Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Future of Social Networking? Google Wave...

I am quite a fan of Google; I use Gmail, Reader, Calendar, Documents, etc. So I have been reading about the development of one of its new products - Google Wave, with great interest.

What is Google Wave?

Well, it is quite unlike anything else that we have at the moment. It is billed as a "real time communication platform". But it is a bit like email, IM, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, all rolled into one.

Why am I interested?

I can see some huge benefits for business use, as well as private use. My interest in these new developments is two-fold. I suppose I am a geek wannabee, and I enjoy new technologies, but I also want to see how we can utilise new technologies to allow people with disabilities to better take part in society, and specifically employment. I can see some great ways that Google Wave could be used / developed. Especially for people who, for whatever reason, may be working remotely, but with a team.

So the details, what is it really, what does it look like, and how do you use it?

One of the best sites which explains it is on http://mashable.com/2009/05/28/google-wave-guide/ where they use the system and detail it. They use wave, I think as it can be added to - a Wave is the overall picture, which is made up of wavelets, wavelets are themselves made up of blips, and the blips can contain documents, web pages, messages, pictures, etc.. So you start with a ripple, and anyone can add more and more as you advance. Much of the individual details are methods that many of us are already comfortable with…but it is the way that they are drawn together into one place, is the key here.

  • Real Time - like with IM, you see the person typing.
  • Wiki - anyone (invited) can add, change, and everyone can see the changes, and who, and when the changes were made.
  • Add ons. There are many applications, add-ons, & extensions that can be made to the system, and being open source, I think we can expect many more to be developed in the future.
  • Sharing - by merely dragging and dropping, everyone can have access to you documents.

It is also possible to embed the wave into an existing website.

It is going to be interesting to see how this develops after it is launched. But I am sure it is going to be the next big thing…remember,
you read it here first!!!

If you want to sign up to the development then go to https://services.google.com/fb/forms/wavesignup/

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