Happy Google Wave day! Well not actually a holiday, today was an anticipated day in the ever evolving world of Web 2.0. Google Wave's preview launched today. The Wave is being billed as the next big Internet idea, the next great connectivity medium. For those that are asking the question "what's next after Facebook and Twitter?" today might be the first day they start getting their answers.
What exactly does the Wave do? It was designed to be the next generation of Internet communication and although it has the potential to become a social phenomenon, right now, at the very start of its life, it looks to be catered towards businesses. It uses "waves" to replace e-mail. Waves are XML based conversations and documents, basically an advanced combination of G-mail and Google Docs (if you use these services). Messages can be sent with links, embedded video, pictures and documents to multiple collaborators who can seamlessly comment or add to the wave. How is this different from a regular e-mail chain? It merges the functions of instant messaging, e-mail, file uploading services and content sharing communities. Basically, it's the new era of teleconferencing. It mimics a conference room or a social setting. It's open source, meaning that when it is released to the public developers will be able to create their own, unique applications for it.
The potential of Google Wave is astonishing, but it is not open to the public right now. 100,000 invites were sent out today, but millions were requested. If you weren't one of the lucky ones who received an invite to Google Wave we have the next best thing for you: this t-shirt! Sure, maybe you requested an invite to Google Wave and all you got was this lousy t-shirt, but it's better than nothing!