The One Big Thing: Google Wave

Just when it looked like the big news for the week was going to be Microsoft’s announcement of their latest attempt to grab search market share with , Google comes in and rains all over their parade.

So, then, The One Big Thing you need to know about this week is .

Earlier this month, I posed a question via YouTube for a Google executive who was a host of an IPREX conference about whether Google was working on a solution for aggregating and putting into context the disparate bits of a given conversation that tend to get scattered about the web:

It would appear that they were. While and try, and do a fairly good job, of doing this, they don’t really do a full job.

Google Wave may be the answer to this problem.

What is Google Wave?

In short, it is a hugely ambitious, real-time, embeddable, communication and collaboration platform. Mashable published yesterday.

One aspect of Wave is that it integrate information from outside sources like Twitter or, presumably, any RSS feed, so that you can get a much fuller context of the conversations in which you are participating all in one place.

The one sticking point, as usual, is the fact that Facebook is a walled garden, so any conversations taking place within that network may not be available to Google Wave.

But by making Google Wave open source and inviting developers to build on top of it, Google may be hoping to force Facebook’s hand. If the platform becomes so ubiquitous and the ability to easily use your information wherever it may be so common, Google will have created an expectation among Facebook’s users that they should be able to use their information with Wave.

If Google Wave takes off, it could profoundly alter the manner in which people communicate, collaborate and behave online. That means communications professionals will need to understand how this platform works and how people are using it.

The following is the Google Wave developer preview at Google I/O, which provides a great demonstration of the platform’s potential:

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