Just announced is an interesting new platform from Google, around shared collaboration environments. Explicitly-shared environments.
A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more…Here’s how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use “playback” to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.
Now, add a search layer into this rich, shared space, and you’ll have something quite akin to Merrie Morris’ SearchTogether system, which combines real-time awareness with a collaboratively authored results and note set. Put some algorithmic mediation under that, and you’ll have some of the projects that we’ve been working over the past few years here at FXPAL, which uses real-time actions and behaviors of multiple, explicitly collaborating team members to alter and inform the information that each individual sees. We think that the ability to put jointly-relevant information on the same real-time page, but also let users explicitly work together in the finding and discovery of that information, is and will continue to be an extremely useful application.
Looks like this space is heating up.