This week, the team behind the Google Maps announced Google Wave, a hybrid between email, instant messaging, online forums and wikis. Each Wave is a conversation – you can start a wave with any number of participants. A wave is started with an initial message (most likely an email) and participants communicate using instant messaging if they were online. In addition, they can attach documents, embed rich data including maps, documents and other files as well.
Wave, the Google team describes, is what email should be if it was invented now, rather than the 1960s. It takes into account the different forms of communication that we all use nowadays (email, IM) and blends it with the ways that we store data (Wikis, documents). It has potential to offer that much needed structure to collate our communication by topics of conversation, rather than by each message. If successful, it could mean a huge paradigm change in the way that we organize our information. (Head over to Mashable [link] to read a more detail walkthrough of Wave functionality.)
Of course, I’m not the only one getting excited about Wave. In fact, a lot of people are. So excited that there’s even a Dundee Wave Google Group springing up (I’m guessing they’re happy to have non-Dundonians to join in the fun). I’m intrigued as to what type of additional functionality that Google want outside developers to add into it. As far as I can see, the product has so many functions packed in, that it would take end-users a good bit of time to get to grips with using it first – let alone adding extra features.
Do you have any thoughts on how Wave will develop? Please share in the comments.