Collaboration – ready to take over Web 2.0!

In continuation to Swati’s post on Google Wave, this article attempts to give you some deeper insignts on Google Wave. Consider this as perspective on the very thought behind Wave –  At first there was good old email with petty 5 Mb inboxes. Then we moved to crowded chat rooms on Yahoo. All that seemed as stone age, when came a host of interactive web applications like Blogs and Social Networking applications. Initially Orkut, then Facebook and then micro blogging thru Twitter. Have you ever wondered what could be the next big Web 2.0 trend?

The answer is ‘Collaboration’. Yes, collaboration not only in its own sense, but also a collaboration of all the trends and technologies mentioned above. I know the word ‘collaboration’ sounds too ‘enterprise’ and not at all ‘social’, but as always web has once again taken us by surprise here. What I am referring is not too far fetched. Big boys like Google and Yahoo have already stepped in this domain and grand releases have already been done. Yes, check out Google Wave and Zimbra (by Yahoo, but not much talked about yet) to understand what am pointing at. Google Wave is a new tool for real-time communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. An official 90 minute video demo is already out for a sneak peak into this new wonderland. Don’t have 90 minutes? Have a look at these 30-60 second clips highlight the best parts of Google Wave.

Inline Replies

Google says Wave is what email would be if it were invented today, so it looks a whole lot like Gmail. But all editing and commenting happen on a single copy of a given wave (that is, message or document). You can comment on a wave below it, or inline. Check it out.

As-You-Type Live Updates Over the Internet Between Users

Thanks to the new HTML 5 and some client-server magic, you can watch your recipient live-type a response in your browser across the internet, much like instant messaging. (you’ll also have the option to disable live as-you-type updating.)

Wave Revision Playback

When you add someone to a Wave after it’s been chopped up, commented on, and edited by others, that person can see the evolution of that wave using the super-cool playback feature. Wow!… no further comments

Private Replies

Like a group email you forward to an individual person to have a “private” conversation, you can restrict access to a sub-Wave to certain people.

Embed Waves into Web Pages

Bloggers will go nuts for this: you can embed waves in web pages and collect replies and edits to those waves in your Wave client, as well as on the page itself.

Live Collaboration on a Single Wave

Several people can edit a wave at the same time and watch one another’s cursors dance across the page as it happens. This could get a bit annoying after a point of time though!

Contextual Spellcheck

This was the ultimate ‘Oh My God’ moment for me in the Wave demo. Using a natural language model, Google Wave’s spellchecker makes smart corrections based on the context of your word. It can autocorrect your spelling, even going as far as knowing the difference between similar words, like “been” and “bean.” It can also auto-translate on-the-fly.

Some other amazing features are…

  • Live-Updating Search Results: Keyword search results live-update as others type, too.
  • Drag-and-drop file sharing: No attachments; just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.
  • Open source Applications and Extensions: The Google Wave code will be open source, to foster innovation and adoption amongst developers. Just like a Facebookapplication or an iGoogle gadget, developers can build their own apps within waves. They can be anything from bots to complex real-time games.

I hope this quenches your thirst till the actual release later this year. If not, explore the protocol at – or start with the Google Wave API