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“What would email look like if it were invented today?”

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“What would email look like if it were invented today?”


It was just over a week ago I sat down and watched the video below and ever since then there hasn’t been an hour of work that has gone by where I haven’t gone “I wish I was working in a Wave”.

Last Thursday in San Francisco at Google I/O (Google’s developer conference) there was a preview of Google’s latest piece of software they have been working on that they plan to release later this year, Google Wave.  Google Wave is the latest brain child of Google Maps creators, Lars and Jens Rasmussen, who have been developing this project out of my home town of Sydney, Australia since 2007.  This project stemmed from an idea Jens had in 2004 when he asked the question “What would email look like if it were invented today?” considering email was invented over 40 years ago, before the internet was even around, and was based on ‘snail mail’, way before the concept of wikis, blogs, twittering or any online social network.


Google Wave will redefined communication as we know it.  You know those long ’email conversations’ you have that fill up your inbox and people reply at different stages in the conversation and you get totally lost?  With Google Wave, this will no longer be the case.

“Goodbye annoying email conversations”

This new way of collaboration and communication will change the way we work (and play for that matter) in a such a positive manner.  For most people my age we struggle to understand how people manage to work before the days of email and mobile phones.  How did anyone get any work done?  I believe we are about to see Generation Z begin to say “How did anyone ever get work done before Wave’s?”

I’d encourage you to find 80mins to watch the video below, but if you don’t have 80mins, here are some highlights of what Google Wave will offer:

  • Waves will replace email messages and replies – One Wave = Email message, Email replies, comments, edits (With Playback so you can see how the message, conversation etc evolves if you come in late!!)
  • ‘Live’ instant messaging transmitting –  Which means you can see the text ‘live’ as the other person types it.  50% of instant messaging time is spent waiting for the other person to reply.  Google Wave allow you to start formulating your reply whilst reading. (You can turn this off if you like to fine tune your IMs)  It even provides instant language translation for 40 languages (Rosy Robot)
  • Collaborative authoring of documents, photo albums, wikis etc (It’s just another Wave)- Only one single point of truth (With playback aswell to see the history of the markups) and everyone can work on it at the same time!  Wow!
  • It will be Open Sourced – This will help adoption, building of a bigger and better product and also accerate the evolution of what a Wave can offer
  • Google will share the Protocol – Allow communication between different Wave platforms.
  • You will be able to run your own Wave platforms – This will suit enterprises and groups that are concerned with the privacy of a hosted service
  • Embeded APIs to allow you to embed Waves on Web Pages and track/monitor/manager everything all from within ONE Wave client.  Great example in the Video called ‘Bloggy’ for updating Blogs but you could also integrate Waves into discussion groups, forums and social networks.  The options are limitless.
  • Extension APIs – Allows you to extend waves functionality with other server side programs, write your own gadgets and games, and pretty much integrate with ANYTHING! (The team have also created an amazing spell checker all ‘Spelly’ that not only checks spelling but auto fixes on context,  There is even one for updating Twitter!!)
  • Wave will be available on iPhone and Google Android mobile devices (Runs in the browser with the same code)

I can’t wait to start to Wave!  Life is going to change!

One Comment

  1. -mt

    And it’s not just for the new kids, man….I can imagine that a company spending $15 Million on storage and servers for emails will be hard-pressed to resist a private Wave solution that will cost about $14,532,472.54 less than that.

    Let’s make more Waves! Cannonball!!!


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