More on Gmessages

It occurred to me that I missed the significance in the Last Post. Google can do something that, while not quite revolutionary, would be significant. Google can go right past blurring the line between IMs and email — they can blow it clean out of the water.

Really, there is no reason that gmail and the IM system have to be different. A message is a message. Gmail already threads “conversations”, which is what led to this revelation. There is no reason that you can’t treat a series of IMs exactly the same way that you treat email. There is no reason that an incoming email can’t be sent to you as an IM.

Google can really capitalize on this by using an open communication standard, like Jabber mentioned in the article in the last post. Google will thrive if it does what it has always done — handle the back-room server stuff, and not worry about the transport and the client. Make it open, like HTML. Let people make Jabber compliant cell phones. All of the sudden, since IMs and email are the same thing, then all your… what you call them? Gmessages? All your gmessages go to whatever your client is. If you are there, it is an IM. If you aren’t, it is an email.

It reminds me of the promises we had about cell phones. Forward your work phone to home. Forward your home phone to your cell phone. Forward your cell phone to your voicemail. This didn’t work simply because it was a series of forwards (with a clunky interface) instead of really being one number. This would be one number. The old “Buddy List” would be irrelevant. If they aren’t online, it gets stored like an email.

On top of that, if IMs are treated like email and can have multiple recipients, then the door is thrown open even further. You copy people on your IM conversations. You can have someone come in on the end of a conversation and still catch up. You can set up groups and mailing lists. With the proper threading and lists, bulletin boards are a thing of the past. Add in all the really nifty things that phones can do, like a GPS locator (that you can turn on and off.) “Ping me” will have an entirely different meaning.

Google could be on top of something really, really big. And they are just the kind of company that can keep something like this secret. (Remember gmail?)

One Comment

  1. Phelps says:

    Following my own link to Jabber, I noticed that they even describe thier system as being more like an email system than a peer-to-peer setup. I think I’m on to something here.