Google Wave is on the lips of countless Google watchers today as the search monopoly announced a unique concept for online interaction. Created by the two brothers that brought Google Maps to our desktops; Lars and Jens Rasmussen. So what is a Google “Wave” and how does it work? In Lars’s own words:
A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
Here’s how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use “playback” to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.
Amongst the immense news this release is generating most experts agree that Google Wave is a likely game changer for the social media space because it could conceivably integrate all of the social platforms into a single conversation. Then Google no longer needs to consider purchasing any of the other individual social platforms if it works out that Google Wave is where the majority of social interaction takes place.
Google Wave is being previewed for developers today at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View. The keynote presentation will be available later today at which time I will see about adding it to this posting.
May 29 Update: the Google Wave Introductory video can be found here.