A New Wave in Collaboration


I recently invested an hour and a half of my time watching a video of the announcement of Google Wave to developers at the Google IO Conference, and I have to say it was one of the best uses of my time in recent memory. When it debuts later this year, Google Wave will truly be an integrated solution, offering a well-developed collaboration product, a platform for developers to enhance and extend Wave functionality, and a protocol to allow independent Wave systems to communicate seamlessly with one another.

From the standpoint of collaboration, a primary interest of mine, Wave has obliterated the old models for collaborative software. Within the Wave platform, workgroups will be able to share and edit messages, documents, pictures, video, and any other file within a single user interface. A particular collaborative stream is saved as a wave (you can have as many waves as you want) and can be thought of as a workflow. Users can appear at various points in the wave timeline as appropriate and come up to speed on work to date by using a playback features to view the history of the workflow.

From a performance support standpoint, I was especially intrigued the example shown of a Wave applet that allows users to play chess. In the demo a well-known chess game was played. The instructive point here is that the replay function would allow other users to review the game and contemplate the strategy involved in each move. Imagine the possibility that screencasts and other types of user knowledge could offer as a performance support tool when embedded in a system like Wave.

As with any breakthrough invention, new ways of thinking and working will evolve, that have not yet even been thought of. When Wave becomes available later this year, I look forward to seeing how the collaborative possibilities play out.

One Response to “A New Wave in Collaboration”

  1. I too am intrigued with the implications for performance support, and performance support that is embedded and instructional at the same time, blurring the distinctions between just in time and just in case.

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