Ooops they did it again! No, not the Britney Spears fan club! Google did it again…stealing Microsoft’s thunder by rolling out Wave, their new communications and collaborative tool during the same week Microsoft debuted Bing, its new search engine. Google Wave is what email would be like if it were on steroids! It is a little of everything all mashed up into one big giant framework. Wave is part email, IM, calendar, Twitter, wiki, spreadsheets/docs/presentation, picture sharing, social media, forums, maps and just about everything else on the web, but the kitchen sink!
The Google Wave is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that will allow developers to embed waves in other web services to build extensions that work inside waves. I know my head is spinning too!
On May 28, 2009, Day 2 of Google’s Developer Conference I/O 2009 held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. Described in terms of the Three P’s: Product, Platform and Protocol, it took an hour and a half to explain the whole thing (below).
This video in less than one day old and has already accrued over 250,000 pageviews. And by the time you read this I am suspecting it will have surpassed 1,000,000,000 pageviews, or call me a “Monkey’s Uncle.”
While there is no official launch date for Wave, interested parties (and aren’t we all interested) can register here.
And even though you can’t play with your new toy yet, Google in their inimical thorough fashion has already supplied you with your very own Wave Developer’s User Guide, which can be found here.
If you are an early adapter and want to be the first kid on your block to know all of the semantics involved, here’s the new lingo that just entered our lexicon (in advance of the Urban Dictionary, I might add).
WAVE: A wave, specifically, refers to a specific threaded conversation. It can include just one person, or it can include a group of users or even robots (explained below). The best comparison I can make is that it’s like your entire instant messaging (IM) history with someone. Anything you’ve ever discussed in a single chat or conversation is a wave.
WAVELET: A wavelet is also a threaded conversation, but only a subset of a larger conversation (or a wave). It’s like a single IM conversation – a small part of a larger conversation and a larger history. Wavelets, though, can be created and managed separately from a wave.
BLIP: Even smaller than a Wavelet, a Blip is a single, individual message. It’s like a single line of an IM conversation. Blips can have other blips attached to them, called children. In addition, blips can either be published or unpublished (once again, it’s sort of like typing out an IM message but not yet sending it).
EXTENSION: An extension is a mini-application that works within a wave. So these are the apps you can play with while using Wave. There are two main types of extensions: Gadgets and Robots
GADGETS: A gadget is an application users can participate with, many of which are built on Google’s OpenSocial platform. A good comparison would be iGoogle gadgets or Facebook applications.
ROBOTS: Robots are an automated participant within a wave. They can talk with users and interact with waves. They can provide information from outside sources (i.e. Twitter) or they can check content within a wave and perform actions based on them (i.e. provide you a stock quote if a stock name is mentioned).
EMBEDDED WAVE: An embedded wave is a way to take a Google Wave and the conversation within it and place it on your website. Users could use this as a chatroom, as a way to contact you.
TWAVE: And what would a good new Google platform be without incorporating Twitter. Twave is simply a wave of Tweets. Of course, there will be those that will consider this a “Twitter Killer” (I can already see this as a title of future blogs), but I personally think the Wave will be a compiment to Twitter and not it’s nemesis! “Bing” on the other hand is another story!
So there you have it. Google once again leads the back in turning communication engagement on its head allowing us to collaborate at a much more sophisticated level than was ever anticipated in the past.
Happy Waving… and Microsoft, let me extend my sincerest condolences, particularly considering you just rolled out a $100 million ad campaign on “Bing.” Hope you spent it wisely!
P.S. Oh, by the way… you will also be able to play games on the Wave. and the brain twister Sodoku will come part and parcel.