Google Shared Spaces – Some Things are Better Face to Face
Found In: Business
Google Labs is an extraordinary concept google has for developing their products and potentially new services. As part of Google’s corporate culture designed to motivate the best brains to bring out the best of the creativity, staff are encouraged to invest twenty per cent of their working time on personal projects that they would like to see come into production. The best twenty of the collection of these personal projects receives the full weight of Goggle’s significant resources to see the creative idea brought to full production release. Google Shared Spaces is one such project and is designed to help users to quickly collaborate with other people quickly and efficiently. Through joint access to the same online calendars, maps, games, and also other virtual work spaces that have been created.
Google Shared Spaces is Used by Google Labs
Google’s Shared Spaces has been renamed to become Google+ Hangouts and yet is still known by both names. When it was rolled out, it offered a wide collection of more than 50 “gadgets” people could use in their collaborative “shared space” hangout. These gadgets were first developed by another project known as google Wave, which has since been discontinued. Any of the users can create a hangout shared space using one of the gadgets. From there the user can undertake many things including creating lists, the design of polls, ways to brainstorm ideas, and also to play games just to have a break for a while. The main attraction is for users to be able to then invite other users, albeit they are friends or work colleagues to “hangout” in the Shared Space.
Creating the work space, users can then simply browse the Google Shared Space to choose from the many other “gadgets” available. For example, the Carpool Gadget enables people to work together arranging the times and locations for carpools. When someone clicks “Create a Space”, the user is prompted to log in using their Google, Yahoo, or Twitter account details.
Customizing the work space is simply a matter of selecting from the various options available. And when the user has finished customizing the look, feel and functions of the Shared Space Hangout, they can invite others via e-mail or Twitter. Each person invited to join in can then modify anything in the options in the shared space to their own liking, because each user gets their own view of the world. Of course users can use the inbuilt chat room functionality as they work together updating the hangout space.
Google Shared Spaces Was harder to Develop Than it Should have Been
One important feature of the Google+ Hangouts is their Application Programming Interface (API) which allows users to develop applications collaboratively for them to run inside of a Google+ Hangout Shared Space. The applications in Google Shared Spaces behave just like normal web applications. But they have the added rich and real time functionality that comes with the Hangouts API’s code. Applications therefore have the capacity to control parts of the user’s interface. This allows the synchronization of data between the shared spaces hangout participants so that they can respond to various events in the hangout in their own unique way.
The large variety of Shared Spaces Google+ Hangout buttons available for each user to incorporate in their space make it easier for users to navigate. And just as multi-roomed home, users can add any number of new Google+ hangout shared spaces with each new application added. If each Google Shared Spaces is looked at as a project, then the projects over time can grow to become quite complex and highly functional with a large arrangement of applications.
Google Shared Spaces Taking Social networking to a Whole New Level
It is common for Google Shared Spaces to be used for both professional uses and for family and friends. They prove wonderful for event management type uses where there are many users all collaborating on pulling all the resources necessary for the event to work out according to plan. And with its inbuilt games, it is the perfect way for kids to be brought into these types of shared activities. While parents are working with others to develop the event’s plans, the kids can be playing games, and when it is time for everyone to take a break, everyone can play the games.
In this way, the Google + Hangouts Shared Spaces is an excellent educational tool as much as it is a highly sophisticated social networking application. Its highly customizable nature with its wide array of inbuilt applications certainly has taken social networking to a whole new level. Better than that, it is the perfect interface for developers to continue to spawn an increasing and potentially limitless array of web applications for the ever swelling number of users.
Just as Facebook has found that applications developed for use inside its interface have been swarmed by users, and have earned more than four hundred million dollars in fees from users for the developers, Google has created an even richer environment for developers to get involved. Whilst it is true for now that Google + Hangouts Shared Spaces doesn’t have the user base of Facebook, developers will do heavy marketing to attract users on a fee paying basis when they have built functional and appealing templates for users to enjoy. In addition to that, Google’s search and marketing products in fact have a user base well in excess that of Facebooks, and so there is no shortage of marketing possibilities or market size.
Google certainly is keeping its eye on the ball of extending information access to the masses, and it is to be congratulated for its efforts.