Google Wave is rocking lots of online messaging boats today as it opened its beta to 10,000 participants it is getting lots and lots of coverage online. Basically it is Google's version of an IM or chat system that also embeds some social media features plus embedding other Google tools like Google Apps. All very well for those in Google-love, but not very earth-shattering really, despite the hype (all these features can be put together right now from other vendors).
But one add-on that is being talked about does bring something new. A Silicon Valley second-generation VoIP company called Ribbit has an add-on for Google Wave - just a demo right now (so a beta running on a beta) - but it does have very neat functionality. You set up a Google Wave chat and add the Ribbit tool and it lets each participant add a phone number and when they are all ready it sets up an on-the-fly conference call between everyone so they can talk AND interact on Google Wave. Again, all these pieces are available right now from multiple vendors, but this is a very elegant and easy to use way to set up ad hoc collaboration with voice as well as online chat and co-editing.
Note - Ribbit is a second generation VoIP company - that means you can't get regular phone service from them. Instead they offer online and VoIP based services to other companies to build products - like the one above. But if you want a regular phone system, click here.
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