Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Next Wave?

Through Google Wave, Google has unveiled a set of collaborative tools that both tie into and could potentially eclipse current social networking tools (including the oldest one, email). If you watch the keynote, announcing Wave to developers, you can get a sense of the incredible potential of this tool.

That's not to say "things can't go wrong". They can, most notably if it's too difficult or too cumbersome to incorporate Wave into third party sites (Google's open sourced most of the code to facilitate tool production and integration, but still...) or if people conclude that its use puts too much of their control of their data (or too much power) into Google's hands.

But it's pretty easy to see how Wave could transform most of the social communication tools we use today, from instant messaging to blogging, to forums, to social networks, as well as offering a broad set of collaborative tools that appear to significantly improve upon those currently available through Google Docs or similar services.

For now, though, we'll have to wait and see what happens. Some developers are getting an inside look, so they can start developing tools before the release to the general public, but for you and me... we don't get to try it out until "later this year".

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