June 2, 2009

Riding The Next Google Wave

Last week Google previewed the next step in interactive social media communication called Google Wave. Wave will be a combination of:
  • - cloud document and media sharing
  • - email / threaded email (like Gmail)
  • - instant messaging

But what Wave will add to the mix will be features like:
  • Twitter / social media site search and posting collaboration
  • real time media insertion into blogs and web pages
  • real time typing for all those on a Wave
  • "playback" feature to rewind or forward to see what changes or comments were added in the past.
  • live collaboration wiki style
  • drag and drop files and media into a wave
  • open source API
  • Wave applications like Twave (for integration with Twitter) and other apps being developed later
  • real time spell and grammar checker using the context of the sentence
This could be the first step from just the information age to the interactive information age. It really looks like Google has combined the quasi-real time features of Twitter and Friendfeed with cloud collaboration and added the real time interactivity into it. With many individuals and even families now choosing to leave the "land line" behind and rely on cell phones and their computers for all communication, tools like Wave will become more and more useful and important as we leave old technologies behind.

Old technologies that required us to use multiple steps and to switch between a myriad of different programs are being combined into one with new platforms like Wave. For example:

The old way:
  1. You want to share a picture with your friends
  2. you email you picture as an attachment to your friend
  3. they decide to post the picture on Facebook
  4. your friend Tweets about the picture
  5. another friend emails you asking if they can post the picture to their blog
  6. you email them back telling them its fine...
  7. the picture has to be manually uploaded to the blog and formatted
  8. someone wants to comment on the blog picture but isn't registered with the blog
  9. that someone flame spams your comments because he is the ex-boyfriend of the girl in the picture
  10. etc...
The new way:
  1. You decide to share a picture with your friends
  2. You start a Wave with any friend that has a Google account and post the picture for everyone's approval
  3. You add Twave, Facebook app, and the Bloggy apps to the wave.
  4. people on the Wave comment, delete, or add information in real time
  5. you post the Wave to the Internet (which gets posted to Twitter, FB and your Blog all at the same time in real time.
  6. The other people on the wave can keep the wave moving on by adding more people to the Wave and encouraging more interactivity.
Where we had to use 4 or 5 different tools before (email client, twitter client, FB, FTP or uploader) we now just use Wave to share and collaborate with anyone on the Wave.

The only problem I see with it is that Wave will make the tsunami (pun intended) of information overload that RSS and Twitter have brought to us look a ripple in the pond. Get your surf board waxed up, its gonna be a gnarly ride dude!

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