Get Ready for Google's New Wave Act

Sept. 30 It Starts Dropping Invites for New Social Collaboration Tool

By Published on .

Dan Shust
Dan Shust
Tomorrow could be a very big day for the internet. Years from now we might look back on it as a milestone for the web, social networking, marketing and communication in general. Heck, it could even define the beginning of Web 3.0 (Ugh, did I say Web 3.0? Never mind, we're gonna come up with a better name in an upcoming post.)

You see, Sept. 30 is the date Google starts sending out Wave invites to the general public. 100,000 to be exact.

If you aren't familiar with it, Google Wave is, in Google's words, "a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. A Wave is equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. Google Wave is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves."

Will Google Wave redefine the web and how we interact digitally?
Will Google Wave redefine the web and how we interact digitally?
So ... what's that mean?

In a nutshell, Google is attempting to integrate e-mail, instant messaging, media sharing, social networking, document creation, project management, entertainment and much more into shareable Waves. These Waves can be accessed in a variety of ways, via a reader, embedded in a website, from a mobile device, etc. And, of course, the Wave Platform is open source, fully extendable and customizable.

Goggle Wave is the definition of a disruptive technology. And, if it takes off, it has the potential to redefine the web and how we interact digitally. Does this spell the death of Twitter? What about blogging? Flickr? How about Facebook? Hard to say yet. But Google Wave could become the main way we interact with those services (and many others) going forward -- if it catches on.

Wave opens up myriad opportunities for brands as well.

Say, for example, a marketer wanted to create a Wave to solicit user generated content -- photos/videos of a certain product in action, testimonials, ratings, etc. The architecture of a Wave makes it very easy for the user to drag and drop media and converse in the Wave. The brand can easily repurpose the content automatically, in real time, in blogs, destination websites, mobile/location based applications, etc. The history of the Wave is always available so the user can go back in time to see how the content and conversations develop. Heady stuff indeed.

Google's Gmail has more than 146 million uses worldwide. They could easily become Wave users overnight once Google opens the floodgates. (Sorry, bad pun.) Sound exciting? Scary? How will it affect your social media strategy?

Dan Shust is director of emerging media at Resource Interactive, where he mans the research-and-development lab. He blogs at and, and you can follow him on Twitter, @getshust.
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