Google showed a preview of Wave at Google I/O last month. A few of my friends were able to attend the event, but I was only able to watch the video playback of the Google Wave rollout. The key takeaway I would describe for the technology is “Real Time”. Real time chat; it displays as you type (no waiting to type into a chat window and hot ‘enter’). Real time spelling correction is context sensitive. If you can integrate Google Voice into the Google Wave framework, you’d have a powerful Unified Communications platform, but that would be the topic of another blog on another site entirely. Google rolled out the technology partly to encourage developers to begin creating gadgets and robots. A gadget is a program application similar to a facebook application. A music player or video player would be good examples of gadgets. A robot could be an automated conversation participant (like a character in a game).
So how will Google Wave impact the way we socialize around Music? To hypothesize around the possibilities, focus on ‘real time’. I would imagine that someone will create an internet radio or internet video widget that would allow real time chat among the listening audience. Imagine a fan page for a popular artist with over a million fans pre-announcing the release of a new single exclusively on a Google Wave-powered fan page? Do you think this would instantly draw the fan base over to a waves-powered social media site? I do. This would be a very good test of the platform’s scalability. Imagine a hundred thousand fans furiously typing away “Love the new song!” and similar messages all at the same time. Will it scale? It likely will. Google’s app engine technology allows for multiple processors in a cloud computing environment.
Google Wave could also be a viable platform for social media game development. So take the previous example and take it a step further adding some robots. Imagine playing a virtual reality game that you 1st must reach the end of the game to play the newest music video release of your favorite recording artist. Follow the clues. What was the lyric from the 2nd song in the 1st album that opens that the door to the final stage of the game? Imagine the buzz created on the social media web site(s) that will have fans teaming up to solve the problem. What? The game new I was playing from the SF bay area and I just stumbled across two tickets to the next concert in my area? Fans chasing Avatars of the recording artists for a free poster? The possibilities are endless. Could Google Wave be the basis of a social media and gaming platform that could seriously undo MySpace and possibly even Facebook? The potential is there. It will be very interesting to watch the Google Wave story unfold. It could significantly change the way fans socialize around music on the internet.