Google Introduces A New Way to Collaborate

    May 29, 2009
    Chris Crum

Update: Google has shared a video demonstrating Google Wave:

Original Article: Google announced a new tool for communication and collaboration today called Google Wave. It won’t be widely available until later this year, but they are offering developers a preview currently.

"A ‘wave’ is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more," explains Software Engineer Manager Lars Rasmussen, who announced the service on the Official Google Blog.

Lars Rasmussen Tweets about Demo

In Google Wave, users can create a "wave" and add people to it. Each person on the wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and 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," explains Rasmussen. "That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication."

Google Wave Screenshot

There is also a playback feature in Google Wave, which allows users to rewind the wave and see its progression.  Google Wave itself has three layers:

– the product
– the platform, and
– the protocol.

The product includes a rich text editor and functions like drag-and-drop. The platform includes a rich set of APIs that allow developers to embed waves into other services and build new extensions. The protocol is the underlying format, which stores and allows for the sharing of waves.

Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which was announced today may have gotten a whole lot attention, but Google was not to be outdone by too much. Google Wave is one of the top trending topics on Twitter just like Bing, although different levels of enthusiasm are being displayed.

Google Wave tweet

Google Wave is built on HTML 5, and it is open source. Developers are strongly encouraged to dig in and come up with new, interesting ways to use it. More information can be found at this post, which includes links to a number of other resources.