Google wave for collaboration = SMTP for communication
I am one of the luck people who has an Google wave account for some time now. At the moment, as nearly none of my friends has an account on the sandbox. Currently I am playing around with the system and following the developer discussions. It is really interesting how much work is already done by developers to extend the system.
I am really impressed by the functionality the system provides and how you can extend it. At the beginning I focused on the integration of third party systems like the publishing of photos and content to your blog and the communication back of the comments into your wave. I thought this may be also useful for our current issues with Social Networks to aggregate the content in one place but I have to admit that this may not be the best way to see wave and aggregate Social Networks.
When Google presented the system on the Google I/O conference they introduced it as “The new mail system” which was a really good teaser to get people excited about it, but it is not what I think wave really is. I wouldn’t see it as a protocol that finally supports the collaboration on content between people over organization and provider boarders. For Google, who treats mail with GMail and the Google Docs integration already as some kind of collaboration platform it may make sense to call it is as the new mail system but for others it may not. Wiki systems (e.g. Confluence) already tried to provide such platforms but the protocol to exchange the content between organizations to share just certain stuff and bring in information from other systems was still missing. This may really be a revolution within this area but may not be as easy as the introduction of SMTP back in the days of RFC’s because there are hundreds of companies and thousands of people who have their own products and opinions that need to come together to agree on such a new collaboration protocol as a standard for the industry.
I am really excited about the wave system and hope that I can play around with some of my friends in the near future to try out how this real time experience changes the way we collaborate in the future.