Monday, August 23, 2010

Wave goodbye to Google Wave, say hello to...

OK, this isn't really news, but the news is our all over the interwebs - Google will no longer be developing Wave as a stand-alone product, and will keep the service up and running until the end of the year - it will also provide a way for people to get their data off Google Wave.

I have to say that I really enjoyed messing around with Google Wave. I got an early beta invite, I invited some friends, but the mistake was that I invited people that are gadget geeks like me, but we don't normally collaborate! This Wave was really a bit useless for me because the people that I invited were people whose interactions with me would not push me to use the service!

Google because open for everyone's use this past spring, but by that time I hadn't really thought of uses for Wave. In a recent comment in InsideHigherEd, I saw that people were using Wave as a replacement for the Bulletin Board System within the LMS (learning management system). What a brilliant idea!

I think that Wave was a bit of a fail because it didn't really incorporate well with other Google services (most notably GMail and Buzz), it was all sandboxed in its own environment. This meant that you needed to come out of what you were doing in order to participate in a wave. This is cool, it was a beta service after all, but once it became public there was no additional buzz or functionality added (so why go back - unless all your colleagues joined that is)

Now with Google making inroads into the college environment with GMail, Google Calendar, Contacts and so on being used at the campus level, how far away are we from a Google LMS? Google could take existing properties and tie them into a nice, comprehensive, LMS. You've got Google Groups and Google Wave to provide you with the architecture for discussions, you've got KNOL, the wikipedia competitor that you can use to create course-based wikis, you've got Blogger, which you can use to integrate into a course based blog, Buzz for instant communication, GMail, GCal, Contacts and iGoogle to bring it all together.

OK, this isn't an easy undertaking, but the parts and the technologies are there. Google *could* create a free (or cheap) competitor to Blackboard and create a product that is truly innovative (compared to Blackboard's frankenLMS).

What do you think? Are you onboard with a Social LMS?
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