Google Wave is looking to make a splash and I am excited to test this and see how far we can take it for our reference services.
Google has just released their first foray into the internet browser race with their product called Google Chrome. Though my first hand experience has only been for a few short hours, I am already impressed by what they have built.
Chrome features easy tabbed browsing, but bumps it up a notch by dynamically showing you sites that you frequently visit when opening a new tab. The tabs themselves are easy to move around, pop out from the browser into a new window, and won’t crash the entire application if one tab goes kaput. Chrome has instant bookmarking options as well as application shortcuts. It features secure browsing and the newest hot topic for future IE releases, incognito mode. (I am instantly reminded of the Simpsons reference to Guy Incognito.)
I suppose this may be a bit annoying to non-technology nerds and systems administrators, but there is something nice about seamless interoperability in a secure and stable browser. I am anxious to see how people react and what types of hurdles Chrome must leap before it is featured amongst the big names in web browsing.
Google has unveiled a new offering entitled Lively. This application allows users to chat in a virtual world, eerily similar to Second Life. Though it is still in early development, one can see the appeal of something fairly new to the chat world. Having Google behind this product may attract users addicted to all things Google.
At this point the ability to create items, as in Second Life, hasn’t been implemented. But there is some speculation that their other tool Sketchup, might be used to facilitate such an endeavor. At this point you can stream your photos and videos to those joining you in a room. I haven’t tried the software yet so I won’t speculate on what may be possible, but will say that for all you might want to do in such a room the options seem fairly adequate.
One aspect that I find interesting is the ability to “embed” your room onto your website or blog. It would be fun to see a library create a virtual reference desk room and allow users to chat away. This may be more interesting for public libraries, but it never hurts to experiment with new concepts such as this.
This may be a good time for us (librarians) to harness the way Google is making their searching easier, in order to better explain proper searching techniques using Boolean operators.
OCLC announced that they would be sharing their bib records with Google. This doesn’t include all records in Worldcat but instead those records made in coordination with Google Book Search items. This link would allow users to locate items through either Google Book Search or Worldcat.org, and hopefully end up at their local library in the end. I am curious to see how much more traffic gets pushed to the library from Google.