The other day a friend and I were talking about the history of messaging mediums and what the next generation of communication tools will look like. Snail mail, the telegraph, the telephone, fax, email, and instant messages have each taken their turn as the communication technology of the day but we wondered what the next iteration of such technology would do and how it would either replace or compliment our existing tools.
I’m happy to say we’re about to find out. I just learned about a brand new tool that is about to change everything. Google Wave is an amazing mash-up of chat, email, blogging, event planning, and document sharing all in one. I was sceptical too, at first, but check this out (at least some of it):
[Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009 – YouTube]
Will it mean the beginning of the end of existing social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? How will it affect usage of collaborative tools like Sharepoint and Basecamp? Well, I’ve always felt that outside of its core search business, Google has faced an uphill battle for user acceptance. I’m still shocked when I find friends refusing to upgrade from whatever ridiculous email provider they’re using to the super efficient and powerful Gmail.
I think that Google Wave’s openness and flexibility will be enough to overcome the tipping point of adoption though because of its inherent backwards compatibility. Twitter users can tweet from Twitter, while Facebook users can update their statuses from Facebook. Meanwhile Google Wave will consolidate everything into the interface of my choice and I can even respond back without reloading my browser.
I have seen the future; it is Google Wave.