A Personal Communication and Collaboration Tool is about to be released later this year by Google. It will be a real time communication platform which combines much of the existing communication applications such as email, wikis, chat, social networks and project management into a browser based client.
If you head to Google’s Wave site you will be introduced to a few terms used in Google Wave, such as Wave, Wavelet and Blip, just to name a few. Once this tool hits the web you probably will get used to it anyway. But for now it would be just a new set of terms used in a new tool.
A Wave is the term for a conversation much like a threaded discussion in a forum or in email messages. A Wavelet is a subset of a conversation. It is contained in a wave. As for Blip, it is a single and individual message within the wavelet or wave, much like a chat bubble in an instant messaging tool.
So what’s this thing about this Wave buzz? Well, to get a basic idea what this tool is about, check out some of the innovative and interresting features in Google Wave:
# Google describes a messaging feature which incorporates an algorythm concept as Operational Transformation.
This simply means that you can edit not only your messages, but the messages of any participants within your wave. You can reply to messages within a conversation string and reorganize conversations.
With this concept, collaboration and coversations are kept in a single document at the server, much like the concept of Google Docs and Wikis.
# Wave extensions run applications from within Google Wave, it is like iGoogle’s gadgets, facebook applications or Firefox’s extension features. Also, a smart feature Robot, which is able to detect keywords in a conversation and bring related external information from other websites or web services.
# Live attachments. Attachments to conversations can be dragged-and-dropped from desktop or folders on your computer. As the files are uploaded participants of the conversation can see them as you would see them on your side.
# Embeds. Customizable embeds can be incorporated into a website. This way, you can share a conversation on your website. With live conversations on your website you’re adding an interactive feature which could be more interesting than the standard static comments (depending on your site’s purpose of course).
# Conversation Playbacks. This is quite an innovative and time saving feature. A conversation can be ‘played back’ , perhaps much like watching a movie, on how the conversation developed from start. You can get all the historical information from the very beginning up to the latest development of a conversation, so you can get updated to the whole picture of the conversation within minutes. Compare that to having to read a thread from the start all the way to the latest post in a forum or in an email message by going through the individual messages one at a time sequentially.
# Open Source. Google Wave is open sourced, as in open protocol, so anyone can build their own wave system, or so, their own version. You can also host Google Wave on your own server. As with other open source tools, it tends to draw development progress on a wide areaof versions of applications and functionalities.
Watch the recent Google Wave Presentation for developers (edited version):
You can find out more about Google Wave here.