Google Wave may soon make some significant strides towards winning over people who don’t see the need for a new form of communication. This week, Google semi-officially endorsed an open source project that would see Wave imitate several aspects of traditional online forums.
David Crane, the founder of Debatewise, is the developer behind the push, and he was asked to write about it on the Google Wave Developer Blog. Crane argued, "A forum could be a killer app for Wave. It’s a tool that people already use in huge numbers for specific purposes, are used to keeping separate to their email, and will dip in and out of as required."
Crane then continued, "Wave is similar enough for them to jump in quickly and different enough for them to get, and be hooked by, the benefits. . . . Wave could enhance and improve upon some of the most important features of a forum and through acclimatisation, will encourage them to use it for a world of other purposes."
So Crane – and/or Google – is looking for developers to help realize three goals. First, he’d like to see a way of grouping waves around subject matters. The second objective is to encourage participation using things like karma levels and trophies. Finally, he’s interested in implementing trust mechanisms to distinguish between helpful and useless individuals.
It should be interesting to see how this project progresses. Google Wave still doesn’t seem to have found an audience in its original form, so perhaps Google will lend Crane some additional support in order to speed up the process.