Google's Next Social Media Wave Might Be Shared Spaces?

Google, as the current Internet leader may be deposed soon by the one consituency of the Web it's been unable bring under its allegiance. With flawed social network attempts such as Orkut and Buzz, and even it's still-to-be-released Google Me - it just doesn't seem to have the social media gene to pull it off. When Google Wave closed shop recently and engineers started an exodus for greener pastures at Facebook, it looked like the search giant had seen its better days.

This week however, Steve Rubel, director of insights for Edelman Digital, one of the world's largest independent PR firm tweeted out this message that indicated that Google is still trying to save remnants of Google Wave with a new project called "Shared Spaces."

Cooking up the new product in Google Labs, this "quiet launch" appears to be based on Google Wave gadget technology - with its focus providing an easy means to create and share collaborative applications.

A ReadWriteWeb post reported with Shared Spaces uses Wave Technology, they have been able to develop 50 different gadget applications that include scheduling tools, polls, maps, Soduku games and drawing boards - all that can be shared with a collaborative work group. This "Map Gadget" is an example.

The concept is based on a work force that no longer needs to be sequestered in an office or cubicle. While Shared Space would certainly work for that "old school" office group, it will also work for the number of folks that today work out of their homes and commute by teleconferencing, emails and IMing versus last century's traditional forms of transportation.

Shared Spaces seems to be an easy way to share a workspace virtually with an associate, colleague or friend. You simply share the space's URL to invite others to join. And while there's a chat box that allows for real-time communication, the workspace is a permanent location for work groups to return over time as well.

Anyone with a Google account can create a shared space, but according to a series of reports, its speculated that the early release of Shared Spaces may have been premature. There has been a number or dead links and broken gadgets associated with this "quiet launch." As Matthew Rogers from the Downloadsquad summed it up, "let's just hope that the Ghost of Wave (past) doesn't curse them all to follow in (Wave's) footsteps."

However with as much time, effort and money that was put into Google Wave, I am sure that Google will continue to look for additional ways to get a return out of that investment. Too early to wave good-bye to that social experiment?