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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Google Wave redefines communication

E-mail, instant message, wiki, or nanoblog? Wave combines elements from all of these communication methods. (Credit: Google)

Genealogists, are dependent on communications. Even my Great-grandmother, who did research most of her life, obtained a significant amount of information by letters and interviews. Although she was abjectly poor most of her life, she found time and made the effort to keep up a correspondence with relatives across the world. Today, we have E-mail, instant messaging, file sharing and collaboration software to make our communications easier and whole lot faster.

Google is making a bid to redefine the way people communicate on Web. In a recent demonstration, Google introduced Google Wave. Some of the genealogy bloggers have talked about this new system, but it bears more attention. The thrust of the new program is real-time but organized Internet communications. Recent articles quoted the developers: cnet.
Google Wave is an attempt to "combine conversation-type communication and collaboration-type communication," said Lars Rasmussen, who launched the project with his brother Jens after Google acquired their mapping start-up in 2004. The brothers Rasmussen said they were inspired by the fact that two of the most commonly used Internet communication technologies--e-mail and instant messaging--are based on relatively ancient offline communication techniques, namely the letter and the telephone.
Here is a description of the service as presented in an article by Tom Krazit on cnet:

They came up with Google Wave, which organizes Internet discussions in the trendy stream of consciousness fashion. It's a little bit Twitter, a little bit Friendfeed, and a little bit Facebook all in one service, allowing you to send direct messages to online contacts with real-time replies, share photos or documents, and add or delete members of the conversation as needed.

In that sense, it's not a completely public discussion, nor a completely private one. A user creates a "wave" by typing a message or uploading photos and adding contacts to the wave as they see fit. Other contacts can be added later, and those people can add other contacts to the wave unless the original wave starter forbids new entrants.

Maybe this will be a way to integrate my Google page with my FaceBook and Twitter page. Here is a Google video about the Wave:

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