks of use. I’ll keep you posted!