Google Wave

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Matt Wiseley:

  • "Why Web Collaboration Still Needed a Solution

There's no shortage of problems with the current state of collaborative web technology that are looking for solutions. Let's take a very quick look at the current widely used options:

Email let's people communicate asynchronously. Services like GMail raise the bar and make email almost instantaneous. But everyone has copies of the same messages and attachments in their inboxes, and many have different versions as they were added or dropped off the thread at various stages. Replies to all, carbon copies, it gets messy fast. I'm a fan of 1-1 email for formal messaging. After that, it breaks.

Newsgroups and forums solved the problem of everyone having copies of the same message, and they help people follow along on a central message store. But all the other failings of email remain. Information gets lost in threads, messy inline responses and commentary are hard to follow and are inconsistently formatted.

Wikis came along and were hailed as a solution. Wikis stop the nightmare of threads and copies and allow everyone to work on the same body of knowledge. But wikis share a key problem with forums: they're silos of information. They're not a standard communication platform that everybody uses and relies on every day. Wikis are individual sites, and so are forums, usually with their own registration system and conventions. For this reason, they are not the widespread "everybody is on it" web collaboration solution.

  • Wave Uses What Works from Each Existing Tool

In many ways, Wave is a best of breed web collaboration tool:

Like email, it is a platform that everyone can "be on". Wave is being released as an open source Internet protocol, like email. That's HUGE.

Like email, message originators and participants can decide who's included on each conversation.

Like instant messaging (better, actually), you can have conversations in real-time. In Wave, you can see what the other person is typing as they type it.

Like forums, everyone can follow along on the conversation.

Like wikis, a single piece of content can be updated by everyone involved, avoiding the creation of a duplicate for each participant.

Like nothing else before, the sequence of events that led to the present state of a message can be replayed." (