The folks at Google released 100,000 invites today to preview their new model of Web-based communication and collaboration, called Google Wave.
Since it has been in private beta, one has to rely upon others to explain what Wave is. It has been described “as much of a real-time chat room as a platform for editing documents collaboratively. It can also be used as a Wiki, to replace email and IM within an organization, or just to organize a pub crawl.”
A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Each Wave consists of a threaded forum combined with a wiki, IM, and email that are then combined into a single interface.
In Google Wave, one can create a Wave and the add others to it. Everyone can insert content or edit in the Wave. Since each Wave is updated in real time, others can see content as it is being created. The service can be used for quick messages and persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication.
A playback feature allows one to watch a Wave as it evolved, providing access to edits, who made them, and in what context. A locally hosted Wave server can interact with other Wave servers, but will also have the option of keeping their content private or limited to specific users.
Check out Wave in this 10-min abridged video of this hour presentation:
If you are one of the lucky ones to get an invite early on, please make sure to comment on your experience.