Google will release a new free open source tool called Google Wave for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. This seems to be an alternative to some social networking sites (e.g. MySpace & Facebook), as well as e-learning packages (e.g. Sakai & Blackboard). Some interesting features include the natural language processor, the ability for instantaneous networking and multi-user collaboration, and playback functions to track the history and organization of activity within Wave. For more info, check out the Google Wave about page.
– A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
– A “wave” is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.
– A “wave” is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.
– Concurrency control technology lets all people on a wave edit rich media at the same time.
– Server-based models provide contextual suggestions and spelling correction.
– Embed waves in other sites or add live social gadgets, thanks to Google Wave APIs.
Google’s I/O Wave release video (1hr 20 min):
How Google Wave works (5:04 min):