Google Shared Spaces Leverages Google Wave Gadgets

Google Shared Spaces is a new Google Labs offering that provides users with Google Wave gadgets to collaborate via maps, puzzles, polls, YouTube, Twitter and other tools.

Google made good on reheating leftover scraps from its failed Google Wave experiment by launching Shared Spaces with gadgets from the defunct real-time collaboration platform.

A new Google Labs project, Shared Spaces leverages more than 50 gadgets, or mini-apps from Google Wave to let people collaborate with planning and productivity tools, Sudoku puzzles and polls with one other user.

There are gadgets for maps, YouTube, Twitter and other utilities. Users, who may browse among gadgets here and use a Google, Twitter or Yahoo account to sign in, may also chat with their collaborators in real time. JavaScript developers will be able to build their own gadgets for Shared Spaces in time.

"A shared space turns a (Wave) gadget into a standalone collaborative application," explained Douwe Osinga, software engineer for Google's Shared Spaces, in a blog post Dec. 21. "Just click on the gadget you're interested in to start a new shared space, and then simply send the URL around to share it with your friends and colleagues.

EWEEK tested the Twitter Search gadget, which shows results from Twitter for a given search term. We were able to specify new terms and chat with other Twitter users.

However, the tool has little to offer in terms of real productivity or communications that Twitter doesn't.

What Shared Spaces is most certainly, is another way to keep technology associated with Google Wave alive. Think of it as reheating and consuming leftover technology that hasn't necessarily spoiled.

Google introduced Wave in May 2009 to much fanfare. The software tool let users edit text in real time and share documents, photos, videos and other content.

However, without relevant context, it largely failed to gain more than the 1 million users who jumped on board the product when it became available in beta, even after Google launched the tool to everyone in May 2010.

Google shuttered Wave in August, but shunted it off in November to the Apache Software Foundation, where it is called Wave in a Box under the Apache Wave Proposal as an incubator project for the open source group.