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Posted on July 19th, 2009 by
I have had the above link open in a tab in my browser for weeks. It was a reminder to watch the Google Wave demo. The demo is an hour and twenty minutes long, so finding that much time to watch is not easy. Also, the video starts with some pretty hefty promises about how “Google will surprise you” and “show you an unbelievable presentation of what’s possible in the browser.” I’ll admit I was quite skeptical and the thought of sitting through more than an hour of hype was not very tempting.
Finally, as I sat down to work this sunny Sunday morning, I found I had a task that was even less enticing, so as a form of procrastination, I started the video. My plan was to watch maybe half, then I’d know what the thing was and could step away and focus on the real task at hand, writing the proposal I need to complete.
The reality was far different. I sat here completely blown away. Watched the whole video and now am eagerly thinking about ways this could be used for our clients and ourselves. I even have a thought about an extension to Google Wave that would move the tool from insanely powerful messaging and collaboration, to include project management.
So what is Google Wave? Describing it as a web-based collaboration tool does not begin to do it justice. Google has taken all of the best thinking they have done for gmail, gtalk, and Google Maps, Docs and Presentation and combined it into one very, very cool tool. It pushes cloud computing, collaboration, and communication into a whole new space, one that’s designed for real people and the real way they work, communicate, and play.
Watching the presentation reminded me of the first time I used the Internet to search a database for articles. At the time (1986), I had to pay the librarian at my university library to connect to specific databases to search article abstracts. The system was awful and slow, but even then, before I’d even heard the word Internet, I could see the enormous potential. While Google Wave is neither awful not slow, the vast potential that this opens up is mind boggling.