Have you seen the presentation in which Google introduces their coming product Google Wave? If not, do so. I believe that the presentation holds a piece of the future. The so called Wave combines the e-mail, chat and newsgroup functionality in a way that makes the whole greater than the parts.
One of the things that caught my attention was the possibility to collaboratively produce documents or Wiki-kind of information in real-time. I had a similar idea several years ago, and seeing it implemented, as a web application –which was unthinkable at the time, makes me happy. There’s a big questionmark though whether this will work in practice. The example in the presentation shows how the information added by the remote users makes the text move around, which is probably going to be annoying in a real situation.
There’s more work to be done there I guess. But the basic functionalities of the Wave, for instance the ability to add comments and start sub threads anywhere in a message is awesome. This new way of communicating will become infrastructure in the future. That’s my quess at least.
One can’t help becoming impressed with Google. They keep pulling these innovative, cool services out of their big bag of tricks, leaving the rest of the business in a state of awe. Google Waves is yet another proof that their free thinking company policy is paying off – big time.
P.S. Special thanks to Paul who sent me the invitation that triggered my interest.