Thursday, July 23, 2009

Google Wave

Google Wave looks amazing! (For those with 10-minute attention spans, here's the abridged version. The longer version is worth the watch if you have the time.) It's a new Internet communication protocol/framework being developed by Google. It's not a walled garden: anyone can make their own implementation (or even base it on Google's code), and it will be interoperable with everyone else, just like e-mail. But this isn't your grandfather's e-mail. Wave is basically a conversation/collaboration tree, with full version control, history, and really cool tools for mashups, transformations, translations, and anything else anyone on earth can think of and write a plugin for. This is really that revolutionary. Imagine if every e-mail, chat, wiki, invitation, blog post, tweet, photo album, forum, and whatever else on the Internet was as simple to interact with as an item on Facebook or a wiki, only with way more powerful tools, and it wasn't confined to anyone's walled garden. Tomorrow's kids will laugh at us for using Facebook for the same reason that today's kids laugh at their elders for using Juno. I don't expect all of those other technologies to disappear, but to some extent they will be eclipsed, and they will have to keep up or be left behind.