Google takes e-mail to the next level with Wave

I totally “borrowed” this story from Wired.com since I just got back from vacation and I’m playing catch up at work. I hope you enjoy it.

google_wave_logoWave is a web-based application that marries multiple forms of communication and collaboration, including chat, mail and wikis, into a unified interface. Everything inside Wave happens in real time: You can even see a comment being made as the person is typing it, character-by-character.

Google Wave, which was demonstrated Thursday at the Google I/O developer conference taking place here, is now live as a private developer preview. Conference attendees can start playing with it now, and Google has its eye on a public beta launch within a few months.

It’s a peculiar model we haven’t seen before, sort of a “chat inside e-mail” approach that has the potential to profoundly alter the way we share information and collaborate with one another.

There are few effective ways to communicate within small groups, whether co-workers, friends, or family. Most of us use e-mail, just addressing a new message to a bunch of people. This starts a thread, which eventually gets twisted and fragmented into side conversations and becomes more and more confusing. The more-organized among us use tools like IM or IRC chat rooms, wikis, group blogs or web apps built for threaded communications, such as FriendFeed.

Google Wave is an attempt to replace not one but all of these methods, rolling threaded conversations, real-time chat, nested comments, media sharing, link sharing and wiki-style collaboration into a familiar interface that looks and behaves like an e-mail inbox, complete with folders for keeping things organized and a search box for digging up older threads.

Read the rest of the story!

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