Here’s an interesting new technology from Google called Wave. If you have an iPhone and use the text function, you’ll notice that threads are actually told like real conversations. This reminds me very much of that simplicity. Wave allows users to start threads as “hosted conversations,” which has quite a few other marketing connotations. In this instance it’s not a referral to sponsorship, but of web hosting or cloud hosting.
Watch the video to see how it works in more depth, but basically the program allows users to post in a string visible to those people they choose in real time. It doubles as an IM client when both or many parties are online. They used Chrome, Safari and Firefox (no MS love at Google) to run the demo. It also has a publishing feature for other areas of the web should you choose to post somewhere else (they used Blogger, but this is an open source project and I assume so long as the publishing site allows for it, extensions will happen.)
The technology isn’t exactly mind blowing to me, it reminds me of Apple simplicity though. Technology doesn’t always need to be revolutionary, if it’s good and easy to pick up for most people, that’s good enough.
All this said, I wonder if this will take off the way Google Maps did (Wave is created by the same engineering brothers). The problem for most new tech like this is getting groundswell in the community, getting adoption and sustained user base. I like this tech, but if none of my friends use it, not sure I would in the long term socially. I could easily see this becoming a standard in interoffice work, it really adds functionality and streamlines work flow regarding one project or idea. In fact, it’s more like a very easy and smarter Microsoft Groove. I doubt that’s what Google set out toward, but they should be focusing on getting businesses to use this and make it a standard piece of inner office communique. If they can pull that off, maybe it’s the leverage point for dethroning MS Office with Google Docs. This is pie in the sky, but imagine being able to implement Docs into Waves and hosting online projects along with the conversations that surround them.
Hats off to Google and their foray into territories unknown.