Google has launched a new set of tools to increase user interaction with Google Wave. Among the tools are a "WaveThis" button, a "WaveThis" bookmarket and a chrome extension.
Google Wave was introduced last year, and a lot of hype was built up around it. Very few people actually had access to it for a while, but eventually more and more people got invites, but many were still unsure of what to do with the service once they did have access. At Google I/O last month, Google announced that Wave was available to all, and that it is now part of Google Apps.
Ars Technica has an interesting interview with Wave developer Lars Rasmussen, who talks about the ways people have been using Wave, and how the availability to more people (including devleopers) will open up greater possibility for the service.
Perhaps getting these new tools out there will help in getting Wave more exposure and increased usage as well. Until now, if you wanted to share information from the web with Wave, you would have to go the copy and paste route, as Douwe Osinga of the Google Wave Team mentions, but now you can use these tools to do so.
The WaveThis button lets visitors to a site share content to a Wave. "It's less public than broadcast tools and more interactive than using email," says Osinga. When a user clicks the button, it copies the title and URL into a new Wave, and the user and their friends can start discussing it.
Webmasters can create URLs that, if followed, automatically create new waves with specific titles and content. "Now, a wave wouldn't be a wave if all you could do was copy over some plain old text," says Osinga. "Websites that want to incorporate some interactivity into the resulting waves can specify a helper gadget."
These tools are all available as a result of the WaveThis API. More information about implementation can be found here.