Never underestimate Google. That should have been my 41st WWGD? rule. Just as I was thinking they were behind the curve on the live web – and argued they should buy Twitter – Google attacked it from the left flank with Wave.
In Wave, I see more than a new generation of email cum wikis cum Twitter cum groupware. Because it can feed blog and web pages and Twitter, I see a new way to create content, collaborative and live. I see a new way to make news.
Imagine a team of reporters – together with witnesses on the scene – able to contribute photos and news to the same Wave (formerly known as a story or a page). One can write up what is known; a witness can add facts from the scene and photos; an editor or reader can ask questions. And it is all contained under a single address – a permalink for the story – that is constantly updated from a collaborative team.
Here, I speculated about the topic becoming the new atomic unit of news, supplanting the article with wikis that contained a snapshot of what we know now, blogs that treat news as the process it is, links (do what you do best, link to the rest), discussion, and media of all types, some even live (Twitter, Qik.com). Marissa Mayer also gave journalists advice on the new form of news, telling them they needed to maintain updates under a permalink for the story so it could be searched and found.
Wave takes this to the next level. It combines the notions of a process as people add and subtract and update; it has the benefit of a wiki – a snapshot of current knowledge; it can be live; it can feed a blog page with the latest; it can feed Twitter with updates; it is itself the collaborative tool that lets participants question each other.
Wave isn’t just the email we’d invent if email were invented today, as was Google’s goal. Wave is what news can be if we invent it today, as we must.
Wave is the new news.
: LATER: I just got email from Jay Parkinson, who is remaking health care at Hello Health. He, too, was impressed with the opportunities in Wave.
Replace news story with “disease you suffer from” and reporter with primary care doc and editor with specialist and photos with lab results, etc, and you can see its potential.
What about your line of work?