Google Wave

The web is abuzz with excitement this morning about Google Wave (see this great summary at Mashable), Google’s new real-time communication platform “coming later this year”. It combines aspects of email, instant messaging, wikis, web chat, social networking, and project management into one in-browser communication client.

Already, people have started wondering about the potential of this new technology to revolutionise project collaboration in construction – and as I’ve started reading up about it, I’ve begun to wonder if the construction collaboration technology vendors might start developing OpenSocial gadgets or robots to create interfaces between their systems and Google Wave.

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  1. Whilst the user interface isn’t bad, what is really good to see is that they’ve published the protocol they are using:
    This provides a powerful protocol for two different collaboration systems to talk to each other without having to go near Google’s servers (1:06 into the keynote).
    It’s a smart move because up until now most collaboration platforms (e.g. SharePoint) have used closed protocols for competitive advantage. Hopefully this means Microsoft (and others) will be forced to expose and promote their collaboration protocols in a similar manner.
    The only downer is this will probably mark 5+ years of collaboration protocol incompatibility while everyone tries to decide which is the best one to go with 🙂

  2. Realizing this is a few months back, I have an update from experience. Since they release the technology, we have been in the beta, and its pretty slick. It has a ways to go, but the above comment is completely accurate that the best thing is the federation and open protocol. Its an obvious strike at the heart of Microsoft Exchange, and email in general, but once you have used it for a while, it’s like a hybrid of email, gmail, skype, the old ICQ realtime chat client, and social sites. It is quite powerful, interesting and really like nothing I personally have ever seen in one interface. Especially the playback feature (that is mind boggling), and keyboard shortcut integrations (I’ve seen none like this and suspect it is happening via the Chrome Frame required to run it). At a minimum I expect to see it built in to many apps as the discussion component, from a development perspective, I have never seen any component like it.

  3. Thanks, Wes. I’ve been testing out Wave on a couple of small collaborative projects – and share your view that it is a combination of email, IM, chat and social media. As a replacement for some (often interminable and fragmented) email threads I can see Wave being used very effectively as a more complete and inclusive communication ‘object’ that can be used in real-time and also included in audit trails (see also Aconex’s Rob Phillpot’s views on Google Wave – at

  1. […] Wilkinson blogged on ExtranetEvolution in July about Google Wave and project collaboration. Paul’s view is that “Like me, she (Jodie Myers) reckons that Wave is unlikely to […]

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